Chipotlé Burrito Test!

Chipotlé Burrito Test!

Believe it or not, I’ve never had Chipotlé. There are so many good Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that chain restaurant “fast-food” from Chipotlé was never a “go-to” option.

We had a Coupon (and it was about to expire on May 1) for a FREE Burrito, Burrito Bowl or Order of Tacos at any Chipotlé Mexican Grill. And there’s one that opened up relatively recently in Encino on Ventura Blvd and we’ve wanted to try it for awhile now.

NOTE: We’ve been hesitant to eat at Chipotlé because of the recent “food-borne” illness news reports centered on the restaurant chain, which is why we call this a test.

So, Wednesday evening at 7pm we stopped and picked up an order “TO GO” for dinner on our way to our friend’s place in North Hollywood.

13116308_1376647532361809_2417342961082104252_o

There’s metered street parking on Ventura Blvd (8am-8pm) but you can’t park on the street between 4-7pm because it’s an ANTI-GRIDLOCK ZONE during “rush hour”, so there’s drive-in underground parking (which we can’t tell you about because we parked on the street just after 7pm).

The restaurant was clean and bright with a big letter “A” health rating on the front window which was good. It wasn’t very busy and there wasn’t any wait to order, which is always of concern at fast service restaurants where the food sits and waits for a customer.

The young guy behind the register said hello from across the empty front area as we entered. The young woman who prepared the order was very business-like and efficient, but not very friendly (and she shorted us on the steak…yes we noticed that sneaky move!) as she quickly made our Burrito Bowl.

13064764_1376647539028475_2550342718103513166_o

On The Menu: A Burrito Bowl with 1/2 chicken, 1/2 steak, 1/2 black beans, 1/2 pinto beans, 1/2 brown rice, 1/2 white rice, hot sauce, guacamole, lettuce and a large flour tortilla

NOTE: We read a food article about “How to get the best value at Chipotlé” which said that if you order the Burrito Bowl with 1/2 of each ingredient, you will get more food than if you order a Burrito or a Burrito Bowl with single ingredients. And of course you have to get the guacamole (on the side) for a “small additional charge”.

We exchanged the food for the coupon and took it “TO GO” We drove over to our friend’s place and ate after we arrived, so the food traveled in the car for about 15 minutes. We removed the lettuce from the bowl and heated the meat, rice and beans in the microwave for a minute to get it hot again. We emptied the contents of the bowl onto the tortilla, added the guacamole, took a few pics, rolled it up into a very large burrito and promptly ate the whole thing (except the lettuce, which we didn’t eat at all) and it was okay. Not great, but we were very hungry so it was good. And the price was right, it was FREE.

13064771_1376647535695142_6700720246015952416_o

“Rub-A-Dub-Dub Thanks For The Grub!”

We would eat there again, but it still wouldn’t be a first choice for “fast casual” Mexican food, It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great. It was okay and it was an okay value. There was a lot of food in that large burrito and we don’t feel sick the next day.

Chipotlé Mexican Grill16350 A Ventura Blvd., Encino CA 91436
818-808-0816 chipotle.com

Copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel 
http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel
http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

NOTE: My own homemade steak soft tacos the previous night were much better!

Taco Tuesday! Steak soft tacos with 2 kinds of cheese, grilled red onion, flour tortillas, brown rice, refried beans, lettuce, fresh guacamole, salsa verde, tortilla chips and a coke

13055261_1375852232441339_203366802543707522_o

We like to cook fresh Mexican at home. We enjoy Cuban food from Versailles and casual Mexican food from El Torito and Poquito Mas. And every once in awhile we’ll eat at Taco Bell or Del Taco, although that doesn’t really count as Mexican or real food.

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to Read about Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in North Hollywood (previous Blog)> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc

1912075_1340214219338474_1068585552900539333_n

We like to eat at Mucho Mas in NoHo. And we also like to call, order and pick up a very large and tasty Chicken Burrito with rice and beans “Gringo Style” (with melted cheese and red sauce on top) from Las Fuentes Mexican Restaurant on Vanowen just east of Reseda Blvd in Reseda for about the same price as Chipotlé:

12987089_1370285049664724_8346854607115242071_n

We got recently got one “TO GO” with fresh made chips, a large avocado salsa, and a variety of different salsas from the salsa bar and we made the fresh guacamole at home before going to pick up the order.

13010656_1370229579670271_2580944108394242948_n

———————————————————————–

Advertisements

Taco Tuesday! Dinner at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Taco Tuesday! Mexican food at El Torito in Sherman Oaks.

