Walking into an Uptown Chipotle, blue lights flood the ramp up to the counter. A DJ and photographer are positioned next to the fountain drinks and black tablecloths, succulents and fake candles adorn the tables. Our MC is spinning some smooth background jams while speakers and a sound system occupy a flank of the restaurant.
Dallas and Miami Chipotles are part of a new promotion where guests can get $2 tacos with the purchase of any drink after 8 p.m., and the McKinney Avenue burrito spot is celebrating the launch.
I load up some tacos (usually a bowl guy) with carnitas and pico. As I order, I hear what is either “Ice Ice Baby” or Queen’s “Under Pressure” spilling out over the buzz of the soda machine. One of the slew of energetic taco artists asks me a question, completely seriously: “Did I make it perfect for you?” High expectations for this opening night (he did).
Guests wander in, unaware of this EVENT taking place. A sign on the door notifies patrons that they might just get their picture taken. A mix of families with small children and bros with sleeveless shirts just finishing up their workout filter in. Across the street, The Trophy Room is still quiet, but “Uptown Funk” is now floating above the tacos in the room.
The tacos are fresh and delicious, but the bowl and burrito are better ingredient delivery methods. The taco innards to tortilla ratio isn’t quite right on the tacos. The generous fixings spill out of them too easily, and I end up eating much of it as I usually do–bowl style with a fork.
As I clean up the cheese and salsa that spilled onto the press release I was handed at the cash register, that song that sounds like a peak Michael Jackson jam but is actually The Weeknd and Daft Punk comes on.
I topped it off with a marg (because #thirstythursday), which was sweet, but not too sweet, kind of like Gwen Stefani and Joan Jett , who are being spun by our in-house DJ.
Chipotle could use some good press. People keep getting food poisoned at the restaurant, including 700 more in Ohio this week (cause unknown). Texas Monthly reviewed their improved-but-not-quite-there queso earlier this year. They are even going with the tried and true tactic of adding bacon to the menu.
Staying open late in a bar district like McKinney seems like a good idea, but they are only staying open until 11 p.m., so I am not sure they will catch the post-bar crowds. Folks don’t want to throw down tacos on their way into the club, but for the post-workout late dinner crowd, it might just hit the spot.