is chipotle more delicious after a layoff?

Alec Enkiri | 12/6/19

Chipotle Mexican Grill, i.e. the Temple of Gains, is a delicious, delicious fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain known for its behemoth burritos and the popularization of deconstructed burrito bowls. If you haven't heard of Chipotle at this point in time you are both living under a rock and severely missing out. Lucky for me, I was blessed with the great fortune of having one of the early Chipotle franchises open up just a few miles from my hometown some 18 years ago, thus, I discovered the glory of this monumental establishment when I was barely a teenager and have indulged in its deliciousness to my heart's content (which is to say highly frequently) for over half of my life now.

Recently, however, I took a break - and not for any reason other than I just didn't go there (as a matter of fact, I ate my way through the 2015 e-coli outbreak - corporate sabotage that it was - on a daily basis, but we'll get to that in a minute). I've been trying new restaurants as well as expanding my own cooking repertoire, and as such, old flings have had to be temporarily pushed aside. But everyone knows that the flame of a first love never truly dies - instead it merely flickers along, wistfully, until one day you happen to run into each other on the street and, in the blink of an eye, the passion of a thousand suns that had lain dormant for what feels like an eternity erupts to the surface and that wistful flicker bursts once more into an engulfing blue flame - full of energy, full of life, full of love. For me that happened this past Tuesday when on an unrelated evening excursion I happened upon my old friend and first love, Chipotle. 

It had been a while, many months in fact, since I had indulged in a delicious Chipotle concoction. I opted for a bowl this go around as tortillas are undoubtedly terrible for you (tangentially related funny story: I used to get my burritos wrapped in 2 tortillas, and as I'm sure you know their tortillas are pretty fucking big, but more on that that later). 

White rice; both beans; throw on the fajita veggies; chicken please........actually could you make it double.

 (You have to ask for a single serving of chicken first, wait until the server is ready to move on, and then ask for the second serving, otherwise if you ask for it all at once they will skimp out on the portion, trust me). 

Corn; mild and medium salsa; sour cream; lots of cheese; and lettuce please; could I also get chips and guac on the side? Thank you. 

I walked back to my table and looked at the delicious bowl that now laid before me. "It's been a long time," I whispered longingly. And when I took that first bite the deliciousness nearly overwhelmed me and my immediate first thought was, "holy shit, it's so much fucking better if you only eat it every few months instead of damn near every day." And it makes sense right! Why wouldn't it be better that way? If you eat it every fucking day you get over saturated with it. You take it for granted. The deliciousness wanes, right? 

Or does it?


But then I thought about it a little bit longer. I remembered the old days. I read a blog post a few years ago about some amateur who ate Chipotle every day for something like a year. People were amazed because he had abs while eating Chipotle every day. Me and my buddy had a good laugh about it because we worked a 3 year stint together and we used to get Chipotle for lunch, every single day, without fail...for 3 years. Sometimes I would eat it for dinner too! Several nights a week actually. For 3 straight years! The more I ate the more I craved it. I consumed so much goddamn Chipotle they should erect a fucking statue for me. 

This is when you don't even have to place your order anymore because as soon as you walk in the door they already know what it is. They even had a designated girl who had to wrap all of my burritos because she was the only pro there and the burritos I would get were so goddamn big no one else could wrap them without tearing the tortilla to shreds. On days where she wasn't working though one of the amateur wrappers would have to sub in and they would automatically just slap 2 tortillas down onto the foil to make the wrapping process go more smoothly. It was generally the lunch rush so I guess they couldn't afford to have a rookie on the line failing to wrap the same burrito 5 times. Eating that much tortilla wasn't my favorite, but forcing that modification on them was a bit of a badge of honor so I wore it proudly regardless. I think those double tortilla days are behind me now though. 

Try these abs. This is from right smack dab in the middle of my double tortilla eating, 3 year Chipotle binge. 

They were doing BOGO promotions back then too and the girls at the counter liked us so they would give us coupons pretty much every single time we came in. We had a pile of them sitting in the office. Towards the end of the stint we were probably eating free Chipotle lunches 2-3x a week. This is when we ate our way through the e-coli outbreak. As a matter fact, I believe the main reason they were doing the BOGO promotion was to drum up business because the e-coli scare was causing them to lose way too much of it. Well, neither of us ever got sick and we got a shitload of free lunches so I guess it worked out for us.

As I recollected on the old times though, those daily Chipotle lunches came flashing back. Yes, some of them were underwhelming, hell, some of them were even duds. I guess that's just the nature of doing something every day. But suffering through the duds is all worth it because the more you do it the higher the highs become. To this day, I had some of the most delicious and satisfying lunches of my life eating a gigantic overstuffed burrito from Chipotle in a random work office after having eaten the same goddamn meal every single day for months on end. 

I can compare the two extremes directly now. My chance run in this past Tuesday after a long layoff, which was freaking delicious in its own right, to the best lunches I had years ago when I was eating the shit every damn day. And as amazing as the former was, the latter was still better! The high of this past Tuesday cannot compare to the highest high of years ago. It's counter intuitive and it makes no sense but it's simply the fact of the matter. 

Chipotle, like any good love, actually grows better with time.

My old lifeline.

So the answer to the question posed in the title is no, it's not more delicious after a layoff like I initially thought it would be. But uhhhh, what the fuck? Was this whole thing a euphemism for sex? Drugs? Was it really just a random blog post about my weird relationship with food? To be honest, I thought it was at first, but then as my thoughts came flooding out onto the screen I realized I wasn't talking about food at all! Chipotle is fucking delicious, to be sure, but it's just food, man. I don't live for the hedonic but base pleasure of stuffing things down my throat. That's a bonus, duh, but no - I live to challenge myself. To see what I'm capable of achieving. That's what gets me out of bed every day. 

This word vomit on your screen is about training. And that can be whatever the hell you want to train for! For me, it's strength and overall physicality. Maybe for you it's chess. Or a marathon. Or blacksmithing. Or the fucking stock market. Whatever. It doesn't matter, it's all training. Trying to become better than you are now. Trying to master a craft. When you do it every day there will be lulls in progress. There will be stagnation. There will even be regression. But the only way forward is to keep trudging along. Every. Single. Day. The highs become infinitely higher this way. The lows only feel low because of relativity - because they're lower than the new highs. But the highs could not possibly be achieved with only sporadic practice like my chance run in with Chipotle this past Tuesday. On the contrary, the lows must be suffered through to reach the highs because they are simply a part of the process. Yin and yang. One cannot exist without the other. 

Recent training personal record. Hang power snatch with 205lbs for 3 reps @ 160lbs body weight.

Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. That's what training is all about. The man who puts in the work day in and day out, without fail - when he's tired, when he's sick, when he's bored, when he hurts, when he doesn't have the time - in the end will be rewarded with mastery and all of the visceral satisfaction that comes along with it. A feeling that nothing else in the world can replicate or compare to. 


And no matter what happens to your body or your mind, no one and nothing can take it away from you because you've already achieved it. You've already earned it. Those hours you spent training are a testament to your will and your craft is now your trophy. That is training. There is an innate value to it; there is great honor in it. And anyone who can commit themselves to the process has earned respect and admiration and should be commended for it because they've taken something raw and they've cultivated something that can only be cultivated through hard work, unrelenting effort, sheer will, perseverance, patience, vision, and lots and lots of time. So go train! I'm going to go get some more Chipotle.      

And another recent PR! Pin Overhead press with 175lbs for 6 reps. These are the products of effort, patience, and consistency. This is training. 

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