Even at Chipotle's Asian side project, diners are looking for the chain's Tex-Mex staple. ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, which typically focuses on rice bowls, noodles, and salads, is currently testing burrito-like creations at four locations, reports Nation's Restaurant News.
In an email to Eater, spokesperson Chris Arnold explained the test is a response to customer demand. "They'd bring in tortillas (some from nearby Chipotles) and ask if we could wrap the ShopHouse ingredients burrito-style," he said. "Our ShopHouse team taste-tested that hack and really liked it, so they decided to give it a try."
The chain isn't defining the new creation as a burrito, but instead is going with the "wrap" terminology (although, Arnold said ingredients are contained in the same flour tortillas used by Chipotle). He confirmed ShopHouse is testing wraps at its Dupont Circle restaurant in Washington DC, two locations in Chicago, and another in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Reached by phone, an Dupont Circle employee told Eater the restaurant has been testing the wraps "for about three weeks." The employee said they may be a permanent fixture on that particular restaurant's menu, and whether they expand to other locations will be determined by customer reception.
After a slow start, the buzz is gaining momentum: "A lot of people, returning customers, come in and they already know what they want, and they don't even look at the menu," the employee said. Now sales are increasing as more diners become aware of the wraps' existence.
With the Chipotle team working on a new burger concept called Tasty Made, this development at ShopHouse begs a question: Might the company one day dish out burritos with burger fillings? That may seem ridiculous, but it wouldn't be the first chain to experiment with the idea.