The following are not New York exclusive, however, I tasted them all in Manhattan and want to share the experience with you just the same.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
I’d like to think that this is America’s version of Mexicali… but I tell you, it is way, WAY better. This place is known for serving Mexican dishes, fast-food style. The burritos here are just amazing. They are huge and very tasty! You also get to choose what goes in your burrito. I think it really is what their sales pitch is… customized burrito.
So what’s inside your burrito? It is all up to you. You can choose among chicken, pork and steak. The chicken meat is said to be marinated overnight so it is guaranteed to be really taste-y. This is what I always get when I order a burrito. For the carnivore at heart, they have a medium rare steak marinated beef and barbacoa which is the spicy shredded kind. If you prefer pork, they have carnitas which is shredded and is guaranteed to be really tender.
When it comes to the other stuff that goes in your burrito, they have a list here. For me, it is a must to have salsa (pick among light, medium, medium hot and hot), sour cream, lettuce and cheese. For others, they want guacamole, beans and rice to go in it as well.
Aside from burrito, they serve nachos. I always have those to go and grab myself an extra serving of salsa. And you know what is even more amazing? MARGARITA! You can have it any time of the day (I won’t judge, hihi).
Now I can’t remember how much the burritos were exactly but it was between US$6-8. And since a serving is too many for me, I would have them slice my burrito in half… eating half for lunch and saving the other half for dinner. They have a branch right beside Bryant Park (42nd and 5th) in Manhattan and I have never seen the counter without a line. That is not to say that their service is slow, it’s quite the opposite. It’s just that there are a lot of people lining up during lunch and dinner time.
Think of it as their version of Big Chill. They however have a large range of products that are more than just fruit shakes. They have freshly squeezed juices, food to-go (mostly salads and wraps), iced fruit tea, low calorie fruit shakes and a lot more. See the complete list here.
It is pretty expensive for just fruit shakes (anywhere from US$3-5) when you compare the prices with the ones we have here. I would recommend getting Strawberry Whirl which has apple-strawberry juice, frozen strawberries and frozen banana. The quality is excellent. You would not feel that they are scrimping on the ingredients. As for the taste, I would say Jonah’s Shakes are still better (and I haven’t tasted anything better, except probably for Cibo’s grape shake, but I still prefer Jonah’s consistency). However, I liked that the sweetness of the shakes of Jamba Juice comes from the natural sugar of the fruits.
I went to the branch right beside the Chipotle on 42nd and 5th (Bryant Park). Drop by if you need a smoothie fix.
I was never a fan of yogurts. I didn’t have the palate to appreciate it until I tasted Pinkberry’s. Yes, the frozen kind is still in fact sour. Honestly though, I will still not be caught eating frozen yogurt alone, except when I am getting Dave’s Froyo in Dutch Chocolate (which is intense, dark, and is hard to believe to be a yogurt). I still prefer mine to be consumed with fruits and chocolate chips. I like it that way because it balances out the sourness of the yogurt.
Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt comes in three varieties: original, green tea and coffee. You can eat it with choices of fresh fruits, dry and liquid toppings. I tasted the original yogurt with strawberries and chocolate chips. Go here for the complete list. Aside from yogurts, they serve smoothies and parfaits. Click on the photo below for prices. I went to that branch in Chelsea just in case you are wondering (8th Ave. Between 18th & 19th St.).