Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I've been hearing for weeks that Chipotle Mexican Grill was going to be adding a tofu option to its menu. They've been test marketing the product, called Sofritas, in seven San Francisco Bay Area restaurants, and they finally rolled it out to all of their Northern California locations this week.
I attended a media tasting event to try this new product at the Chipotle near IKEA in West Sacramento this afternoon. I had Sofritas on the tacos pictured below, and I thought it was outstanding. The Sofritas is seasoned with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and spices, which gives it the same type of smoky, slightly spicy flavor as other Chipotle menu items. You can also have Sofritas in a burrito, burrito bowl, or salad. Other vegan items on the menu that you may want to combine with your Sofritas are the black beans, brown rice, cilantro-lime white rice, sautéed vegetables, guacamole, or salsa.
Sofritas is made from organic, non-GMO tofu crafted by Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland. The tofu is braised and shredded, which gives it a texture that's completely different from what you'll find in most tofu dishes.
For those of you who are interested in the nutritional breakdown, four ounces of Sofritas contains 145 calories (90 from fat); 10 grams of fat (including 1.5 grams of saturated fat and no trans fat); no cholesterol; 850 milligrams of sodium; 9.5 grams of carbohydrates; 3 grams of dietary fiber; 4 grams of sugar; and 10 grams of protein.
The timing of the rollout to other areas of the country will depend on the production capability of Hodo Soy Beanery. Chipotle hopes to have Sofritas available in their Southern California restaurants sometime in the next couple of months.
As far as I'm concerned, Sofritas is a game changer. I've eaten at Chipotle many times over the years, but mostly just because I happened to be with non-vegan friends or family who wanted to eat there. While I appreciated the fact they had something on the menu I could eat, their vegan options weren't all that interesting. Adding Sofritas to their menu completely changes my view of Chipotle. Now it's a restaurant I'll visit on purpose and often.