Despite major troubles with food safety nationwide (including here in Minnesota), Chipotle still enjoys legions of fans. Walk by any location at lunch or dinnertime, and lines will be snaking out the door. The fast-casual juggernaut has nailed a holy trinity: fast, cheap, delicious.
In an extremely public gesture, Chipotle is closing all of its North American restaurants for several hours today to host a national meeting about food safety. The stores will open at 3 p.m. instead of at regular lunchtime hours.
Presenting five alternatives for your dining pleasure today:
You don’t need regular old burritos when you can have Korean BBQ burritos. The heady recipe of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic drips like candy coating over meat. Or try spicy Thai curry with chicken or tofu with straw mushrooms and potatoes.
Vellee even does tacos and quesadillas, with beer battered fish or grilled pork zinged up with house pickles. And you can’t get egg rolls or banh mi at Chipotle.
109 S. Seventh St. Suite 263, Minneapolis
Freshii is offering 50 percent off its Mexican-inspired dishes today only. These include the Pangoa Bowl, Tex Mex Burrito, Baja Burrito, Fiesta Salad Wrap, and Ranchero Breakfast Burrito.
They also serve soup, frozen yogurt, fresh squeezed juices, and salads. Or you forgo food altogether and sign up for a cleanse, where $30 to $120 will get you one to five days worth of liquid nutrition.
Green and the Grain
Of all the build-your-own salad spots, Green and the Grain is the best. They depart from the “we’re just a salad bar with benefits” attitude, taking the time to put together real flavors with a chef's playbook.
Today, have the Cowboy with pico de gallo, black beans, corn tortilla strips and a bunch of other southwest ingredients.
Green and the Grain
800 LaSalle Plaza, Minneapolis
Frank from Philly Cheesesteaks
Chipotle isn’t nearly as healthy as you try to pretend it is. So take a break not just from your burrito, but also from kidding yourself.
Frank from Philly is brand new in Dinkytown and claims to have the most authentic cheesesteak in town. The owners hail from Philadelphia, and believe there’s more to a Philly than meets the eye.
“There’s the careful consistency with which each sandwich is made, the firmness of the bread, and the cut of the meat, to how we apply the cheese and the placement of the onions," says Antonio Gambino, co-owner.
You can’t get this sandwich anywhere else unless you hop on a plane.
Frank from Philly
1235 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis
Kadai Indian Kitchen
Because you like having it your way, try Kadai for a cafeteria-style stroll through scratch Indian cooking. Skyway food really has no business being this good.
Order a “business meal” ($8.99-$9.99) for some of the best chicken Biryani, butter chicken, curry, and naan we’ve had in town. It’s all for the cost of one of those big, dumb burritos the size of your head.
600 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis