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“it’ll be nice to have a Chipotle in what is otherwise a relative Chipotle desert.”

by Prince Of Petworth April 6, 2016 at 10:00 am 37 Comments

1010 Vermont Ave, NW just north of K Street

A reader reports:

“Saw these permits at 1010 Vermont Ave NW this morning. There’s a lot of active work going on inside. It’ll be nice to have a Chipotle in what is otherwise a relative Chipotle desert.”


  • SWChris

    People are still eating Chipotle?

    • Philippe Lecheval

      Hell, you can’t really call yourself a true Chipotle fan, if you’ve never gotten sick from their food. I got sick off their carnitas about ten years ago and I still go back. The place really is for the adventurous diner, though; you never really know whether you’re gonna be spending the next 24 hours on the toilet.

    • palisades

      Yes. What kind of question is this?

      • TJ

        One food-borne illness crisis would have been easy to overlook. This company had multiple outbreaks in multiple locations. Marking it off the list of potential food providers is a no-brainer.

        • jdre

          But they took a whole DAY off, in a suspiciously high-profile manner, to train their staff how to conduct safe food handling. Why wasn’t that part of the training before they took a PR day off? Why ask. It’s definitely safe now, since they took a proper few hours to address systemic flaws.
          But seriously – I think Chipotle is unable to scale to this size. Many, many, many of the Chipotles I’ve been to have apathetic, untrained staff. I’m not saying you have to have gone to CIA or Le Cordon Bleu to make a burrito, but they have QA problems across the board. Every time I say “just a little sour cream,” I get a massive scoop of sour cream, where it’s 50-50 sour cream and everything else. Or mostly guac. Like I get that the kid is trying to do me a solid and give me a bunch, but when all I taste is the massive dollop of guac, it’s gross. As chains grow, and there’s one on every block, it’s hard to find staff that knows and cares what they’re doing (for low wages) to fill all the needed employee slots.

          • Philippe Lecheval

            The apathetic staff are a result of Chipotle firing all their loyal, hard working undocumented workers and replacing them with people who don’t really want to work.

          • DF

            Did you know the founder of Chipotle is a CIA grad? I did as I’m also an alum. :)

        • TX2DC


        • JL

          Chipotle is delicious. a couple hundred people got sick out of millions of customers. Ultimately, the chance anyone has of getting sick at Chipotle is probably less than eating leftovers.

          Doing things inherently carries some risk, and there’s no real proof that chipotle is significantly riskier than any other place. For me, it’s well worth the chipotle experience

        • s.patrillo

          “The apathetic staff are a result of Chipotle firing all their loyal, hard working undocumented workers and replacing them with people who don’t really want to work.”

          Phillippe, you said it!! I first tried Chipotle when I still lived in NYC (2004/2005). The flavah was phenomenal. When I came back to DC in 2006, I started going to Chipotle in Penn Quarter/Gallery Place. It was fresh, hot, the prep area was clean and I never had a bad burrito. After the raids, fuggheddaboutit!!!! All of the Chipotles in this area tanked big time: the old hardworking workers were replaced with surly, slow, inept ‘cooks’ who just didn’t give a damn. SMH….It has never been the same since. I wish the old workers could have stayed, by some legal path, because the food has never recovered.

          Every time I frequent Chipotle (which is rare now), the workers are talking to each other, checking to find out when their next break is, who is getting off when, etc. WHO CARES? Just take care of this blankin’ line that is growing by the second. I blame Chipotle, as well. Where are the standards? Don’t just hire warm bodies to shovel out food–hire people that can properly season food, properly cook rice (OMFG…got crunchy undercooked rice once) and people that are well-compensated (??? That is another issue altogether. I know the illegal workers were underpaid, so too are the replacements. Step up your requirements for team members AND THE SALARY, PLEASE. Ellis can afford a pay cut or two…)

      • Shpotle

        The risk of illness is probably low. For me the bigger problem is that the risk of the food being disgusting is about 95%.

  • JohnSmith

    “it’ll be nice to have a Chipotle in what is otherwise a relative Chipotle desert.”…..said no one ever. It baffles me that people still flock to Chipotle, even though their customers keep getting sick across the country.

    • TrendWatcher

      Jimmy John’s looks to be doing just fine and they had similar issues (though not quite on the same scale)

    • ctk

      I’m enjoying the shorter lines. Chipotle is awesome.

      • Timebomb

        And generous portions! Especially in the suburbs where people appear to be really jittery. If you divide the people sick by the people served, you’re probably looking at a very low number. I’ve eaten many times over the course of the illness reports and never had a problem.

