Say What You Mean

November 26th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

Within the last year or so here, the Mexican restaurant Chipotle has made its way onto our landscape.  I do enjoy going to Chipotle and it’s one of the few chain restaurants I patronize.

Of course when I say “patronize”, I mean – to frequent as a customer – not that I treat Chipotle condescendingly or anything.

Oh and when I say “frequent”, this would mean on the occasion when there are no picky children in tow. And as the case may be, this means I get there once a month if I’m lucky.

So when I do get to go to Chipotle, there is no messing around. What I mean by “no messing around” is that I’m ordering the same thing every time. There is just no room for trial and error.

And when I say “no room for trial and error”, what I mean is bring me a Burrito Bowl or bring me death. And when I say “bring me death” – what I really mean is just bring me a Burrito Bowl.

Now, if Chipotle-speak is not a part of your vernacular, allow me explain a bit further here.


A Burrito Bowl is basically everything you’d get in a burrito – except in a bowl, hold the tortilla.  One might say heaven in a bowl, really – and I take my heaven with a side of extra guac, thanks.

Heaven or hell, a girl can’t always have everything she wants, thus – my open letter (or, just a letter for the sake of this post really) to Chipotle:

Dear Chipotle,

As warm and tingly as your Burrito Bowls make me feel inside, there is just not much on your menu that my kids will eat.  This means that for now, our time together will be limited at best.

I am writing today to inform you that I have come to terms with this fact thanks to the recent realization that I can make my own Burrito Bowls at home! I’m sure you understand, and hey – thanks for the great dinner idea.

I promise I’ll still be around – it’s just a lot more fun without the kids. I also promise that I won’t sell them (my At-Home Burrito Bowls of course, not the kids – but I guess I’m not selling my kids either) or if I do sell them, I just won’t call them Burrito Bowls. (Again, talking about burritos in bowls here, not kids.)

Respectfully Yours,

Mother/Chipotle Lover/Burrito Bowl Connoisseur

If I might now paraphrase this mangled letter of consumer insanity to explain what I meant by “making my own Burrito Bowls at home” – it would be to say that I’ve been making my own Burrito Bowls at home.

So what does that mean exactly?

Stay At Home Chipotle

Here, I’ll translate. Clockwise, starting at about 11 o’clock:

  • Garden Fresh Gourmet Artichoke Garlic Salsa
  • Sour Cream 2% Fage
  • Red bell pepper and red onion sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil
  • White Brown Rice
  • Leftover Spicy Refried Bean Soup (pintos, black beans, corn, oh my!)
  • Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
  • Homemade guacamole

Now in my mind, one of the best qualities possessed by a Burrito Bowl is that you can go a little nuts with the ingredients when your burrito is being cradled by a bowl rather than swaddled in a tortilla.  A tortilla means you are at risk for some messy hands and probably a messy face too.  This then means more work for you in the laundry department because you have to get all those guacamole stains out of your cloth napkins.

And when I say “cloth napkins”, I of course mean shirt sleeves and pant legs.

Burrito Bowl, you are so selfless to help me out with the laundry like that. If loving you is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

Alright. Wipe those sentimental tears with your sleeves my burrito loving friends – it’s just about time to eat.  Let’s take it from the top.

Buried beneath this pile of guac, greek yogurt and salsa is a spectacular display of burrito affection. Except in a bowl, hold the tortilla. (You are paying attention, right?)

View From the Top

And when I say “spectacular display of burrito affection”, I mean – well, I’m just going to let the bowl show you what I mean.


OK, wait. There is just too much going on here, I better tell you what it all means.


Here’s a key to help you decipher what the Silent Language of the Arrows mean. Clockwise, starting at about 12 o’clock:

At Home Burrito Bowl Key

The tears up there at about 1 o’clock? Oh no, not sentimental tears. And not tears of joy either. Those are tears of scrambled eggs that were cut up before I knew I was supposed to draw a ketchup smiley face on them.  (Pictures aren’t the only things I draw on around here.)

But oh yes, I kid you not. Unfortunately that’s exactly what those tears meant.

So yeah – I’ll be making Burrito Bowls at home for now, that’s just how it has to be. And now you see what I mean.

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