Chipotle - The Mexican Comparison

3.5/5 stars Review Philosophy

Chipotle Takeaway. The Mexican Comparison. Chicken burrito clocks in at $8.75 with a 5 / 10 burrito score. It's big enough to be a filling meal, particularly if you go calorie heavy with cheese and sour cream. I keep it healthy and low calorie by sticking with only adding veggies. Their chips are a 7.0 / 10, thin, salty, and with a hint of lime.

The Chipotle corporate overlords removed the fun of ordering here. No longer can you hack the menu with ½ and ½ beans or a tortilla on the side. Everything costs extra and they lightened the load.

Service at Chipotle has been getting worse over the last five years. Lines take ten-plus minutes for five people. I've had pick-up orders that they hadn't started ten minutes after the scheduled time. It's all just sad because ordering ahead of time used to be a superpower.

Holds a special place in my heart as the first Mexican food I ever had - when I was 18 at college. Even if it has been on a sad, slow decline.

Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt

Chipotle bite


  • 1255 S Kirkwood Rd, Kirkwood, MO 63122
  • (314) 238-0300
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - 2.2 stars - 187 ratings
  • TripAdvisor - 3.5 stars - 22 ratings
  • Google Maps - 3.2 stars - 1,287 ratings


Monday10:45 AM–10 PM
Tuesday10:45 AM–10 PM
Wednesday10:45 AM–10 PM
Thursday10:45 AM–10 PM
Friday10:45 AM–10 PM
Saturday10:45 AM–10 PM
Sunday10:45 AM–10 PM


Chipotle Experience Summary

Growing up in white bread Mendham, New Jersey, the closest thing to ethnic food I ever had was Chinese food (without MSG, my mom would insist) and sushi.

So, when my college dormmates freshman year invited me to Chipotle I had literally no idea what that was.

What's a burrito? You pick the stuff in it? What's going on?!?!

Chipotle interior selfie

Fast-forward 20 years and I've since moved on from my whitebread roots. Heck, I've had more diverse foods in the last six months than I had in the first eighteen years of my life.

But Chipotle remains as my go-to, quick service, relatively healthy meal around town. While I've slowly seen the quality of the service deteriorate, and been nickel in dimed for previously free hacks, the burritos still taste the same. Tip: Sign up with the app if you go frequently for rewards.

Chipotle burrito selfie

For $8.75 you can get a solid, healthy chicken burrito with a 5 / 10 burrito score. If you substitute steak for chicken and add guac and sour cream, you could push it to a 7 /10 Flood Line.

But I need a steady 5.0 /10 baseline, so blandish, healthy chicken is on the menu.

The Food At Chipotle

Chipotle burrito

Chipotle's strong suit lies in the quality and consistency of their food at an affordable price point.

Barring that one month many years ago when everyone got food poisoning, you know you'll get a burrito made to order with quality ingredients.

Because I'm using Chipotle as my comparison for ranking the best Mexican food in St. Louis. I did not go all out in my order. Instead, I went with the 5 / 10 order:

For $8.75 before tax and tip, that's a solid, healthy burrito.

Chipotle burrito bite

Chipotle does an excellent job at seasoning their meat. While my personal favorite is the steak, the chicken thighs they use absorb the flavor nicely. Not to mention they are $2 cheaper. Depending on the day, you can get a particularly well seasoned and cooked piece of chicken which can elevate the meal entirely.

On this day, I got an average cook. Every bite had burrito seasoning, but wasn't particularly juicy or strong. The toppings support the meat well as they have the serving sizes standardized to a science. I didn't get any of the big calorie or money add ons, so I relied on the green salsa to do work on the flavor side.

Chipotle bite

If I had gone with a burrito bowl, I would have added the corn salsa, but that tends to make the burrito too runny in my experience.

Overall, the customization aspect of Chipotle means that you'll enjoy whatever you get. It also means you can push the taste score higher if you're willing to spend $4 extra bucks and add 500 calories to the meal. And while an all out bowl might cross the flood line, it's nowhere near the taste and quality of El Guanaco.

Chipotle Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

Chipotle interior

The service at Chipotle is spotty at best and abysmal at worst. Ordering online and picking it up used to be a cheat code five or so years ago. But now, everyone does it and the team seems ill equipped to handle it.

The food has been ready on time for me once since I moved to St. Louis. I've had one instance where they didn't even realize I had ordered until I asked 5 minutes past the due time. And most of the time they are just swamped and way behind.

Makes me sad.

Chipotle line

The line takes about two to three minutes per person. The production line method is ok in terms of efficiency, but any kind of multi dish order can seriously back things up because nothing runs in parallel.

You can get delivery via the app, but I have had awful, awful results with it. The food can be anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes late and will normally have a wrong item or be missing something entirely. I forget who they contract with, but it's not exactly six sigma.

Chipotle front

The other thing that makes me sad is the nickel and diming from corporate over the menu hacks. There used to be a secret menu feel to ordering ½ white and ½ brown rice with ½ black and ½ brown beans. Now, they barely scooped either. To make things worse, they charge you for the tortilla when you get a burrito bowl. That was my favorite hack I no longer do.

Chipotle signage

On the flip side of the corporate takeover, you know the food quality will be high and the restaurant will be clean. After the food poisoning disaster almost ten years ago, they've taken a McDonald's level approach to cleanliness and quality and haven't had any issues. Because they are corporate, you won't get any special flare like at El Burro or Mi Ranchito.

Chipotle outdoor seating

Seating varies by the location, but I've noticed most Chipotles have outdoor seating available whenever possible. Indoors, they normally have a dozen or so tables.

On a last note, use the app when you order or scan it at checkout to earn reward points. I've earned several free burritos and guac over the years.

Chipotle outdoor doors

Parking At Chipotle

Chipotle receipt

Parking is dependent on the location, although most places have a dedicated lot. The new Chiptoles have drive through options for pick up, but in my experience they are usually not ready at the allotted timespot.

Chipotle Receipt

Chipotle receipt

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