It all started about 6 months ago. It was a sunny Seattle afternoon and I was sitting at…well, I have no clue what the weather was like nor where I was sitting at the time, but I do remember a friend leaning across the table and saying these 6 magical words,
“They are opening a Chipotle Downtown.” (Thank you Donna!)
Now, I have no clue who “they” are, but who cares. My eyes lit up at the mere mention of a Chipotle downtown. After what I am sure was just a few more drinks, I headed home and immediately googled “Seattle Chipotle”. There it was, staring me in the face like a doe-eyed college boy , “Chipotle at 3rd & Pike, coming soon!”
Over the next weeks I walked by the corner of 3rd & Pike on numerous occasions; rubbing my eyes each time I saw the “Coming Soon” signs in the windows to ensure I wasn’t dreaming. Sometime in August, a sign appeared saying it would be opening in December 2009. Hooray! The countdown started.
I will admit that as the fall months pressed on and I got engrossed in Hokie Football and other activities the idea of the new Chipotle mere blocks from my apartment got pushed to the back burner, yet was still on my mind. My enthusiasm was renewed on Black Friday when I met my sister to do a little downtown shopping. I believe I squealed like a school girl when we walked past 3rd & Pike and saw the paper off the windows and signs saying “Grand Opening Friday Dec 4th”. I paused for a moment to peer through the windows, and mark my mental calendar. My sister laughed a bit when I promptly stated that we were eating there on the 4th.
The following Monday as I sat on my couch working from home, I took a break to check facebook (because that is what you do when you work from home!) and saw the best posting of the day! Chipotle, which I am obviously a fan of on facebook posted a flyer saying, “The Burrito Has Landed“, announcing the Grand Opening in downtown Seattle. On the flyer it said the store would be opening at 11:00 AM and that the first 100 people to purchase a burrito would not only receive a coupon for a free burrito on their next visit but also a free t-shirt. Yes folks, a FREE Chipotle T-Shirt!! I smiled with Glee and possibly did a little dance of celebration. I hit the “share” button so fast I think I sprained a muscle in my thumb, and I asked who was up for 11AM lunch at Chipotle on Friday. I was so proud when Eric (the bro-in-law) responded that he was up for it less than 1 minute later, and then a few other friends expressed interest to join in as well. I have looked at the flyer so many times I made a joke that I was going to back it my desktop background until Friday! (which I may or may not have done, I plea the 5th on that one).
Elizabeth (the sister) and I both bought boots on black Friday which we subsequently both decided to return, so we decided to meet on 1st & Pike tonight to head to Nordstroms for returns. We walked a mere two blocks when I stopped dead in my tracks and stared in amazement. Elizabeth claims I stared while drooling for 5 minutes, but it was probably more like 5 seconds. My reason for the stop & stare? People, lots of people, sitting inside the brand new Chipotle and eating!! I glanced up to read the giant sign “Grand Opening Friday Dec 4th”, then I recall it’s only Wednesday Dec 2nd! I did a little hop and immediately suggest to Elizabeth that I have not eaten dinner and we should head inside and eat Chipotle because it was obviously open. Elizabeth didn’t seem thrilled; which shocked me; made a comment that it was probably a private invite-only party and that Eric was going to make her dinner (which I found out later was only in her imagination). I tried to resist the urge to rush the door which looked to be monitored by a Chipotle employee and woefully walked away to go return my boots. The entire 10 minutes we were inside Nordstrom I gushed about how Chipotle was open and that we should call Eric to have him meet us there for dinner. Elizabeth started to come around, and after a phone call, Eric agreed to meet us there after he was done at the gym, so we headed out to at least check if it was open or really a private party. The thought crossed my mind that if it was a private party, why wasn’t I invited? Doesn’t Chipotle know how much I love them?!? Where was my VIP invitation?!?!
We walked up to the door and as Elizabeth hesitated, I stormed in, asking the nice employee if they were open? She said, it was a “mock” dinner and that they were paying. This my folks is when my heart skipped a beat!! I nearly jumped right out of my Uggs at the idea of a non-advertised mock dinner at a not- really-open-yet Chipotle completely for FREE!!
*Sidenote: it is a very good thing that I did NOT physically jump out of my Uggs because they are old and smell something fierce and could have cleared an entire city block. Mom – I would like a new pair for Christmas. Kid’s size 2 (or Women’s 5), chestnut, medium height. Just in case you’re reading.
We got in line and I started to happily chit chat with the employee. The pure joy radiating off of me nearly caused me to break out in a jig. Elizabeth laughed at how excited I was, trying to remind me, it was “just Chipotle”, but I know she was excited too because of the giant smile plastered across her face. It was 7:10 PM and the nice employee, named Lucy, said the FREE dinner was ending at 7:30. We called Eric to tell him to hurry up and get there, but he passed on the opportunity, instead opting to stay at the gym. Elizabeth nearly threw the phone in my face in disgust when he said no. Oh well, his loss!
I continued to chat it up with Lucy, the friendly Chipotle employee, while we stood in line for our free dinner. I mentioned that we went to the Chipotle in Northgate so often that the manager recognized us, that I saw the flyer on facebook (which even she didn’t know about) and that I had already planned to be there at 10AM Friday just in case there was a line for the GRAND Opening at 11AM. She laughed with slight concern of my obcession, but recognized my love for the burrito gods and asked if I was an MBA? I looked confused, wondering how the conversation about my unadulteration lust for burritos and bols of goodness turned to my collegiate accomplishments. She was shocked at my perplexed look and told me about the Master Burrito Ambassador program. She told me she would be working Friday and to find her when I arrived for lunch and she would get me signed up. Upon hearing this, not only did my heart skip a beat, but it did a full on somersualt! I leaned towards Elizabeth to inform her of my hiked up heart rate, she rolled her eyes and laughed.
Read it and weep folks. I have been tapped to be an Master Burrito Ambassador!! (I did a little research when I got home and determined this is not a position they give away very often). I am soooooo excited for my new found calling in life, the free perks, t-shirt, etc. Dude, I am going to live this up! Don’t worry Chipotle, I will do you proud and I will promote you to every single person I meet, which is exactly what I have been doing for years.
We finally got to order and the employees behind the counter were so happy that they finally had customers who knew how to order. I guess Chipotle really is a secret in the NW. The guys making our food let the secret out that they were doing another mock dinner on Thursday from 5-7:30 PM and invited us to come back. We didn’t hear them tell anyone else. The VIP treament was beginning already. I continued to expressed my love for all things Chipotle as I walked my way through line, and then grabbed my bag containing my free burrito, free chips, and free guacomole. I then walked to the drink machine to fill up my free cup with my free Mr. Pibb. The manager stepped over to Elizabeth to hand her a lfyer letting her know about the new Chipotle iPhone App (1 more glorious reason to get the iphone I’ve been wanting).
As we walked back to E & E’s apartment to partake in our free Chipotle goodness, I joyously told a homeless man begging for money about the Free food! It was my good deed for the day.
Even Eric was able to partake in the goodness by finishing off my burrito and Elizabeth’s bol as seen here.
Tonight was glorious. It made my entire day..heck, I think it made my week! Needless to say I plan to be there tomorrow night for more free Chipotle, and of course Friday morning to get my t-shirt and my MBA! I’ll also be skipping lunch and hitting up the gym a ton to offset my Chipotle binge.
Have I mentioned??…I “heart” Chipotle!