Chipotle’s NEXT Kitchen in New York City is brewing up a storm, and the thunderclap of chips and cheese is about to rain down on menu boards nationwide. The Daily Meal took a trip down to the Manhattan outpost at 504 Sixth Ave. for a first look at all of the brand-new items the chain is trialing right now.
Chipotle has always honored quesadilla orders per the chain’s “hidden menu.” Upon request, these are made with protein, cheese, and veggies pressed between two tortillas on the warmer Taco Bell-style. While this method is fine (and is probably how anyone would go about making one at home), it’s not ideal because everything falls out the sides. Then you have to get a fork and eat all the innards that escaped from between your bread — not fun.
Chipotle’s quesadilla 2.0 is made like a flat-style burrito on an actual panini press. Everything stays together and the outsides are folded envelope-style, so nothing oozes out. It’s an enclosed sandwich more than anything, but crispier and cheesier. It’s basically everything you could have ever wanted at the tip of your fingers.
Chipotle has officially jumped on the avocado toast trend, and wisely so. Who doesn’t love avocado toast, honestly? Most pre-existing menu items at the chain are full-blown meals; these are all “delicious, but very filling, so we made a snack,” Chipotle R&D chef Chad Bauze said. The Avocado Tostada features a crispy corn tortilla topped with the chain’s existing guacamole and your choice of salsa, lettuce, and cheese. This item would satisfy as a midday snack, and it cuts out the middleman of having to dip a chip into guac and salsa.
Do people eat salad at Chipotle? The test kitchen is trialing a new Spring Salad, which incorporates a mix of crispy romaine, Tuscan oak, Tuscan red leaf, and lolla rosa topped with an avocado vinaigrette. Now, back to the carbs…
I think I speak for a nation when I say: This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. Gone are the days of ordering chips and fixings separately to DIY your own nachos; as Bauze gallantly revealed, “I think soon we’re going to see this one nationwide.” We’re talking mountains of queso, salsa, protein, beans, lettuce, you name it — slathered all over those salty little tortilla chips. Keep an eye out for this one at your local Chipotle.
Mexican Chocolate Milkshake
This is the thickest milkshake I’ve ever had in my entire life, yet surprisingly it sucks up the straw with ease. There are no artificial tastes, just straight cocoa and cinnamon. It’s a version of a classic Mexican hot chocolate, but colder — which is great, because who wants to drink hot chocolate under the ruthless summer sun? Frozen drinks are the wave.
This menu item isn’t all that new. It was announced back in March that the NEXT Kitchen would be testing a frozen paloma. The recipe is pretty standard — Sauza tequila, grapefruit juice, agave syrup, and citrus. According to Bauze, this drink has 1.75 ounces of tequila in it, which equals nearly two shots. That’s a boozy bang for just six bucks.
Out of all six contenders, it is likely that nachos will roll out to menu boards nationwide in the near future. The remaining five will exist at Chipotle’s NEXT Kitchen for further testing. If customers enjoy the new offerings and order them a lot, then the rest of the country could see them down the road. For more on the brand bringing you más Tex-Mex, here are 15 things you didn’t know about Chipotle.