Friday, June 05, 2009

Because the Tenth Anniversary is the Burrito Anniversary

The trip we took in April was supposed to cover some weeks of gift-giving family holidays: Valentine's Day, Plantboy's birthday in March, Mother's Day, my birthday in May, our anniversary last week and Father's Day. The idea, of course, being that we'd rather do one big cool thing than have a lot of lame-ish smaller presents.

This is such an awesome idea. In theory.

In practice it is a little bit dodgier. I did give everyone something (tiny) for Valentine's Day. As for Plantboy's birthday, well, there was just a shirt. And a CD. During Elder Scott's talk in conference ("I love you, but we can't afford it") Plantboy 'fessed up: Jerry Seinfeld was coming to town just a week after my birthday and he bought tickets nearly two months ahead to surprise me but now he felt guilty because they were expensive and on the credit card and should he try to sell them?

No. He should not. I also pointed out that now I felt guilty about them too instead of just pleasantly surprised. It's a good thing we had nearly two months to get over it, and to pay for them. (The Jerry was fantastic, by the way.)

Our vacation was, of course, wonderful but we did a very poor job of the just stick to one souvenir apiece plan. I hope by now you are starting to get a sense of how exceptionally well-disciplined Mr. Plantboy and I are. We could probably make it on one income if we could both stick to our guns and/or live like hermits.

We almost didn't do anything for my birthday or Mother's Day. Almost. Oh, yeah, the Seinfeld tickets. But they didn't really count, did they? After all, we bought them weeks in advance.
Our anniversary approached; we reminded one another daily that we were not doing anything (else) for it. Besides, the ward was doing a fathers and sons camp out that night. That was all the anniversary present I needed!

Then, Plantboy came home with the news that the Chipotle scheduled to open here in town was on time, and that opening day was our anniversary. Does this not seem like that big of a deal to you? Well, then, clearly, you are not married to Plantboy.

Plantboy lived in Denver when the first few of these restaurants opened in the mid-nineties. One of them was right down the street from the Denver temple where he worked during the summer. It would be pushing it to say they ate there every day, but probably twice a week.

Then he married me, and we spent our first summer in Denver. I was shocked that he'd been previously going out to lunch daily, and buying $5 burritos two or three times week. I insisted on him packing the lunch nearly every day, giving the kitchen pass to go out only once a week or every other week. Then he TOOK me to Chipotle.

I wasn't so harsh about him packing lunch after that. I cautioned moderation, of course; it can't be good for you to eat a 10,000 calorie burrito every day for lunch, but I didn't fault his taste any more. We love everything about Chipotle.

We love the cool design of each store.
We love their corrugated metal decor and Aztec art.

We love their catch slogans and ad campaigns. (All time favorite: Usually When You Roll Something This Good, It's Illegal.)

We love their fresh ingredients, and that you can stuff anything that will fit into a HUGE tortilla and still be charged just $6. (The price has gone up a bit from the old Denver days, and yes, we know that guacamole is extra.) We love the cilantro lime rice so much that we've tried to re-create it here at home for years.

But mostly, oh, mostly, we just love their food.

One of the hardest things to say goodbye to in Texas was the Chipotle they'd built just a year before we left. Did you know that branch gave you and a friend a free meal on your birthday? And firemen and cops were always free. The nearest Chipotle to where we lived in Utah was two hours. TWO HOURS! We love it, but two hours was really pushing it.
The nearest franchise to us until Friday was about a mile from the Portland temple. I suppose it is no secret where we ate each time we went. I have sometimes even wondered a bit about my darling spouse's motivation for attending the temple . . . .
But not anymore. This newest addition to the Chipotle family is just three minutes from Plantboy's office. Yes, I foresee that this could be a bad thing. But it was sure fun on Friday. We came just after they opened and got the free tee shirts being given to the first 100 in the door. We sat near the lady handing out the free stuff and also got a squeezie burrito stress toy, a couple of free meals, free lip guac (read: chapstick), a pen and a couple of coupons for free guac and chips next time we go. She told us that on Thursday, when they'd given out free burritos all day, they had given away over $14,000 in food. (We tried twice to wait, but the line was over 100 people long and it went around the building. In a town primarily populated by vagrants and college students, this should come as no surprise.)

