Chipotle already had steak on the menu, and now it has even more. Carne Asada, marketed as the chain's most tender cut, is grilled in restaurant, hand-sliced, seasoned and finished with lime and chopped cilantro. It's Whole30 approved (no sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy or dairy), paleo compliant (a caveman would eat this) and costs 50 cents more than Chipotle's original steak.
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Carne Asada is the chain's first new protein since chorizo was reintroduced in September 2018, and it launches nationwide on September 19 for a limited time only.
At a media briefing on September 16, representatives for the fast casual brand spoke of food with integrity as part of the brand's DNA, and the importance of using only wholesome ingredients in each taco, burrito, salad and bowl when introducing the new protein option. That wasn't the only news: There's a new queso, too.
The Daily Meal had the opportunity to sample Chipotle's new queso blanco, which is currently testing in Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; and San Diego, California. It comes just two years after the launch of the chain's first-ever all-natural queso, which caused quite an uproar with purists.
Chipotle's newest variety, queso blanco, is made with aged white cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, plus serrano, chipotle and poblano peppers. Our taste tester hadn't had its predecessor, but she thought this one was perfectly fine. The queso is mild in heat, and the peppers give it ample flavor. The texture is smooth.
Unfortunately for those outside the aforementioned test markets, it doesn't appear that queso blanco will get a wider launch in the foreseeable future. When asked about a nationwide launch, a Chipotle spokesperson said, "We're testing a monitoring feedback to make a decision on a national launch and when that might be. Stay tuned!"
Carne Asada and queso blanco are just "the start of many new things to come," according to a brand representative. One of which includes a new mobile pick-up lane, which will work sort of like a drive-thru for people who've placed orders through the Chipotle app. Currently, the store offers a shelf for mobile order pickups, and delivery launched in 2018. Mobile orders and delivery are just a few of the ways fast food has changed over the years.