Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chipotle Paris...A Dream Realized...with Pictures

Those who know me know that I have an unhealthy obsession with Chipotle.  OK.  Maybe a healthy one.  There have been times in my life that I wouldn't go 7 days without at least guac and chips, but most likely a carnitas burrito bowl.  I credit Chipotle with the fact that my kids are smart since I ate so many good fats in the form of lots and lots and lots of guac when I was pregnant.  


Today Chipotle opened in Paris, my current city of residence.  I have been waiting for this since before we even left VA.  I've badgered Corporate, and I'm sure Rusty and Joe at @ChipotleTweets would like me to take a long vacation.  But it was all worth it.  


Today I picked up Cousin Joey at CDG and headed into the city for our first taste of what I consider the best American "convenience" food (I refuse to say "fast") to be exported to France.  I was not disappointed.  


This was taken from the car.  I'm pretty sure I almost shed a tear.  Can we safely say that white shirts and dark denim are in this season?
Hey look!  A line!  This is so unusual for Paris!
That guys' hair is almost as awesome as the fact that I'm about to get a burrito bowl in Paris.  Oops.  I meant an Assiette de Burrito.
Our take.  The prerequisite carnitas burrito bowl for me, guac and chips and three carnitas soft tacos for the Cuz.  And Bohemia.  I should mention that my cousin lives somewhere you can't drink beer.  The horror!  The carnitas were spot on, and the salsas and guac had the right amount of kick.  No need at all for the Tabasco.  And there is something about the flaked salt they use on the chips that makes them irresistible.
The view from the upper floor eating area.
The typical Chipotle stark iron and concrete design.  Done well.
A view of the eating area.  A large space with not a huge amount of seating.  But it seemed to work well.  There were spaces for large groups, and it didn't seem cramped.  The window seats look out onto the hustle and bustle of Boulevard Montmartre.
That's right!  Chipotle is in France.  Woo hoo!
I love the menu.  For something so American to now be translated into French using French ingredients in just lovely.  Though I think my husband is going to have something to say about the lack of the traditional white rice.  I thought the brown rice was pretty good though. 
The crew was just amazing today.  They have a number of London "ringers" in to train the local crew and they were perfect.  Excellent customer service in both French and English.  If they can train the Paris team to their standards it will be fantastic.
Goodbye my new friend Chipotle Paris.  I look forward to seeing you often.  Perhaps tomorrow for lunch?
I was lucky enough to meet and chat with the manager, who seems like a great guy.  This was a big move for Chipotle.  The clientele seemed to be at least 90% local, so the word must be getting out that Chipotle has quality food, served quickly.  I wish the best to Damon and his crew.  Now...do you think I could convince them to open one in my neighborhood???


Chipotle Paris
20 Boulevard Montmartre 75009
Open 7/7 11h00-22h00
Metro Richelieu Drouot on the 8 or 9 
Or by Bus on the 20, 39, 48, 67, 74 or 85
(Seriously people...with that many ways to get to Chipotle what is your excuse?!!)

40 comments:

Whitney Marie said...

Oh my god.

I am an Ohioan living near Lyon... I was convinced I would have to trek up to London to get my chipotle fix. The knowledge that this is a two hour train ride away.. it makes life so much better. I hope it gets super popular and spreads to Lyon.

I'm just so happy, and hungry.

Anonymous said...

What was the price in USD????

Erin said...

I too am a huge Chipotle fan and absolutely loved your post on the new opening - I also loved your several other posts leading up to the opening, lol.

Your blog is awesome - it took me a while but I read every post and I think it's pretty awesome that you have such a positive look at moving to France even without knowing the language and whatnot. That has to be hard sometimes! Either way, I love the upbeat feel to it :)

Anonymous said...

where is it??? l'addresse, s'il vous plait!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! No freakin way!!! I'm from VA too and now live in Holland. Chipotle is definitely something I seriously miss! And now that it's a little closer I'm seriously thinking about coming out to Paris just to have another taste of those oh so yummy burritos:D

Kevin Laudadio said...

c'est magnifique!

Paris? Really??? said...

Sorry guys!

I added the address to the bottom of the post. 20 Boulevard Montmartre in the 9th. Just a couple of doors down from the Hard Rock.

The "mains" are all 9 euro. And sorry Anonymous...I can't do the USD conversion because it's changing by the moment because of the economic crisis. That was probably more information than you wanted! Really, it's about $11.25.

And Whitney, Erin and Anonymous...let me know when you come in for Chipotle and I'll meet you there for lunch! And dinner!

