I hadn’t eaten for a few hours simply to save space for my afternoon trip to Chipotle. The inevitably long line gave me time to think about the true question at hand: burrito or bowl?  Everyone knows a bowl is much more filling and allows you the option to order a free tortilla on the side, so I decided to take that route.  I always choose to top my meal with all of the options Chipotle has to offer in order to get the most flavor and, as a fan of spicy foods, this includes an ample amount of hot sauce. Feeling spontaneous, I also chose the (kind of) new Sofritas as the protein.

I asked for my meal to go so that I got a lid, sat down at my table, and shook the bowl up in order to mix the ingredients (a technique I learned this past summer). Staring at my plate, I wasn’t sure what to think about the Sofritas. They definitely don’t look like the most appetizing thing in the world.  But as I took a bite, I was instantly shocked by what I had just eaten. I’ve consumed tofu countless times before but this, my friends, was not just any tofu. While it may look dry on the outside, there’s a juicy flavor explosion in your mouth the minute you bite into Sofritas. Chipotle has taken tofu and turned it into something you’ve never tasted before.

I would argue Sofritas were a gift sent down from the most honorable of Chipotle gods, especially to vegetarians like me. Until this braised tofu item was integrated into the menu, we were limited to vegetables and guac as the bulk of our meals.  The use of this versatile cooking method allows the tofu to soak in all of Chipotle’s secret flavory greatness and come out in a compact, juicy form. Containing a variety of spices including chipotle and poblano peppers, Sofritas add a unique heat to the average Chipotle meal.
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chipotle sofritas

Photo by Chase Kroesche

This dish is not only Chipotle’s answer to a vegetarian/vegan option, but it is also designed to be a healthier, low-calorie substitute to its meat alternatives. Sofritas contain more calcium, iron and a variety of vitamins when compared to the meat options. To affirm that vegetarians and meat-eaters both adore Sofritas, I enlisted the aid of my carnivorous friend and lifelong Chipotle aficionado, Jon. Despite his initial hesitance, Jon was pleasantly surprised by their rich flavor: “This changes the way I perceive the vegetarian Chipotle experience. Sofritas truly rival the meat here.”  As the first major change to Chipotle’s menu in its twenty-two year history, Sofritas are a great win for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike.
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