Over the years as a stay at home mom & homeschool mom, budget is the main reason we don’t eat out very often. As time has gone by and I’ve gotten to be a fairly good cook, we’ve really started to prefer the meals we eat at home. Add in the fact that you control the quality of the ingredients and the cleanliness of the kitchen (so many places our minds could go if we let them :), and the “eating at home” experience becomes SO attractive!
Let me just take a moment to say, if you’re struggling with your budget these days…..take a look at how much your family spends eating out. It’s amazing how much those meals cost for a family of 5. You could really see a huge improvement in your budget with just cutting back on eating out. Think of how much food you could buy for that $50 or $60! And that would be a conservative estimate for one meal out. That’s with trying to order wisely and everyone drinking water. See…..it adds up!
So now that I’ve thoroughly tried to convince you to eat at home…..it’s funny that I’m going to share with you one of my rare restaurant experiences. But the background will explain why I’m always SO late in the game with trying out places that have been around for years….like Marble Slab.
This time it’s a place I’ve heard others rave about for at least 8 years now….Chipotle Mexican Grill! In my defense we didn’t have one in our area, and I don’t get out much But finally one opened up a few miles from my house, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I stopped in to see what all the fuss was about. So this past May hubby & I popped in on a date night (we don’t get out much either) on our way to Barnes and Noble.
I’d done enough research to know that Chipotle (as stated on their website), “has a commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.” I was very impressed, and knew I would be getting fresh, quality ingredients. Read more about Chipotle’s Food with Integrity policy.
Right away I was struck with the cleanliness of the store, and how streamlined and modern everything appeared. Things were simple, but simple didn’t mean they lacked attention to detail…wait till you see these ingredients! It was a place that felt comfortable and inviting. I ordered the Steak Salad Bowl, and was VERY impressed with the amount of food I was given and the selection of items to add.
I started off with a base of romaine lettuce (instead of chips) and then added steak. I topped that with black beans, freshly made guacamole, shredded cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo. For $5.95 it was an incredible deal!! I also ordered a bag of chips and salsa for $1.65.
Look how much food I received…..easily 2 meals in one. Couldn’t you just dive right in?
And a little closer………….just look at that cheese!
And it tasted as GOOD as it looks!! Mmmm……
Now I’m surprised to find that when I mention Chipotle to others I wasn’t actually the last kid on the block to find out or experience Chipotle. Really? How could that be? Either way I kind of describe it as a Mexican version of Panera Bread (another restaurant I speak highly of).
Now you fill me in……Are you a fan of Chipotle? What’s your favorite item to order? Do you have one in your area? Are their other “non-fast food” restaurants you’d recommend?
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