Chipotle's Great Burger Experiment Is Over
The seasons are changing, and with them, Chipotle. And while, like the spring harvest, that brings with it the new (like quinoa and former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol), it also means saying goodbye to the old. Yes, that's right; on this bittersweet day, Chipotle announced that Tasty Made, its Ohio-based burger and fries concept, has closed.
Opened in October 2016 in the Columbus suburb of Lancaster, Tasty Made offered a sort of Chipotle-fied version of In-N-Out with burgers, fries and shakes that received a fairly mixed response. That is, until it brought Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais on board to revamp the menu last December and garnered a more positive response.
Food & Wine's David Landsel took the journey to Tasty Made in January to see if the hype was true, and found that the food was, in fact, for the most part, quite tastily made. Especially at its surprisingly low price point, with a hamburger coming in at $2.45, a generous portion of fries doing a strong take on In-n-Out's Animal Fries for $3 and a sizeable shake for $2.95.
While the fries and shakes were legitimately good, the burger seems to have been just okay. Which could be why, as of now, it no longer exists at all, joining the ShopHouse Asian Kitchen chain, the chorizo option and preservatives at the bottom of Chipotle's memory bank elevator, occasionally crying out like Marion Cotillard in the mind of Inception protagonist Dom Cobb. Or, as a spokesperson told the Eagle-Gazette: "While we liked the concept and the delicious food at Tasty Made, the economics were not what we wanted them to be in Lancaster, Ohio, so we have decided to close that restaurant." He also says the approximately 30 former Tasty Made employees can apply at Chipotle locations. Hopefully the economics will be more desirable.