Chipotle's Long-Awaited Quesadillas Just Hit the Menu at These Locations
The burrito chain is taking another step towards fulfilling a longtime customer request.
When I first tasted Chipotle's new quesadilla offering at its NYC test kitchen location in 2018, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said at the time it was among customers' most-requested menu additions. That was almost exactly two years ago. And while Chipotle still hasn't officially added quesadillas to its national menu (some locations might make unofficial quesadillas for you if you ask nicely), the burrito chain appears to be taking another step towards finally making that happen.
Chipotle recently started offering quesadillas in two new cities -- Cleveland and Indianapolis -- as part of its ongoing "stage gate" testing process, a spokesperson confirmed to Thrillist when reached via email on Thursday. The Cleveland and Indianapolis trials are a promising sign for the long-awaited menu item's future on the menu, although the spokesperson said the company has no details to share at the moment regarding a nationwide debut. Chipotle has previously served quesadillas at locations in Southern California and the aforementioned Chipotle NEXT test kitchen over the last two years.
Notably, the Cleveland and Indianapolis locations are only offering the quesadillas as part of orders placed via the chain's online and mobile ordering platforms. And it doesn't look like this is a coronavirus-related restriction. Recent comments made by Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol suggest the company wants to limit quesadilla preparation to restaurants' second make-line (the one in the back) by offering them exclusively through digital orders; presumably, to avoid clogging up the main make-line (the one with the sneeze guards in front).
“It will take some education to inform people that quesadillas are aren't on the front line, but consumers aren't fighting the idea of having to order in the app or on the web in order to get a quesadilla,” Niccol said at the time, according to a report by QSR Magazine. Additionally, Niccol said the quesadillas are great options for families looking to pick up food on their way home.
Like Chipotle's burritos, the chain's quesadilla option gets you a good amount of food. Chipotle makes them by stuffing your choice of protein and cheese (or only cheese if you want) into large tortillas and grilling them for a melty interior and a crispy exterior. They come served on a small platter with three "sides" of your choosing -- basically, three other ingredients from the Chipotle menu that you'd like to eat with your quesadilla. For example, I ordered mine with corn salsa, black beans, and rice on the side when I tasted the test menu item a couple of years ago (see the top photo). Queso or guac on the side will cost more, of course. A steak quesadilla with the standard three sides was priced at $8 when ordering from a Cleveland location, the same price as a burrito there.
There's no telling when Chipotle will unleash quesadillas at locations all across the country, so if you're craving a quesadilla now, I'm sincerely sorry. I could really go for one right now, too.