When I first announced to a friend of mine that Chipotle is now open for business in Paris, her reaction was this is big news. Indeed it is! Chipotle is fabulous, fast Mexican food which the French have managed to upscale. It is surprising paradox for a country that takes so much pride in their ‘terroir’ and protection of foods such as; Camembert, Pruneaux d’Agen, Champagne etc to then have the highest number of McDonalds outside of the USA to name but one fast food giant. The French love fast food – I know it’s hard to believe but there is no shame in saying you have a weekly McDonald’s here. I was so shocked at work when my French colleagues told me that they happily eat McDonald’s regularly. Whereas I’m not sure any of my friends back home in England would confess to eating at McDonald’s at least not since they swapped Saturday night bar hopping to a few glasses of wine and Strictly Come Dancing on the t.v!
I stumbled across Chipotle after my dining experience at Noglu and thought I must come back to the Les Grands Boulevards. It has the usual frontage of a fast food restaurant, upon entering you join the queue and wait….people are not staring, they are just willing you to make up your mind and choose your toppings so that they can order. You can happily come in and sit down and chill out with or without friends or take away!
Les Plats/ The Dishes
Why does anyone come to Chipotle….for the burritos of course. However, as with anything the French import why keep it simple when you can complicate it!! So aside from having a burrito, you can have a burrito plate (without the tortilla), tacos or just a salad. The meat too is upgraded: free range chicken from Ancenis, only the best beef for Chipotle from Charolais, free range pork and steak and also a vegetarian option. Any of those options will cost you €9 to which you can add the alcoholic or non alcoholic drink of choice including; beer, margarita, wine or flavoured water.
With all that choice and with the long line of people behind me I just stuck to what I know I like – a chicken burrito with black beans, rice and some guacamole.
How do I describe the taste of the floury tortilla sheltering the crisp cold lettuce, marinated chicken luxuriating in a medium hot salsa. I can’t so here’s a picture instead which supposedly paints a thousand words or in this case just conveys my delight in eating a Chipotle burrito!
L’ambiance/ Good Vibes
It’s a fast food restaurant for all intents and purposes. The staff are super friendly. I ended up ordering extra guacamole which I never do, the server was so cute and American from Texas and well do I really need to explain?! I got flustered by his dazzling smile. Yes here at Chipotle Paris they speak English and French. When I say speak English, properly speak English, nothing is lost in translation here! The lighting downstairs is harsh and fluorescent. However upstairs the furniture is dark mahogany, tall grasses planted in stylish pots are dotted around the place and there’s soft lighting.
Where? 20 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009, Paris
How? Metro 8 and 9 (Richelieu Drouot)
Open when? 11am to 10pm (7 days a week!)
Pricey? It’s a burrito but with the extras expect to pay anything from €9 to €20 (if you go for beer etc)