Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chipotle's New Vegan Tofu Sofritas- Quick Review

A few days after they went nationwide, I drove to found myself at Chipotle to try the new vegan option: tofu sofritas.


It's currently the featured item, described as,

"Shredded organic tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices.  For carnivores and vegans alike, try it on your burrito, bowl, tacos or salad."  

"Carnivores?"  Pandering much?  But, I digress.


Since I've already reviewed Chipotle, I'll just say a few words specifically about the sofritas: THEY TASTE MEATY. 


But, when I say "meaty," I mean really, really meaty.  For starters, I don't know why but I expected the tofu would have been prepared as marinated strips.  Instead, it's crumbled and possibly pan fried before being served with a slotted spoon out of a saucy bowl.  And the taste, in case I haven't been clear, is MEATY.  Also, the feel of it in your mouth is meaty.  It's been an extremely long time since I've eaten chopped meat, but I remember it vividly and this is it: veganized.  I can't even describe the actual flavor because I just couldn't get over the meatiness of it all.

Which is great!  I'm personally not into it, but I think we've already established that things can taste "meaty" (and "cheesy," and delicious, etc.) without being animal-based.  And, just to clarify: vegans aren't opposed to things tasting meaty, they're opposed to using animals- for food, material, entertainment, etc.  Not all vegans are vegan because they don't like the taste of animal products; they're vegan because it's speciesist to use animals to satisfy your own selfishness.

 

So, get your cruelty-free meaty meal on…and bring an OMNIvore (sorry, Chipotle; words do have meaning) to give it a whirl.  Apparently the self-described tofu-hating guy on Good Day NY was seriously chowing down on sofritas tacos without realizing it was tofu.  I even got my dad, who eschews all things bean-related (including- sometimes, me) to give it a try; he agreed that it tastes like chopped meat.


While I don't know how Chipotle will convince "carnivores" on a large scale to try the sofritas, if my Facebook feed is any indication, vegans are flocking to do so.  The more mainstream vegan options the better.

If you're looking, you'll now find the sofritas listed as a permanent option on the Chipotle menu: marked with a "V."  It's the same price as the original "veggie" option (beans/no meat), but guacamole isn't included with the sofritas.

UPDATE 3/17/14: yes; these are New Jersey prices (what else are ya gonna eat in Jerz?)

See what you think; I'd be interested to hear it.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review. I've really wanted to go and try this, but now I think I'll pass. Doesn't sound like my thing at all! I'll just stick to the bean and rice bowl with guac!

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  2. I agree with you that the more mainstream vegan food can become, the better. I think Chipotle uses Hodo tofu in their sofritos, and I tried a few Hodo products when I was in San Francisco. They were all clearly tofu, but the texture was amazing and confusing. I love Hodo. I've actually never been to Chipotle, and I'm not sure I want to taste something that tastes exactly like meat. I still haven't tried Beyond Meat. Soycurls are about my speed.

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  3. That's an impressive number of words about the Chipotle Sofritas. I really liked them but could only think to say they were tasty and I looked forward to having them again. Very nice pics. Makes me think about trying the Burrito instead of the Bowl next time.

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  4. Interesting, Abby! I still haven't gotten to try them, but now I'm wondering if I'll like it as much as a regular veggie with the magic guac... I was never into meaty-ness. Plus it doesn't help that in Manhattan the burritos cost like $8.50. I don't want to pay for guac on top of that!!

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    1. I'm in manhattan too and the surprisingly nice counter guy gave me a taste of the sofritos before i ordered....
      Ttrockwood

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  5. These look great. I'd love the chance to try them, but I live too far away. I'm so glad you pointed out that not all vegans are vegan because they don't like animal products. I often have people tell me they couldn't be vegan because they REALLY love cheese. Well, so did I, but I don't love it enough to force calves and cows to suffer and die just so that I can eat it!

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  6. I'm super happy that there is another option but I'm sticking with the beans and quacamole. Ever since I was a wee I had issues with meaty textures, no beyond meat for me! When I had the sofritos I kept smashing it on my plate to make sure it wasn't meat. Price is also an issue. I want my quacamole included.

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  7. Hmmmm I've never eaten at a Chipotle yet but I am curious about the sofritos. maybe I will go with a friend and we can swap... I've also heard they were really spicy! Did you find them too hot?

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  8. hmm, I tried the sofritas in a burrito bowl last week and was less impressed - the flavor is nice, but honestly it just tastes like the mexican-spiced tofu I make at home for taco nights, not as new and exciting as I was hoping (maybe my expectations were too high?). Gotta say though - jealous of the prices on your menu! Chipotles in NYC charge more for everything.

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  9. BYOL- tacos rule; bowls drool.

    Andrea- That's so interesting that the Hodo products are so distinct. I had SoyCurls for the first time last weekend! More research is required.

    The Shenandoah Vegan- I'm a woman of a few thousand words.

    MollyG- I hear you; paying for guac sucks. And you need it. Who can say no to guac?

    Linda- Exactly. And seriously, there are SO many options now that there's really no excuse at all.

    susan- If I hadn't seen the sofritas before they went into my burrito I too would have questions it. And agreed, guacamole hails above all else.

    foodfeud- I did not find them spicy at all, but I have a very high spice tolerance. Dangerously high, in fact.

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  10. Abby,

    You know how I feel about Chipotle… Maybe I’ll try this in Miami when I’m forced to go. Thank you for the review.

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  11. Interesting - I wonder if they'll bring it to the UK Chipotles? I know not everyone will go for the meaty taste, but it's nice to see more explicit mentions of veganism on menus.

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  12. "Not all vegans are vegan because they don't like the taste of animal products; they're vegan because it's speciesist to use animals to satisfy your own selfishness."

    EXACTLY!!

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