Chipotle’s Free sofritas: review

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Free chipotle?

Yes, I will sample your hippie vegetarian cuisine in exchange for a real meal at a later date.

I am known for a few things (at least what people say to my face). Loving burritos, and particularly Chipotle’s offerings, is the primary thing. Having the metabolism of a humming bird is the other.

As soon as Chipotle announced their promo, I received emails, texts and calendar reminders from my burrito buddies. Why they didn’t alert me first is the subject of future investigation.

I sampled their sofritas about a year ago from a mini plastic cup. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t flavorful meat.

When I eat at chipotle, I eat at the speed of feral wolf. The food is delicious and it may be one of the few times I eat quickly. Perhaps it’s the sterile seating and ambiance, but when sitting with a salad or burrito before me, you best stay on your side of the table.

My girlfriend texted me to remind me of today’s near holiday. Free (in the future) burrito day was here! Discussing it at work generated mixed reviews.

“Soy? Yuck.”

“Tofu? I’ll pass.”

I was undeterred. Chipotle had yet to lead me astray. At the very worst I’m getting 1.5 meals for the price of one. But my coworkers weren’t like Wimpy in Popeye. I am willing to try it today for a burrito tomorrow.

Anticipating an increased rush to snatch some meat alternative, I used their mobile app to order my salad. My attempt to secure the sofritas was foiled due to meetings. I called Chipotle to see if they’d save my order for 5 PM. They said they would. Note: the only things I have purchased via my phone are burrito related.

I grabbed it on my way to the train home and sat with it on my lap a la the Blues Brothers’ briefcase full of blues. Having suffered through jealous rage of other people bringing Chipotle onto the train, I noticed this bag of food didn’t have the same aroma.2015/01/img_6923.jpg
Once home, I grabbed my burrito salad fork (you don’t have one?) and started eating. Getting a salad wasn’t the best way to highlight the flavor of the sofritas compared to taco’s. The salad, burrito bowl or burrito have many strong flavors to contend with. Usually the meat overpowers or works well with the myriad of flavors. The sofritas faded to the background for me. The cheese, sour cream and salsa all trumped the meat alternative.

Did I finish it? Of course. Will I get it again? Probably not. I paid nearly 8 dollars for romain lettuce, tomatoes, rice, pinto beans, grilled peppers and some scoop of reddish material.

I’m curious to see the power of free. How many people tried it? How many people went along for a frugal friend? Did sales numbers spike today versus typical Monday numbers? Am I part of some grand social burrito experiment?!

Who else took a chance today?

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How You're Cooking Chicken Wrong

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If you aren’t smoking your meats this summer you’re wasting your time and taste buds. I’ve written about my love affair with turning my Weber grill into a smoking machine and have educated many friends on the setup.

The flavor rewards of smoking are huge. Grilling chicken often leads to tough and dry substances, while cooking low-and-slow produces moist, tender and flavorful meats.

This feast used a smoked fryer chicken (backbone removed) as the protein for a huge salad. I brined the bird (no name given) in beer and line juice before sliding it on the cool side of the grill for 90 minutes. The result was an incredibly crispy skin with a deep red hue.

The salad was romaine, arugula, carrots, cucumber and red and green onions. All topped with my patent-pending BB-ANCH!

Plus, the special treat were homemade tortilla crisps dusted with herbs and spices to add another crunch to the salad.
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It’s Not Delivery, It’s Pizza Date Night

Last summer I intended to make pizza from scratch. I’d looked up a few recipes. Watched America’s Test Kitchen. Read more recipes about grilling pizza. But I never got around to trying it out. Many know my devotion to burritos, but I also love pizza. If asked to choose between which food I could eat for the remainder of my life–until succumbing to high cholesterol and morbid obesity–I’d be torn to choose.

