Mexican inspired fast food joints like Chipotle, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Qdoba, and even Taco Bell have for years served as a savory refuge for hungry vegans and vegetarians on the go.
My go-to at Chipotle is, or at least, WAS, the “Sofritas” burrito–basically spiced up tofu. But the “Veggie” burrito has always been an elusive mystery to me. If grilled vegetables are free for any burrito, then why does the Veggie burrito cost the same as the Sofritas burrito?
Too embarrassed to ask about it, I always ended up choosing Sofritas for fear of getting ripped off or laughed at.
But then one day, I went for it. I didn’t ask about it. I just did it.
“One Veggie burrito, please,” I anxiously ordered.
The burrito artist placed my usual black beans and brown rice onto the tortilla. We were off to a good start.
She then quickly placed what seemed like a minuscule amount of grilled vegetables on top of it and passed it off to the next associate. The customer behind me asked for grilled veggies on top of his carnitas. At this point, I was getting annoyed. I already had buyer’s remorse.
“That’s it?!” I thought to myself. “That’s the last time I order a veggie burrito. Oh well, live and learn.”
When it came to the toppings (my favorite part), I ordered my usual: “Everything except for cheese and sour cream, please.” I call this the “Fully Vegan.” And of course, this includes guacamole. This time they loaded it up with what seemed to be an exorbitant amount of guac…Cha-ching.
When I finally pay for the burrito, I don’t even notice the price. The grilled veggie fiasco had me flustered and distracted.
But while I enjoyed my meal outside of this particular Sarasota Chipotle’s beautiful yet lonely patio, I inspected my receipt and noticed that I was not charged for guacamole!
You know that rush you get when you speed past a police car and DON’T get pulled over? It was kind of like that, only better. An odd combination of guilt, excitement and curiosity rattled my brain for the rest of my work day.
Was it a mistake? Or rather, a deliberate pricing strategy to make the veggie burrito a more fair and appealing option for customers?
When I got home, I did the research and immediately discovered that this was indeed Chipotle policy, and I was simply late to the party.
Thank you, Chipotle.
So there you have it. Just order the veggie burrito and your guacamole will be free. If this isn’t incentive enough to try a vegan meal, then I don’t know what is.