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Adventures in Veganism: Sofritas at Chipotle

Chipotle' burrito bowl with sofritas

Ryan RitchieChipotle' burrito bowl with sofritas

There's nothing better than vegan options like black beans and white rice at chain restaurants such as Chipotle

Wait. No. Plenty of things are better than vegan options like the black beans and white rice at chain restaurants such as Chipotle. Cat memes, Felicity, the Showtime Lakers, heated toilet seats, girls who wear glasses, Red Cross' first album and Tetris come to mind. Still, as any vegan who's driven across the country and had to eat iceberg lettuce for a week can tell you, we appreciate the effort whenever corporate America embraces a diet that probably won't add three zeroes to their profit margins.

Having a vegan option in the middle of a strip mall is why vegans should try the sofritas - a tofu-based protein made from Hondo Soy organic tofu, chipotle chiles, roasted poblanos and aromatic spice that can be added to burritos, tacos, salads and bowls - offered at Chipotle. Not only is it vegan, it's actually advertised as such, as if for once corporate America isn't shying away from the dreaded v-word. 
For that, Chipotle gets nothing but praise from this herbivore because the more chain restaurants add vegan options on their menus, (hopefully) fewer animals have to be slaughtered. Also, that child in line ordering chicken or steak might not know anything about veganism and seeing the word could be the planting of a seed leading to a dietary conversion. 

However, in order for the sofritas to stay on the menu (and for similar restaurants to add vegan options), customers need to eat them, which is another way of saying Chipotle needs to make money selling vegan food or they'll ditch this item. Herein lies the problem, as the sofritas - and the white rice, black beans and vegetable fajitas at Chipotle - lack, hmm, what's that thing called? Oh yeah: flavor. 

Sure, the hot sauce has a bit of a kick, but no amount of spice can mask the lack of flavor. Perhaps all fast food tastes this way. I wouldn't know because I don't eat fast food (unless I'm wasted, which is a totally different thing), partially because these eateries don't often have vegan options and partially because I'm not a teenager. Whatever the case, the sofritas get the job done, but not in the most appetizing way.

So eat the sofritas because you're driving through Kansbrasklahoma, because you're on a date with someone who has the palate of a 15-year-old, because you're a culinary masochist, because you lost your taste buds in a horrific horseshoe accident in 1983 or because you understand that even bland vegan food at chain restaurants is better than nothing.


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Chipotle Mexican Grill
miles

121 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048-3309

310-855-0371

www.chipotle.com