Gettin' Mo' Chipo
What’s the sitch with assembly line strategies at Chipotle Mexican Grill?
In this economy, getting the most out of each trip to Chipotle can make or break your monthly budget, let alone your longterm retirement goals.
Now, while I understand the allure of an expertly wrapped burrito, going with that option puts strict limits on the space available for fillings. I advise going with the burrito bowl while also asking for a tortilla on the side. This is a free option that allows one to work with the volume of a bowl, while simultaneously providing the cozy feel of a tortilla. Now that we can really heap ingredients, ask for both types of beans and for the fajita onions and peppers. If you want extra rice, go ahead, although sometimes this can lead to an undesirable ratio.
Next, ask for half of one meat, half of another (I recommend color coordination, i.e. half barbacoa and half steak, or half chicken and half carnitas... another school of thought is to match the style of meat presentation, i.e. both shredded types or both cubed types...) This half-and-half style is well-known tactic to confuse servers; they aren't trained to scoop half of a portion, and in order to avoid upsetting the costumer, servers will almost always give you a little extra in each half-meat-scoop.
Onto the salsas. At this stage pacing is very important. Ask for the tomato one. Wait a beat. Then ask for the corn. Say, "a good amount of the corn please." Wait another beat. Ask for the hot. Each time you ask for a salsa and pause, the server thinks that is the last salsa you want, so they really fill up any space left in the bowl.
Obviously get cheese and sour cream. No reason to overthink that stage. But the lettuce decision really hinges on your future plans for the burrito bowl you're constructing. I've found, when getting a tortilla on the side of a heaping Chipo-bowl, I can wrap a nearly-authentic-Chipo-sized burrito using just a bit more than half of the fillings in the bowl. The other half can be saved for later the same night, or even for lunch the next day. In this case, getting lettuce can be dangerous. Lettuce gets pretty soggy overnight, especially when it is in such close proximity to salsas and creams. The lettuce is ultimately going to be your call, I just want you to know what you're getting yourself into.
Throughout this delicate calorie-maximizing-dance, the server is likely to give you a look, or even roll their eyes. Ignore this. You don't have to apologize for getting exactly what you want at a fair price.