Dear Chipotle,

It’s not you, it’s me.

You’d think the name would be enough to run me off. “Chipotle.” It’s literally the name of a hot chili pepper. Not the one I typically enjoy, but the type that leaves me damn near comatose in pain if I even smell it. See, I’m extremely sensitive to capsaicin. My mouth swells, my asthma goes wild — it’s just a bad experience all the way around. However I stupidly walked into your restaurant, dear Chipotle, and thought you’d have something I could bastardize and consume without dying.

I ate lettuce. $10 lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.

I also ordered a bag of chips because, hey! Chips and lettuce wouldn’t be the worst thing I’ve eaten before (I lived in a dorm once). But the dude at the register failed to put them in my bag so I didn’t even get that. I got lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. I got the shit that falls out of a Taco Bell wrapper, basically. I couldn’t even get dressing. I couldn’t even make it into a sad salad, because even the only salad dressing you offer has chipotle in it.

Tomato salsa: has jalapenos
Guacamole: has jalapenos
All three other salsas: have jalapenos
Beans: confused server said “Uh, I dunno maybe?”
Meat: possibly overly coated in chipotle
The rice: looked a little sad, honestly, so I passed

You didn’t even have plain onions. No plain tomatoes. I think my soda even had some damn poisonous compound in it.

Now I understand that catering to those who have severe food allergies can be a real pain in the ass. And maybe having the offending ingredient in your restaurant name is enough disclosure that you feel you don’t need variety. However, it was odd to me that there were so few ingredients to work with in the first place. I go to a local burrito company all the time and can make an entire dish out of the food they serve. Their meat is lightly seasoned, so it’s safe. I can add on grilled onions, roasted potato, fresh onion, tomato, cheese, sour cream, solid gold, $100 bills…the choices are pretty much endless. You boast about having “thousands of combinations” but offer a menu that hasn’t been touched in over two decades. Food culture has developed and evolved quite a bit during that time. Your competitors see value in having options for the niche markets, such as those who have food allergies (yes, even the ones you’re named after). It also appears that you’re losing business due to menu fatigue, so maybe its time to stretch your spicy little wings and grow.

In the meanwhile, I’ll keep you in mind if ever I feel like sitting somewhere and not actually eating.

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