My friend watched my little ones for a couple of hours while Plantboy and I did this silly and fun thing that made us really feel like part of the community. When Plantboy admitted to the promotional-girl that he'd written the company three times to suggest Eugene locations for the burrito-goodness, she saw that we were the true superfans and is going to send us a bunch more coupons and tee-shirts. We will officially be enrolled as Chipotle Ambassadors.
How am I doing so far?


chris w said...

You've won me over. Sounds much less gut-wrenching than Betos.

Brian and Courtni said...

okay, so now i am craving chipotle and can't have one for another few months...thanks a lot! :-) we will have one a few minutes from our place in CA and we are very excited about being close to it again!

my chipotle story -- when brian was in grad school and we were poor, chipotle sponsored a "boo-rito" night on halloween. you got a free burrito if you dressed up like a burrito and came in. needless to say, 5 of us poor couples grabbed our tin foil, wrapped ourselves completely up in it, and got our free burritos. the best part was (besides the food, of course) was that when we were leaving, a big group or summer citizens came up to us in the parking lot and asked for our tin foil :-)

Rainie said...

I too heart Chipotle.

Slyck and Slim said...

You're making me hungry! I have never been, but now I know where my birthday lunch will be.

Jenny said...

You had me at the first Chipotle.

Now I know how to become that Chipotle amassador of the east.

Lady Susan said...

I have a weakness for burritos and Chipotle is no exception. However, once I found out how many calories was in one innocent looking burrito, I have been very cautious about indulging.

Yankee Girl said...

Okay, I've never even heard of this place but I've jotted down the address for the closest one to me and will be trying it out soon.

AmyJane said...

We tried out Chipotle in Utah...on a Sunday, *gasp*, last fall after my sister's wedding. My siblings and I, along with my parents were all waiting for flights to send everyone packing before mom and dad could drive back to Idaho and, well, we had to eat and Cafe Rio was closed. Yum, yum, yum! I had just read an article about Chipotle in Reader's Digest and we went on a whim. I can't wait to go back!

Suburban Hippie said...

I LOVE Chipotle. There's a new one opening on Louetta and 249 (that wouldn't have been very far for y'all.) I call those burritos babies - and have been heard saying "hey, do you wanna go to Chipotle with me a split a baby." There just about the size of a baby and they're all warm and soft.

Sunnie said...

i love the idea of one big present instead of a bunch of small ones. i think it really is smart. also, chipotle's are opening all over the place. i'm not the hugest fan- maybe i need to go again. i am still a die hard cafe rio girl, so any other fresh mex doesn't really compare.

chicagosapps said...

I had never been to chipotle until last week, when a friend invited me for lunch and I had the salad. It was ok, I'm with Sunnie though--Cafe Rio's salad is SOOOO much better. But the rice was good.

TheDooleys4 said...

That looks really yummy. You deserved at least a burrito for making it to 10!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

If we are talking salads, then I'm totally with you on the Cafe Rio thing. I sometimes think I'd sell my soul for a peek at the cilantro-lime vinagrette recipe. But if we are talking burritos then there is no competition.

None. You hear me??!? None!! ;)

Caitlin said...

I have nothing original to add, just that my mouth is watering and even though I have never been to Chipotle, I really want to go. Badly.

I love the jam idea, I am pretty sure I am going to try it, I just have to find the raspberries first.

We planted a garden and I assumed that since everything is so green here, things would just, well, grow. Not so. My plants are very scrawny and small, and maybe a little depressed. Is there a Texas garden secret I don't know? How can I become friends with my plants?

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

My first Chipotle experience was near the Redlands Temple. I'm noticing a pattern here. Either the owners are LDS, or they know that temple patrons leave hungry.

Great . . . now I'm craving tacos . . .