Chipotle, Elk Grove, CA
The Taco: Barbacoa soft taco
The Price: About $6.50 for three.
The Verdict: Unless you've been living under a rock you have no doubt come across the Chipotle chain. They offer assembly-line tacos and burritos in a faux modern brushed metal dining room. I typically categorize Chipotle as "Mexican-style" more than it is traditional Mexican, as the choices are clearly catered to the big-appetites and americanized tastes of the US consumer. On the other hand, there is something to be said for the assembly-line method: you can customize your meal exactly the way you like. Chipotle has even tapped into that theme with its most recent round of advertising. I ordered my tacos with hot salsa, corn salsa, cheese, lettuce and barbacoa meat.
The tacos managed to hold their shape pretty well despite the to go order. The hot salsa has a good kick to it which made them plenty spicy and each of the ingredients were well proportioned. The meat itself was tasty, but I found it a little salty. It may be just the combination of spices they use or maybe I got a bad batch, but it overwhelmed the other flavors in my opinion. Otherwise these were pretty typical chain-store fare, nothing spectacular but certainly edible and freshly prepared.
The Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)