An Open Letter to Chipotle

Dearest Chipotle,

I love your food.  I eat at your establishment basically on a weekly basis. However, we have a problem we need to address.: Your rice. Namely, the fact it has cilantro in it.

A recent study suggest that almost 15% of the US population is genetically predisposed to hate cilantro.  On that note, let me ask you a question—have you ever met someone who is meh on cilantro? When you ask someone their opinion about cilantro, you will get the extremes in terms of responses. You rarely meet people who say, “I can take or leave cilantro.”

I am one of those people who finds cilantro disgusting. It taste like soap, it numbs my tongue, and it is generally disgusting on all levels.  And, unlike some of my other plain-food loves, a very large piece of the population is with me on this front.

So, I have to ask.  As a Mexican establishment in which rice is a base ingredient in pretty much everything you serve, why are you including an ingredient a good 20% of your customers can’t stand? Does it really make things that much more difficult or alter the taste to add cilantro after the fact?  Because you certainly can’t take it out and have it taste the same. That rice is ruined.

The thing is, at most of your restaurants, I can ask for the plain rice and it is available.  I must say though that many of your employees are not thrilled with my special request and heave a sigh before trekking to the back of the kitchen to fetch it. 

I want to be accommodating, I don’t like making trouble, really I don’t, but this is absolutely not my fault. The issue is yours. Why on Earth is the plain rice not the default and cilantro what people can ask for you to go fetch from the back?  You serve two types of beans and four types of salsa. Why can you not openly offer two types of rice?  I don’t like being shamed for asking for rice that doesn’t taste like it was prepared in an old sock.  Put it out front where it belongs. This isn’t In-n-Out and its secret menu.  People should know they don’t have to eat your crappy rice and that they have options.

I’m not saying get rid of the cilantro, I am just saying you need an alternative if you ever want me to put you on par with an establishment like Moe’s Southwestern Grill or the all-time greatest quick Mexican food establishment, Poquito Mas.  I know you have a lot of folks on your side, but you fix this rice situation and it could be game over for the rest of the Mexican quick service world, comprende?




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