Thinking about chips and salsa! We hit up the El Torito Mexican Restaurant at Ventura blvd and Van Nuys blvd. There’s a parking lot that’s always full, valet parking and (TIP) street parking available. If you get lucky, you’ll find a parking space in the lot. If you’re smart you’ll find street parking at a meter on Ventura blvd, Moorpark street or Van Nuys blvd.

12803123_1332033286823234_1947675925421485635_n

Mexican Food at El Torito Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Enter through the double doors and into the reception area. There’s a Taco Bar (and Lunch and Brunch) Buffet area and a hallway to the restrooms on the left. The Bar is ahead of you behind the hostess desk and the large dining room divided into three areas is to the right.

983631_1332798676746695_1465577642849136492_n

Dinner at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

The Bar is usually busy, and on Tuesdays it is really crowded because of the Taco Tuesday $1.99 Taco special (It used to be $1.00) and the Taco Bar spread which is only available in the Bar area. It’s also very loud with music and conversation, so we decided on the regular menu and a comfortable booth in a quiet corner of the center dining room.

12802699_1332033296823233_6943918907687785246_n

At the Bar at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

The Bar is pretty fun if you can find a seat. They have beer, wine and spirits. Usually there’s a tequila drink (margarita) on special or it’s “happy hour” and there’s always a game on the televisions and loud music playing.

Besides the Taco special and Taco Bar Buffet, they have a Bar Menu with appetizers and small plates and you can order off the regular menu in the Bar area as well.

12803317_1332033283489901_7346323494861486931_n

Taco Tuesday! The Taco Bar Buffet at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

I haven’t tried the lunch buffet or Saturday/Sunday brunch in a long time, but it’s a pretty good value and a they have a lot of different choices available. A Mexican food buffet is always pretty good! Tacos, burrito makings, fajitas, enchiladas, tamales, rice, beans, desserts, fruit, salads, soups, salsas and more; and then breakfast foods, menudo, juices and pastries for the weekend Brunch buffets.

12805696_1332798526746710_3904718354279898793_n

Center Dining Room at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

The Dining Room is large and spacious, and divided into three areas. There are tables and large booths available. The menu is traditional Mexican (gringo-style) fare, but they recently upgraded the recipes and the food is very tasty and you get a lot of it!

12801436_1332033293489900_5471738380435354025_n

Mexican Food at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

Drinks from the Bar and all kinds of fun cocktails are available at your table too!

12814373_1332033180156578_5540016736480372499_n

Drinks on the Menu at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

On the Menu: Chips & salsa, Fiesta platter (nachos, beef flautas, chicken wings and a cheese quesadilla), Macho Combo (chicken burrito, beef taco, tamale & chile relleño with rice, beans and sweet corn cake) and a shot of Silver tequila with lime.

12800379_1332033190156577_2391752826643527640_n

Warm Tortilla Chips & Roasted Pepper Salsa

The chips are made fresh and served warm with roasted pepper salsa. They’ll make fresh guacamole at your table if you order it. They have a good selection of appetizers, entrees and ala carte items. Not so much on dessert, only deep fried ice cream, flan and a tres leches cake. Free refills on soda and most other beverages and more chips and salsa too.

12795519_1332033193489910_7692760256847070779_n

Silver Tequila Shot with Lime(s)

12814598_1332033183489911_3564201059419799915_n

Fiesta Platter! Nachos, Beef Flautas, Chicken Wings & a Cheese Quesadilla

I recommend the Fiesta Platter to start. Eat the nachos and chicken wings, take home the quesadilla and flautas. Then order a Macho Combo (your choice of four items) with rice, beans and sweet corn cake. Eat what you can and take home the rest for tomorrow.

12809568_1332033176823245_8682679742221748254_n

Macho Combo! Beef Taco, Tamale, Chicken Burrito, Chile Relleño, Rice & Beans

10391729_1332798186746744_4464861601280493026_n

Happy Birthday! Mexican Birthday Song at El Torito Restaurant!

It wasn’t my birthday, but the waitstaff came over and sang to the table next to ours so I got a nice picture. The service was excellent! I didn’t have to look around for our waiter because he was checking in with us regularly. When I finished the coke, he was right there asking “would you like a refill?”. Every request was handle promptly and the Manager even came by to ask how everything was.

The prices are reasonable. The Buffets and Specials are a pretty good value if you’re hungry and want to eat a lot of food. Drinks are also pretty reasonable and some of the drink specials are excellent! You get a lot of food and we even got a AAA discount on the check!

It was a very good meal and a pleasant dining experience. Good food and lot of it. The service was excellent and it wasn’t too expensive. A Very Happy Taco Tuesday!

El Torito Mexican RestaurantVentura Blvd (at Van Nuys Blvd) in Sherman Oaks

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel | http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel 
http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel 

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com 

12809658_1332033290156567_4164313568304588918_n

El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

————————————————————