Chipotle has spent years developing its newest protein option, called Sofritas. The tofu-based product, which will join barbacoa, chicken, steak, and carnitas as filling options, will be the company’s first major rollout in a long time and makes the whole approach a little more vegetarian-friendly. It was tested out in Northern California and expanded out to the entire state in June, but vegetarians (and curious carnivores) will have to wait just a little bit longer to try it elsewhere in the country. Unless you snag VIP tickets to concerts at Central Park’s Summerstage, that is.
All summer, Chipotle has been pitching a "VIP for the People" tent at Summerstage, Central Park’s outdoor concert venue. Twenty lucky attendees who register through their website are selected to enjoy the show from the comfort of a tent that provides ample seating, wine, beer, margaritas, and tacos, filled with either carnitas or Sofritas. It’s currently the only place to try this newest menu item in the city, and we were able to sample some.
This meat-free option more closely resembles a ragù than anything else, with small chunks of extra-firm tofu in a sauce that’s made with the same ingredients as the marinade for their chicken and steak, so it’ll be a familiar flavor for many. The tofu absorbs a lot of the sauce, and that "textured soy protein" flavor is nowhere to be found. It’s quite delicious, actually. The only issue we noticed is that it’s also very runny, and sogged up the taco it came on.
So why hasn’t it been rolled out nationally yet? It’s more an issue of sourcing than anything else. A Chipotle rep told us that the non-GMO soybeans that they use aren’t available in an unlimited quantity, so the supply chain needs to be bulked up before it can make its way to a Chipotle near you. That said, a national rollout is in the works, and the next city to try it out will be Boston, the rep confirmed, adding that the amount of Chipotle consumed in New York dwarfs that of Boston, so they won’t need to worry about demand for the product depleting the supply.