Restaurant chains often adorn their halls with some interesting decor -- Cheesecake Factory has lamps that look like the Eye of Sauron, Chotchkie's has tchotchkes, and Chipotle has... well, what is that stuff anyway?
Fortunately, Language Jones, a linguistics/sociology blogger, has decoded the meaning behind the Mayan-inspired art that adorns their walls, and the imaginations of burrito fiends everywhere, using his knowledge of theology and iconography. Turns out that the figures you see around every Chipotle location aren't just stock characters. They're actual Mayan deities.
The most common and famous of these is God K, or K'awiil, the personification of a rain deity's lightning axe. Other wood-and-metal artworks (all made by manufacturer Mayatek Inc.) within the chain's locations depict glyphs of an alcohol god who spews out swarms of bees, a noble warrior lord, and a straight-up snake deity loosely known as the "Red Serpent". You can find out the meaning behind each of the glyphs at Language Jones' website, here.
Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and wonders what the McDonaldland characters represent. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.