Paris? Really??? said...

I forgot to mention that I had a steak burrito bowl for lunch today and it was AWESOME.

Jay Swanson said...

HOLY COW! So I've been debating whether or not the move back to Paris will be worth the inherent challenges I'm facing. That seals it though. If there's good Mexican food in France I have nothing left to complain about. I'm so there.

GREATEST BLOG POST OF THE CENTURY.

Paris? Really??? said...

Come on back Jay!

Emily in Exile said...

Thanks for keeping me updated on Chipotle! My husband insisted we go yesterday and I was scared because I thought there would be a huge line, but there was only one person in front of us.

They were all really friendly and kept speaking English to me even though I ordered in French (I love that). I asked one guy where he was from and he said "Paris" and I thought he was being sarcastic, but he was just one of those magical people who can speak a foreign language with only a tinsy tiny bit of accent. Those kind of people make me so jealous.

bright lights, big cities said...

I just read this in my own excitement to go for dinner tonight!

This is kinda like my pep talk...

THANKS FOR GETTING ME EVEN MORE EXCITED.

Paris? Really??? said...

Have a great dinner bright lights, big cities! Say Hi to Damon and the crew for me!

And an insider tip? The upstairs dining area is nice, and has a great view of Boulevard Montmartre, but it is twice as cool on the lower level. It looks like another scorcher today in Paris!

Jack said...

As a Chipotle fan, I have been counting the days and waiting for weeks for its grand opening in Paris. I just came from Chipotle in Bvd Montmartre and sadly, I had a few negative surprises: There were no more beans left, the portions are considerably smaller than the ones they give you in the States (I had to ask twice the guy for extra meat and extra fajita veggies) and there is no soda fountain for refills (soda cans are 2 euros each and beers 4.50€)! Extra guacamole is 1.50 euros, which in my opinion is over the top, considering each burrito is 9€ already. The mild sauce was a diluted version of the regular Pico de Gallo you get with a lot of tomato in the US. I don't remember seeing any corn either. Finally, our food was cold when we tried it. I am disappointed to say the least. Hoping that this is just a temporary thing, given they opened less than a week ago, I might return within a month or two, but they should seriously consider raising their quality to US standards if they are to keep (and increase) their fan base in France!

Jack said...

btw, great blog entry!

Paris? Really??? said...

Jack,

So sorry you had a less than "wow" experience yesterday. I hope they can work out the kinks ASAP. Perhaps you can submit your comments on the Chipotle website? I'm sure they would welcome any and all feedback.

We were there too yesterday and had to leave after about a half an hour. It was just way too hot in line for my kids. I think I'll let the weather cool down a bit before I get my next "fix."

Jay Swanson said...

Jack, not to miss the point of your complaints but I think you missed the most important detail, and that is: THERE IS LEGIT MEXICAN FOOD IN FRANCE. Not just that, but in Paris - God's gift to mankind.

As an American abroad (in West Africa, currently) maybe I'm a bit skewed on the importance of this revelation, but I'm legitimately freaking out. When I lived in Nice I found one "Mexican" restaurant run by Italians in the entire time I was there. One restaurant in a year. For a guy who grew up on the West Coast, this is like being given one location at which you are allowed to breathe fresh air in a smog-ridden city. Without Mexican I'm like a marlin out of water. And it was a horrible, horrible excuse for Mexican food.

I miss Mexican like Facebook investors miss their money, and I'm beyond excited that it's now available in my favorite city on Earth(and future city of residence). I'm ok with small portions and canned soda, it's still about 8,302,403.4 times better than life without Mexican.

Still the greatest blog post I've read in my entire life. Ever.

Paris? Really??? said...

You crack me up Jay.

And if you keep saying my post was the best blog post ever I may have to name my first born son after you. Oh wait. I did!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I hate to see the Americanization / corporatization / homogenization of Europe and the rest of the world! But of all the "convenience" food chains in America, I'm glad it was Chipotle rather than any of the others.

jeparleamericain.com said...

I am ecstatic!

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thanks for the info, I am heading there right now!!!

Sylvia said...

Can't believe they've made it to Paris of all places, wow!
I must admit that I like Chipotle too, especially the fact that they use all natural ingredients -no antibiotics meat etc-
I see the lines in Paris and they don't look much different from the ones here in Miami, haha, but the locale here is bigger so people don't need to stand in line outside.
Can only imagine in Winter...brrrr!

Paris? Really??? said...

