Chipotle is best known for its (occasionally E. coli-stricken) burritos, but the fast-casual pioneer has also made forays into other cuisines: In addition to assembly-line Italian concept Pizzeria Locale and the erstwhile pan-Asian spinoff ShopHouse, there’s also Tasty Made, the company’s first stab at a fast-food burger joint.
The first — and so far, only — Tasty Made location opened in Lancaster, Ohio in October 2016. Chipotle’s attempt at burgers, fries, and milkshakes was initially met with a resounding “meh” from diners, who complained of undercooked burgers, sad fries, and meagerly-portioned shakes at prices that were too high. The restaurant responded by nixing its “responsibly raised” beef in order to lower prices, but it seems Tasty Made still wasn’t living up to expectations. In September 2017, the company brought in the big guns: Chef Richard Blais was named a partner and tasked with revamping the menu.
Tasty Made rolled out its new and supposedly improved food in early December. Along with Blais’s new burgers, fries, and shakes, there are a few new additions such as a self-service “fry bar” where customers can load up on four different housemade dipping sauces including curry mustard and smoked barbecue.
Food & Wine hit up Tasty Made to scope out the new menu and came away mostly impressed, declaring the fries “some of the best you could ever ask for at a fast-food restaurant.” A chocolate shake was dubbed “superbly creamy, long on flavor and blessedly short on iciness and gratuitous sugars.” The burger, however, was deemed less noteworthy — an admittedly “delicious piece of meat” obscured by “so many cheap and unnecessary condiments.”
But when it comes to fast food, what really matters is the opinion of the general public — and reviews posted to social media in the wake of Tasty Made’s new menu unveiling have been overwhelmingly positive. Here’s a sampling of what people are saying about the food now:
Yelper Elizabeth B. is a fan of the new menu, particularly the new Extra Tasty fries (think In-N-Out Animal-style fries):
Excellent Burgers and Fries! If you haven’t had a chance to stop in since the relaunch I would highly reccomend it. I loved the new sauce bar and extra tasty fries with cheese, onions, and burger sauce! We had a black forest shake with chocolate cake and cherries which was also really great.
A Facebook fan thinks the new burgers are “a huge improvement”:
Yelp reviewer Susan C. thinks the new menu is solid across the board:
So fresh and yummy!! Love the new price point and the amazing new sauces!!! The fries were hot and amazing and the cheeseburgers were so good with the new Tasty-made sauce
One Twitter user who calls himself Tasty Made’s “former biggest critic” devotes multiple tweets to praising the menu revamp:
Hey @tastymade it’s me, your former biggest critic. 404 days ago i went to your establishment on the grand opening. I left HIGHLY disappointed. 362 days ago I went back with the hope+dream of improvement. Still horrible. I vowed to never come back again. Then I got word you guys— Joey Gaal (@Joey_Gaal) December 5, 2017
Brought over top chef @RichardBlais to reconstruct the menu+better prepare the food. Yesterday was the 1st day of his updates so accordingly I came back. Could not have left more pleased and proud to have tasty made in Lancaster. One of the hardest thing for any— Joey Gaal (@Joey_Gaal) December 5, 2017
Person/business is to put your ego/stubbornness to the side,take an honest look in the mirror,realize you have to change and then carry out and fulfill that https://t.co/eMJKcvjArP guys did just that.Can’t commend+respect u enough for doing so.We can all learn from what y’all did— Joey Gaal (@Joey_Gaal) December 5, 2017
Yelp reviewer Steve F. summed it up:
Much improved with this week’s menu upgrade. Looks like Tasty Made might have a chance to make it.
A second Tasty Made was slated to land in Pickerington, Ohio in early 2017, but those plans were seemingly scrapped. Now that Chipotle’s burger concept seems to have figured out its food, will more locations follow? The company is staying quiet for now: Reached for comment via email, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold says Tasty Made currently has no expansion plans to share, noting that its current priority is “getting the food really dialed in.”