Chipotle, the popular restaurant chain that arrived in the Capital Region in 2009, will be opening its latest local outlet next Tuesday, November 29 in Niskayuna, in the new Mansion Square shopping center on Balltown Road (at the State Street intersection).

What’s great about Chipotle, if you aren’t aware of it, is their focus on fresh, sustainable, responsible, high-quality food – a concept they call Food with Integrity (FWI). Some interesting facts (from their press release):

  • Chipotle expects to use over 10 million pounds of produce from local family farms in 2011, up from 5 million pounds in 2010
  • The local produce will be grown on farms within 350 miles of the restaurants where it will be served
  • All the pork, beef and chicken they serve is naturally and humanely raised (an all vegetarian diet, no added hormones or antibiotics and responsible animal husbandry)
  • In 2011, Chipotle will purchase over 100 million pounds of naturally raised meats and sell more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant company
  • Its sour cream and cheeses are made from milk that is rBGH-free (recombinant bovine growth hormone); 35% of it is from pasture-raised cows
  • 40 percent of the black and pinto beans used are organically grown with about 5 percent using water-saving conservation tilling methods

This is all pretty great, considering the sorry state of the rest of the fast-food industry.

For my part, I’m excited to have another lunch option close by my office. I love Chipotle’s rice (the cilantro really makes it for me), and I think it’s time I tried some other things on their menu besides a chicken burrito bowl with pinto beans, corn salsa and cheese. Seriously, that’s all I’ve ever ordered.

The Schenectady Chipotle will be open from 11am – 10pm daily, and will offer fax and on-line order pick up.