Chipotle doesn't make changes to its menu very often, and for the most part the options at the fast Mexican chain are pretty streamlined. Honestly, that's one of the appeals to going there. But I'm not about to complain about having more options to tempt me, and the new meat launching for a limited time is one most burrito fans will welcome: carne asada.
Here are the details on the new meat at Chipotle.
The carne asada is a marinated steak grilled fresh in the restaurant and it looks pretty tasty. However, it is much higher in calories and fat than the regular steak option that has been on the menu forever. But that also means it's more tender and flavorful.
The new option also ties in well with a couple of menu items oriented toward people on popular nutritional plans. Chipotle now has five new bowls for people following keto, Whole30, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan diets. While carne asada doesn't fit into vegan and vegetarian diets, it's a great option for the first three, all of which skew heavily toward lean proteins and vegetables with few to no carbohydrates.
What's the difference between the Chipotle's carne asada and the steak?
It comes down to a different marinade and a different cut of meat. The carne asada is marinated with lime and cilantro, whereas the steak is flavored with smoky adobo sauce. While the restaurant hasn't disclosed what cut of beef they're using, people who've sampled the asada report that it's more tender than the regular steak.
Now for the bad news... it's not a permanent addition to the menu.
Yeah, don't get too attached. Like the here-and-gone chorizo option, the carne asada is slated as being for a limited time only. The new "lifestyle bowls" the restaurant has rolled out will probably be around for the long haul, however.
And the three high-protein options are just as compliant with the diets they're named for, whether you opt for the limited-time carne asada or one of the other core proteins: chicken, barbacoa, steak, or carnitas.
The Keto Salad Bowl includes romaine lettuce, carnitas, guacamole, cheese, and tomatillo-red chili salsa. The Paleo Salad Bowl has barbacoa, guac, fajita veggies, and tomatillo-green chili salsa. And the Whole30 bowl features carnitas, veggies, tomato salsa, and guac. None of the bowls contain rice or beans, which are high in carbs, and the restaurant guarantees that each is fully compliant with its namesake diet unless you make additions or substitutions.
For plant-based eaters, the Vegan and Vegetarian bowls are great options.
Each bowl features brown rice and beans and both the roasted chili-corn salsa and the fresh tomato salsa. However, the vegan bowl has Chipotle's plant-based Sofritas and no dairy, while the vegetarian bowl has sour cream and guacamole.
Basically, the fast casual eatery wants to be thought of as a diet friendly option for virtually anyone, no matter what healthy eating plan they follow.