The Chipotle Challenge: Bowls vs Burritos

A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
After discussing it on the last On The Rocks episode, we did the math.  The tare weight of Jim's burrito was 22.5oz.  My burrito in a bowl was 26oz.  If anyone out there is wanting to get more burrito bang for your burrito buck, our scientific conclusion after this single test is go bowl or go home.


  • Quantity isn't everything. The ability to shove as much in your mouth at one time, via the burrito delivery mechanism, is a big consideration and could easily offset the 3.5 oz differential.
  • FernNYC17FernNYC17 New York, NY
    personally i always go Burrito bowl. less messy and i like that i can control how i mix everything up
  • How much of that is just extra rice? It would need a larger data set because of the inconsistencies of people scooping stuff around but what we really need is the meat and guac deltas. I would think the burrito would have less filler because of the space restrictions.

    Can Jim use his standing as Chipotle VIP to ask the employees what the best way to go is if your agnostic to the bowl/burrito eating experience?
  • I think for the sake of thoroughness, you should also weigh tacos. I have heard tacos consistently provide the greatest deal that your hard earned cash can buy at Chipotle.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    That taco plan has merit.  I have no idea how to test the rice vs bean density issue.  And there is definitely a speed issue, as Jim always smoked me in a burrito eat off, but now it's not even a contest.  I easily took a 50% speed penalty, BUT I do get to choose each bite, which improves the overall experience. 
  • BourbonQueenBourbonQueen Dallas, TX
    edited February 2016
    @A_Ron_Hubbard This has me intrigued, but I always find my main reason for a eating burrito (outside of convenience) is because I love the feel of a warm, tasty tortilla wrapping all of that deliciousness.  Do you order it on the side and take a bite of it as you eat your bowl?  
  • I always get bowls and nix the cheap filler rice. I like to be able to mix in the hot sauce instead of having to add it to every bite from burrito. 
  • From a Chipotle employee:

    4. You get more food in a bowl than in a burrito. The
    Chipotle employee says, "In a bowl, you have all that bowl space, and
    even if you get it filled completely that it starts stacking and getting
    taller, the lid is able to squish it down. But with a burrito,
    everything kinda needs to be in the center and be able to rolled into a
    burrito, so the portions are a bit smaller." **A Chipotle
    spokeperson says: "Burrito bowls do not contain more food than burritos.
    Ingredient portions are the same in either item, so the only difference
    would be the tortilla."

    I think the spokesperson is trying to save face here, the employee has no reason to lie about this.
  • Next year, The Baldies should include a listener category, for forum thread of the year.

    This one wins.
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited February 2016

    Exactly. Despite the spokesperson claims, we all know from experience that chipotle portions vary slightly based on the dish, and widely based on the mood and generosity of the burrito artist doling out the goods (You know who I'm talking about KEVIN). 
  • FernNYC17FernNYC17 New York, NY
    tom_g said:

    Next year, The Baldies should include a listener category, for forum thread of the year.

    This one wins.
    I second that!
  • We need a larger sample size to be certain but from a capacity standpoint, it seems the bowl is winning.  Now, from the temporal angle, I think burrito wins.  I save probably 5 minutes minimum during the ingestion process with a burrito.  What is that 5 minutes worth?  5 minutes of my time is worth almost nothing but I could see it being important if you have a life to lead.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    @Jim have you ever had Qdoba? If so, how does that rate?
  • @Jim have you ever had Qdoba? If so, how does that rate?

    Qdoba is the best! It haunts my dreams its so good.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    This could be controversial, but we are definitely on the Chipotle side of the Chipolte / Qdoba war. I used to love Qdoba, until Chipotle hit town.
  • MichaelGMichaelG Seattle
    edited February 2016
    If ya'll come back to Seattle, check this place out, Gordito's: Home of the Baby Burrito. Unconfirmed if the weight of the burritos actually match the weight of the babies. I imagine so. And this place is somehow named "healthy" (like Chipotle)

  • MichelleMichelle California
    @MichaelG I'm heading there in July, and will definitely take that recommendation! 
  • @Michelle Right on!  Hope you like it.  

    In my experience, the best burrito town pound for pound is LA. I went for a week last summer, and I've never seen a town with so many amazing burrito places. I would gain 50 pounds in a month if I lived in LA.

    My favorite was La Azteca Tortilleria, but I didn't even feel like I scratched the surface.  House-made flour tortillas, and one of those places that closes when they sell out of ingredients.   
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    We don't have any of the chain burrito places in my town, probably because there is a familu owned Mexican restraint literally every two blocks.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited February 2016
    Same here, @Luke . I live in a semi-small town, and everything here is family owned unless it's fast food burger or pizza places or Taco Bell. We have a killer taco truck across the street from where I work though, and their burritos are honestly so good they could go up against Chipotle any day.
  • @Jim   

    For the burrito challenge, is the "Burrito As Big As Your Head" place still open at Miami University in Oxford?  They used to do a huge burrito eating challenge, AND had some pretty fantastic burritos.  Of course, it could have been because we were there after the bars closed....
  • We had La Bamba in college with the tag "Burritos As Big As Your Head".

    Those were some awesome burritos or I was just drunk every time I ate one.  I think both things are true.
  • LukeLuke Central Illinois
    edited February 2016
    @DrKen Ha I remeber seeing those ads all the time when I lived in Champaign. Never did go there though. I was a more Ramen noodles microwaved in a Tupperware kind of student. More out a lazyness than anything.
  • A "Burrito as big as my head" doesn't scare me.  I could do 2 chipotle burritos in a sitting, I'm sure.  That's about 3 lbs.  My head is pretty small and light.  I'd guess 1.3 lbs at most.  And there's not as much meat in it.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited March 2016

    @Jim I hate to call you out, but I'm not sure you're qualified to comment on "head meat." Think we may need to consult an expert. image

  • ksa1001ksa1001 Plano, TX
    This damn thread made me ditch my salad and have a burrito bowl for lunch today...thanks alot.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @ksa1001 That sounds a lot better than my lunch of Jack Link's jerky and a tootsie roll!  Damn, a burrito bowl sounds soooooo good right now!   #firstworldproblems
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    I get a burrito, with the tortilla, in a bowl. Best of all worlds. And it always feels like you get more food.
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