Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) plans to test a new vegetarian menu item called “Sofritas” in seven San Francisco Bay Area restaurants beginning Tuesday, Feb. 12. Sofritas, shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices, is made with organic, non-GMO tofu from Oakland’s Hodo Soy. Chipotle expects Sofritas to appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers, as well as those who are looking for an exciting new taste.
“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO. “Sofritas is a very different menu item not just for Chipotle, but for any fast food or fast causal restaurant. It was really conceived with vegetarians and vegans in mind, but it’s so delicious that we believe it will have a broad appeal on taste alone.”
Sofritas will be available in seven Bay Area restaurants beginning on Feb. 12 including: 525 Market in San Francisco; 121 Fourth St. in San Francisco; 126 New Montgomery in San Francisco; 2019 Chess Drive in San Mateo; 251 East 3rd Ave. in San Mateo; 180 El Camino Real in Palo Alto; and 135 El Camino Real in Millbrae.
Chipotle’s tofu supplier, Hodo Soy, is already well known in the Bay Area for its organic, non-GMO tofu and artisanal methods of production. The company’s mission is to craft the highest quality, best-tasting whole bean tofu and has become one of the most reputable tofu producers in the country. Their products are featured in some of the Bay Area’s leading restaurants, as well as farmers’ markets and specialty food stores.
Sofritas will be available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads and can be combined with other signature ingredients, including white or brown cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans or vegetarian black beans, house-made salsas and guacamole, and cheese or sour cream.
Chipotle, already popular with vegetarian customers, tested another vegetarian menu item, Garden Blend, but was never fully satisfied with it and instead began developing Sofritas. Depending on results in the Bay Area, Chipotle may look to expand the test to other markets in the coming months.