I am reasonably certain (95%, k=2) that I have just finished consuming the worst-tasting Chipotle burrito I’ve ever laid my hands on.
I know, I know: “Going to another country and just eating American food is stupid. What did you expect?” Well, after screwing around in the Metro station for almost an hour without successfully figuring out which fucking tickets I actually need to buy to get across the city tomorrow morning (at rush hour), I decided that I would walk home through the mall, which was puzzlingly both open and well-attended (it appears to be open in the mornings on Sunday. The more you know™). Having decided that there were really too many people in the mall at that particular point in time, I made for the nearest exit and found myself staring at the newly-opened (as in, they opened this very morning) Chipotle. Shrugging my shoulders and vaguely surprised at the complete lack of a crowd (apparently only Americans get excited about fast food openings – I was kind of expecting the scene that the Chron reported on when the new Chik-Fil-A opened in the Energy Corridor), I figured what the hell, and decided to tempt fate by ordering a burrito with effectively zero knowledge of French.
Fortunately, the woman making my burrito put two and two together (I was reading what I wanted off of the overhead menu as opposed to interacting with her) and switched to English. Victorious, I took my burrito and hiked up the steps of the Grande Arche to see what the hell was up at the top and kill a bit of additional time while I waited for the cleaning crew to get the hell out of my “apartment.”
Bored of the arch (and mindful of the pigeons, who seem not to know that getting stepped on would be fatal), I headed back home and tore into my prey. The tortilla had a weird consistency, the menu wasn’t bullshitting when they said that the rice was lemon and coriander, and he chicken had a faint hint of a spice that I have no idea how to identify. The medium salsa, surprisingly, tasted just like that from back home, and the cheese was almost right but just a little too overpowering; whatever they substituted for fake American mozzarella is good cheese, but too real for a burrito. Prices here continue to astound, too; €9.30 ($12.75 at today’s exchange rate) for just the burrito.
All that said, I’ll almost undoubtedly be back. I’m not going to stoop to Mickey D’s, Parisian or not, and I’d rather not get to know the owner of the pizza place on a first name basis, though I can get a small pizza (two days of dinners) for €11.