Asian Chipotle

The folks who brought you Chipotle are opening an Asian restaurant concept in DC this summer. It's being described as a fusion of foods from Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam and served in a style reminiscent of Chipotle. It sounds a little weird to me, to be honest, but I think it can work, if for no other reason that the same people made it work so well with food from Mexico.

(from M.V. Jantzen on Flickr)

This also gives me the opportunity to point out that what makes Chipotle my favorite chain restaurant isn't the concept - it's the food. There are plenty of places that have knocked off the burrito concept - Qdoba, Baha Fresh, California Tortilla, and others, albeit the concept isn't always an exact copy. These places are OK. A few people even like them a little more than Chipotle; but to me, they don't even come close.

You can serve any kind of food in assembly line fashion, but as it's often said in business, "garbage in, garbage out". The concept isn't really all that creative anymore. If this new restaurant can serve food that tastes so good I crave it all the time, then I think they'll succeed.