        • +1. Not only have I experienced no ill effects, I’ve enjoyed several free burritos/chips/guac thanks to coupons from Chipotle for wanting to restore their image.

        • Shawz

          To be fair, you have a much higher chance of getting sick at a small, local restaurant than a large corporate chain like Chipotle. It’s just that when you serve 5M meals a day, any outbreak has larger gross numbers and makes national news. It’s the same mental highlighting effect as plane crashes vs. car crashes.

          • jdre

            It kind of makes one think about how, dare I say, impressive McDonald’s is. For a business that hires anyone, and serves a billion or whatever every day, they’ve (mostly, as far as I know) avoided any major catastrophic foodborne illness issues.
            I think a lot of that might be because it’s all frozen, artificial crap, but I think also they have a lot of available training, refined checklists and “idiot proofed” processes, and a well-honed management structure. Not to pat them on the back too hard, but, they turn out a massive amount of food, quickly, and without much incident.

          • Anon

            “they turn out a massive amount of food” – guess we’ll just have to disagree here

          • west_egg

            “it’s all frozen, artificial crap”
            Much of it is indeed frozen; but artificial?

    • Andrew Zimmern

      A small amount of food borne illness each day makes you strong and helps you handle the really tough stuff. After a solid week of Chipotle, you’ll be able to eat Calcutta street food with no problem.

  • A

    There needs to be a Chipotle (or any fast casual food for that matter) in Park Place above the Petworth metro. How that place is still vacant I have no idea. Oh, well except for the Dunkin Donuts SMH.

    • Ryan S.

      Yes to Chipotle in Petworth!!

      • A

        Who do we talk to? How do we make this happen? It’d be a no-brainer.

    • GrantCircleRez


    • JS

      Speaking of – I thought that there was supposed to be a 7-11 and and Wells Fargo opening up in there. I haven’t seen any sort of build-out for the 7-11 space and it seems like all work on the Wells Fargo has stopped. Anyone know what’s up with that?

  • lemeow

    Love it.

    I’m rather glad the e. coli outbreak happened–means no lines at Chipotle now, so I don’t have to wait as long for my food.

  • dat

    there’s a great burrito cart at the corner of 15th and K that’s been there FOREVER (or at least for the 7 years that I’ve been working here). I fear the impact that this will have on his business.

    I like Chipotle as much as the next guy, but given all of the other options in this immediate area I can’t exactly say I’m thrilled. meh.

    • CapitalDame

      My coworker said that guys been there for at least 15 years. He worked in the area years ago before moving to Oregon and moving back a year ago to find the cart still there. I personally wasn’t a fan of the cart, I thought it was bland and overly saucy.

      • dat

        wow — that’s a long time.

        his homemade sauces are the best part… mmmmmm…

      • stacksp

        Not a fan either. Tried it once after seeing folks line up. Wasn’t impressed.

  • SilverSpringGal

    10 minute walk from my place. Yay!

  • SouthParkGetsIt

    I’m a grown man but still find humor in the show South Park, which did a pretty hilarious bit about Chipotle ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlIHDauX3ao ), which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the restaurant. Second, one of the greatest deceptions that has taken place in recent times in fooling people into thinking Chipotle is healthy and uses local sources, which is far from true. ( http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/disappointed-in-chipotle#.di2B3rz75 ) and ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/14/richard-berman-chipotle-not-as-healthy-as-it-seems/ )

    • west_egg

      That Washington Times link is basically a hit piece. Lots of intentionally vague and misleading statements there. The Buzzfeed piece has some interesting information but also plenty of things that have nothing to do with quality of the food. (Include their concern about GMO’s under that heading.)

  • rob

    Amazed they can justify putting one in 3.5 blocks south of the 14th St location…and as others have pointed, having one by Petworth metro (or really most metro stops) would crush it

    • textdoc

      Yeah. It surprises me that the area around the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro still has no Starbucks. (The one in the Safeway doesn’t count.)

  • usually go by name, but this time anonnnnn

    Amen to Chipotle in Petworth. Just returned from Chipotle lunch.

    If you skip the drink, it’s not a bad deal for a days’ worth of food. Big portions means it can be my only meal of the day.

    Chipotle deserves credit for having a seltzer water knob on their soda dispensers. All the bubbles, none of the sugar.

    Anyone ragging on Chipotle employees: how exciting do YOU think it would be to work there? I’m surprised they don’t have to keep reserve staff in the back for when scoopers quit due to boredom paired with finicky customers.

    I like statistics, so I don’t tend to get my undies in a bunch about the remote possibility my tummy will hurt (maybe for weeks) after lunch.


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