01/27/15 12:09pm

Chipotle’s Sofritas Incite Snow Day Veganism


Nothing quite says disaster preparedness like a visit to Chipotle.

Winter storm Juno nee Snowmageddon/Blizzard of 2015 sparked all sorts of irrational behavior in New York City. Declaration of martial law, oops I mean subway closure and a driving ban; a hipstervore kale crisis; even a Craigslist bonanza of potential blizzard booty calls. Over in Brooklyn some poor soul jumped out a third-story window with barely a foot of snow on the ground to break his fall. Here in Queens, I got in on the snowmageddon madness by visiting Chipotle Mexican Grill.

I haven’t set foot in a Chipotle in years and had been looking for an excuse to visit the newish location in Forest Hills. I found it in Sofritas. I’m ashamed to admit “shredded organic tofu braised with chipotle chilis, and roasted poblanos” spurred me to action. Chalk this aberrant behavior up to Juno madness and a promise of free food. Yesterday was a chainwide Sofritas promotion; order anyone item with Sofritas and receive a voucher for a free burrito, bowl, or taco of your choice.


A forkful of vegan and supposedly carnivore friendly Sofritas.

“Vegans and carnivores unite,” goes one tagline for Sofritas. And indeed the sign above the counter read, “for vegans and carnivores alike.” As I pondered my order in front of a kid who looked too buff to be a vegan, I made sure to cover my leather belt. “A Sofritas taco,” I blurted out, and then panicked, changing it to a bowl so as to get a better photo of this wonder product that promised to unite carnivores and vegans.

I love both tofu and Mexican food (vegans not so much), but I won’t be ordering Sofritas again anytime soon, if ever. Even though the menu clearly said braised, the name led me to expect something fried. The Sofritas did have some nice heat, and the rest of the bowl was kind of tasty. Given that in Chipotleland vegans and carnivores are now besties, some organic chicharron with my Sofritas would have been nice.

My blizzard panic could have been worse. At least I didn’t hook up with a vegan kale hoarder. I have until February 28 to get my free Chipotle fix. I am in no rush, I plan to eat some non-tofu based real Queens Mexican in the interim  to cleanse myself of this brush with fast food veganism.

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5 Comment

  • Joe, can’t think of a better Forest Hills blizzard meal than yum cha at East Ocean Palace. Unlimited hot tea, tripe in brown gravy, dumplings, chicken feet. Now that’s storm comfort food.

  • Believe it or not, you have some vegan readers (at least one…ME!), so maybe ease up a little bit on the “vegan” bashing.

    • Might have been a little heavy handed there, nice to know I have vegan readers, seriously though do you have a favorite place to eat in Queens, is it tough to find things that suit your dietary needs?

      • Still new to Queens (been living here a little over a year) but have found some amazing places that suit me just fine. Tianjin and Biang in Flushing definitely are some of the places at the top of my list. Himalayan Yak is pretty up there, too.
        Since most foods that come from Asia (I know, bit of an oversimplification) dont have dairy in it (except for butter/ghee), once you learn to look for the fish-sauce dishes, your pretty good to go with most vegetable options. Take a little extra time to learn a few key phrases in the language of the restaurant your going to, and your good to feast, although I’ve been getting by with pointing at pictures and shaking my head “NO” for years.