Have a great time Anonymous! And say hi to Damon the manager for me!

And I agree Sylvia, the fact that they use top quality meat is a big reason I'm such a fan. And really? Lines that long in Miami? Impressive! And just shows that there are lots of people who love a good burrito!

becca said...

We live in Germany and were just in London last weekend. I was SOOO happy to have Chipotle. And now in Paris??? I'm already planning my trip there now!!!

Paris? Really??? said...

Come on down Becca! The weather is great in Paris right now...perfect weather for Chipotle. We'll be going there tonight for dinner with the kids. I LOVE CHIPOTLE!!!

Romel said...

So proud to be part of this great company.

Sadler Surratt said...

I'm actually an employee at Chipotle, Ridgeway Trace- Memphis TN. Recently promoted to kitchen manager, and to hear that Chipotle has expanded this far and people are loving it and we are continuing to grow, that is nothing short of exciting and amazing to me! I'm so proud to be a part of this wonderful company. Keep up the good work everyone and and keep enjoying ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow that looks like the rush we get here at chicago jackson and state

Marfa said...

Thanks for sharing ♥ Our little Chipotle is awesome, but that one would definitely be EVEN better...oh, Paris!

Anonymous said...

Just went to Chipotle today. After 2.5 months in Paris it was a welcome relief. The restaurant is nice, 3 stories, wasn't too crowded. As it compares to the Chipotle in the United States: Unlike McDonald's in France, which is virtually the same experience as in the United States, Chipotle is not quite up to snuff. They do not have fountain drinks. The prices are quite a bit more expensive with the main entrees at 9 euros or about 1.26 USD/Euro x 9 as of today's exchange rate. They don't have white rice and the serving size was unmistakably smaller than in every Chipotle I've ever been in the United States (and I've been to dozens). The chips serving size was also about 1/2 of what you get in the US. That being said, the food was classically tasty and typical of Chipotle. They really need to offer a similar serving size to the US because this is part of providing a similar experience across geography and what I think makes for an excellent franchise experience, i.e., McDonald's. As for the price, well everything is more expensive in Paris so I don't mind that too much, but when you compound a higher price on top of less food, you really feel like the value proposition suffers. That being said, it was great to get some Chipotle.

Lex said...

Is there enough space for us to go with a stroller? Two very young kids, and I don't think we'd make it up the stairs; is there seating on the ground floor?

Paris? Really??? said...

Lex - Chipotle Paris is indeed stroller friendly. If you look at the last picture in the post you can see the long table directly in front of the windows that seats a bunch of people. On a hot day it might be a bit toasty, but I'm not sure we're ever going to have another hot day this summer in Paris!!! Stroll in with your kids and enjoy your burrito!

Belle said...

Kentucky girl living three hours away in Germany, Chipotle is worth the pilgrimage! Wish I would have known it was open when I was there in June! A colleague just told me about it & I had to google and came across your blog!

Paris? Really??? said...

Oh no Belle! You'll have to make a trip back to Paris ASAP! Or I suppose you could go to London too.

Anne Ecobichon said...

Great news! I left Paris in may and am coming back in 3 weeks! I always crave Mexican food! I make it from scratch but can't wait to go to Chopotle! Yay! ;-)((

Anne Ecobichon said...

Great news! Left Paris back in may and was not aware of this! Coming back in 3 weeks with my never ending craving for carnitas! Meet u @ Chipotle ! ;-))

Dominique Anderson said...

A friend from work told me tha he spotted a Chipolte in Paris, knowing that I crave this. Most amazing news since I've been here in 15 years. Coming from Cally, real Mexican food is Paris has been scarce at best.
Now they just need to open one in Versailles.
In the meantime, 20 minutes to Chipolte - YES (only possible on 2 wheels).

Rachel said...

Can anyone tell me if one can use a Chipotle gift card (bought in the States) at the location in Paris? I'd love to send one to my daughter for Valentine's Day . . .

Paris? Really??? said...

Sorry Rachel. As of now the US gift cards are no good over here. And I'm not sure if they sell Paris specific gift cards yet. Next time I go I'll ask! Or you could always tweet Rusty, Joe and the gang at @ChipotleTweets. They know everything!

Edna said...

This post is hilarious (A line! How rare!) - I can't believe I've lived in Paris for over a year and haven't stumbled across your blog until now! I'm actually headed to Chipotle this afternoon with a friend who lives in Singapore and can't get a burrito fix anymore...maybe see you there? ;)