Chipotle is a very popular restaurant chain: “When Chipotle (pronounced chi-POAT-lay) opened its first store in 1993, the idea was simple: demonstrate that food served fast didn’t have to be a ‘fast-food’ experience. We use high-quality raw ingredients, classic cooking methods, and distinctive interior design — features that are more frequently found in the world of fine dining. When we opened, there wasn’t an industry category to describe what we were doing. Some 16 years and more than 900 restaurants later, we compete in a category of dining now called ‘fast-casual,’ the fastest growing segment of the restaurant industry, where customers expect food quality that’s more in line with full-service restaurants, coupled with the speed and convenience of fast food.”
Now, as reported by Matthew Yglesias for Slate, the team behind the Chipotle concept is debuting another innovative eatery: “The restaurant is called ShopHouse. Initially, the idea seemed to be to do a banh mi [bread] place. But over time, the concept has pivoted to a focus on rice and noodle bowls, and it works much better. For whatever reason, they were never really able to get good bread, and ultimately a sandwich stands or falls on its bread. The rice and noodles are fine, though, and the meat and vegetable toppings that are the core of the experience are excellent.”
For now, there are ShopHouse restaurants in Washington, D.C., and California. If things go according to plan, more will be opening soon.
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