Chipotle vs. Chipotle: Is our on-campus location really worth it?

Media Credit: Katherine Keimig | Hatchet Photographer
The M Street location has shorter lines and a more experienced staff. Does that make it better?

If you hike back to campus from 19th and M streets, it will dawn on you that you made the right choice. No, I’m not talking about you being very satisfied with your decision to go with brown rice over white, but rather the choice to trek out to the off-campus, GWorld-accepting Chipotle instead of the new 2000 Penn location.

At GW, where convenience and location is everything, it may seem like a daring choice to take the long walk instead of settling for the nearby spot. But it’s really just the smart choice for any student deciding where to drown their burrito bowl in smoked Tabasco chipotle sauce.

Yes, the on-campus Chipotle usually is abuzz with students, but it also can be so crowded that it’s difficult to step inside. When you walk in, your eyes scan the store and once again wonder how anyone could have ever made this piece of real estate anything more than a burrito bin.

The single-file line that winds around the 2000 Penn location may remind you of the long lines that used to haunt you at the M Street spot. But here’s what you may not know: With the clientele now spread across the two stores, the pseudo-Dupont location is usually almost empty (that means elbow space and real seats when eating your burrito).

Media Credit: Katherine Keimig | Hatchet Photographer
The Chipotle in 2000 Penn opened last fall.

A deeper dive shows that there seems to be a good reason for why the 2000 Penn is relatively slow: There is only one tortilla press machine. At the other Chipotle, there are two of these machines – twice the potential speed on the assembly line.

The new Chipotle is also getting a reputation for doling out less food per burrito – less meat, rice, peppers, onions, and corn. Of course, this could be just hearsay, but it does seem to hold true (maybe they want your food coma to be less deadly?). But it may be a side effect of what is said to be a rookie-heavy staff.

My last time dining there, I had a green pepper that was improperly wrapped, protruding from the inner layers, screaming for a sentence to burrito purgatory. It eventually ripped through the tortilla and caused all hell to break loose upon my dinner.

Now, onto checkout. After watching your burrito mishandled – already anticipating the need to use a fork to finish the latter half of your meal – you then pull out cash or card to pay for your food. No, don’t reach for your GWorld. For upperclassmen this may not be a big deal, but for freshmen and sophomore who rely on their Colonial Cash for much of their meals, no GWorld usually means no business.

Here’s the real kicker. A Chipotle right on campus means every friend, acquaintance and ex-hookup could see you while you’re nursing your bloated Tex-Mex burrito hangover. And there’s no time to walk it off, either. If you’re headed straight back to your dorm afterwards, goodbye, productivity. You’re going to need a nap.

By going to a M Street spot, you guarantee yourself a nice, spacious stroll that takes you away from ex-flings and puts you on a better path to a stable stomach.

The Foggy Bottom bubble we often find ourselves trapped in is shrinking even more now that 2000 Penn hosts a Chipotle. It’s convenient, but the quality is lacking and it does nothing to help your sense of the city you live in. Walk up to Dupont for Chipotle on GWorld – if that is the least bit of exploring you will do for your hunger.

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