Pizza date night is by no means an original idea, but it still counts as an idea. If you’re looking for something fun to do with a lady friend or gentlemen suitor, I suggest a pizza party. While it won’t rival the parties of our youth that included germ-filled plastic ball pits and potentially puking before the ghost story portion of the sleepover, it will have booze. If you play your cards right you could still yammie before it’s time to turn out the lights. The only difference is your mom may not come to get you this time.

The upside to making pizza is it’s relatively easy.

The hierarchy of pizzas is (most complex to easiest):

Completely homemade

Semi-homemade (I’m coming for you Sandra Lee)

Take and bake

Frozen

Delivery

I opted for semi-homemade. Trader Joe’s had everything we needed for a pizza party. They have pre-made dough, pasta/pizza sauce, cheese, organic and non-organic veggies, meats, meat substitutes. No matter what dietary restrictions your date has, you can accommodate their nom nom needs with one store visit. We went for a straightforward, traditional pizza pie. We got two crusts: whole wheat and herb. Then loaded up on veggies and arugula. Don’t forget to pick up some cheese. We bought fresh mozzarella.

You’ll have to roll out the dough, which is relatively easy. Then it’s an assembly job. Bust out that Slap Chop you bought off an infomercial and get at it. Crust/sauce/veggies/cheese. While the pizzas baked, we tossed up a salad with the extra veggies and made a balsamic salad dressing. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. So, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Shake it in a Tupperware then put on the salad.

Get crazy with your toppings. Whoever came up with bacon and pineapple clearly was an outside-the-pizza-box thinker.

Let me know your favorite pizza combinations in the comments.

Carlos Danger and Geraldo Don’t Do Salads

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Carlos Danger/Anthony Weiner sends dick pics.

Geraldo posted a topless pic. He later apologized saying, “I was drunk and lonely.”

Aren’t we all Geraldo? Aren’t we all.

As a slew of stories come out of public figures sending pics of themselves, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the true purpose of having a camera phone. Gratuitous food closeups.

Last night’s salad featured almost every ingredient from the produce department: romaine, spinach, avocado, red onion, red bell pepper, grilled green beans. Add marinated, grilled chicken, quinoa, and chunks of pepper jack cheese. If that weren’t enough, I topped it all with fresh salsa verde.

I also noticed “fat free” on my bag of spinach. Are people really on the fence? “I don’t know about this green shit. Is it healthy?”

Sadly this salad has yet to receive the same attention as a congressional dick.

I’m in Love…

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I remember something in the Bible about making food your god. Or maybe it was to not make food your god? If it was the latter, I think God must have been rushed to crank out His “Thou Shall Not’s” and didn’t think it out fully. Because if He/She had waited the hour for smoked chicken, there would’ve been some different rules enumerated in the Good Book, which probably would’ve resembled a cook book. God probably didn’t want to share all the secret family recipes like an Italian’s pasta sauce or a perfectly spiced curry or a succulent gumbo.

Continue reading I’m in Love…

Man’s Other Best Friend

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Festival season is upon us. That means fun party games like, “High or Just that Strange?” After a day of condo hunting, walking around the Blues Fest and Old Town Art Fair, I was fascinated by two things:

  1. Why do people bring their dogs to public events?
  2.  What am I going to eat for dinner?

So, inspired by man’s best friend, I turned to my best friend: the cast iron skillet. Continue reading Man’s Other Best Friend

The Greatest Salad Ever Made in the History of Carb Avoidance

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“Do you like Mexican food Andrew?” my cousin asked me last night.

After a short pause, she continued, “What am I thinking? Of course you do.”

Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook, or regular readers of my infrequent posts on here, knows I have a problem. Well, I have many problems. The principal issue I’m referring to is the love affair I have with comida Mexciana. Fresh salsas, gooey queso, crisp lechuga and succulent meats wrapped neatly in a warm tortilla. I assert there is no such thing as “bad” Mexican food. Perhaps I’ve had good luck in experimenting with different taquerias. Continue reading The Greatest Salad Ever Made in the History of Carb Avoidance