Let me guess: you read the title of this article and actually gasped out loud. You’re clenching your fists and your face is turning a weird shade of red. You’re already crafting an angry letter in your mind with at least twelve different swear words in it.
You, my friend, are displaying all the classic symptoms of what I like to call DCOD, or Delusional Chipotle Obsession Disorder. You have an inherent need to defend your beloved fast-food eatery at all costs. But don’t worry. We can fight this together.
In all seriousness, though, America is obsessed with Chipotle. Articles about Chipotle hacks, Chipotle addictions, revolutionary new Chipotle menu items and restaurants that are the “Chipotle of” some other type of cuisine are blowing up all over the Internet. And, when it turned out that Chipotle is actually unhealthy, the world exploded.
I think I’m being a voice of reason here, but it’s totally possible that I’m completely insane. But these are my five reasons why I’m not Chipotle’s biggest fan, and why I think its relative from the Northeast, Boloco (and other smaller chains, like Anna’s Taqueria), is infinitely better. Lucky for me, there’s a Boloco two minutes from campus (and they deliver. #blessed) because the founder is a Tuck alum.
1. Physical Trauma
As I mentioned above, everyone’s mind was blown by the fact that Chipotle was unhealthy. But were you really surprised? Think about the last time you ate at Chipotle. Afterwards, did you go for a run? Did you even go about your day like a regular person? Most likely, you were too busy coaxing your stomach into digesting the atomic bomb of a meal that you just dropped on it.
I find that eating at Boloco is a little less physically traumatic. For one, they offer different size options, from Big to Original to Mini. Boloco isn’t an all-or-nothing experience; if you aren’t as hungry, or maybe forgot to pack your Tums, you can always opt for a smaller size burrito or bowl.
And if you’ve been fasting for three days and have never been so hungry in your life, feel free to go big or go home.
2. Spiritual Exhaustion
Whenever I walk into Chipotle, my blood pressure immediately rises. Everybody in the store, from the workers to the inescapable three types of people you hate, is moving at five times the speed of any other sane location on Earth.
The line is incredibly long, but still not long enough for you to read the menu or decide what you want. You’re herded along in a whirlwind of salsas, beans and proteins and suddenly you’re paying for a burrito and have no idea what’s in it because you have completely blacked out the past thirty seconds of your life.
Meanwhile, at Boloco, things happen at a normal pace. You are allowed to ask questions without people throwing shade at you from all directions. Perhaps it is because Boloco does not have a cult following as of yet. Or maybe the people who go to Boloco are rational human beings who would prefer to spend an extra minute in line, rather than subjecting themselves to extremely stressful environments before lunchtime.
3. (Lack of) Individuality
Okay, maybe I’m being a little snooty with this one, but Chipotle doesn’t have a whole lot of options, despite the release of the Sofrita and the fabled secret menu items. Essentially, you’re herded through the line like a sheep and you’re getting some variation of protein and beans with some sort of carb, and maybe fajita vegetables if you’re feeling good about yourself. You might even pay extra for guac. But it’s nothing to call home about.
At Boloco, which prides itself on its “inspired” food for every diet, you can customize your meal in an option called the “Goloco.” They have a helpful detailed chart to help you pick what you want, based on how authentic you want your meal (“Mexican” or “Mexican-ish”?) and your hunger level.
The menu offers globally-inspired items, such as teriyaki sauce and Mediterranean options, and seasonal items like the Harvest Kale Salad (a personal fave) as well as the classics. They have caramelized onions, quinoa and black bean hummus. But they also have all the pork carnitas and steak you would ever want. It’s a win for everyone involved.
4. Inability to Breakfast
If you’re experiencing early morning hanger, Chipotle can’t help you. Though they briefly tested out breakfast options on frazzled customers at their airport locations, they’ve decided to stick to physically destroying you after 11 am.
If you’re in desperate need of a quick quasi-Mexican hangover cure before 11 am, then Boloco is the place to be. Many of the Boloco locations open at 7 am, offering hearty morning options like huevos rancheros and breakfast sandwiches. Also, hot and iced coffee, the lifeblood of our generation. You just get me, Baeloco.
5. Not Enough Nutella
Everything is better with Nutella, and Boloco understands that. Chipotle does not.
This one is a game changer, people. On top of being equipped with one of those touchscreen soda machines with a million flavor options that seem like they’re straight out of Wall-E, Boloco offers smoothies and milkshakes in three different sizes.
And the shining star of the drinks menu is obviously the creamy, beautiful milkshake made with real Nutella. This drink is so good you’ll want to introduce it to your parents. You’ll want to take it out on a date at a fancy restaurant and treat it right. You’ll want to cuddle with it on the couch with the lights dimmed and Marvin Gaye playing in the background. That’s how good it is.
The other options, like the Jimmy Carter Shake (with peanut butter) and the Tropi-Kale smoothie, are pretty damn good too. Think about that the next time you’re drinking a watered-down soda from Chipotle, and then get yourself to Boloco immediately.
Address: 35 Main St, Hanover, NH 03755
Hours: 11 am-10 pm every day
Skip the Chipotle stress and check out these better alternatives: