Obama’s Chipotle Etiquette is Actually Pretty Amazing
There’s nothing I love more in this world than Mexican food, which is half the reason I moved back to the West Coast in the fall. Though it’s a big chain, Chipotle definitely fits the bill for me. I love Chipotle so much, I’ve Instagrammed dozens of photos of my meals, encouraged friends to go out and eat Chipotle due to my countless tweets about it, dreamed of its hot sauce and sour cream and even gone to the restaurant multiple times in a week. I’m, to say the least, a loyal customer, so when I read that Obama was criticized for apparent overeagerness at Chipotle, I felt for the guy. Anyone who adores the fast food joint like we do understands it’s impossible to contain one’s excitement as the burritos and burrito bowls are being prepared.
During a visit on Monday to Chipotle’s in D.C., the president raised eyebrows for reaching over the protective glass that separates customers from employees:
The image, which White House photographer Pete Souza tweeted out earlier this week, outraged the Twitterverse. Washington Examiner editor Justin Green jokingly* responded, “I think we can all agree that Obama reaching over the glass at Chipotle is grounds for impeachment, if not exile.” Another Twitter user seemed a tad more irked by the aggressive move on our commander-in-chief’s part, “Pres. Obama reached over the sneeze guard like he absolutely couldn’t afford any mistakes for what he wanted on his burrito.”
Anyone who has ever been to Chipotle knows how stingy the workers can be with their offerings. It’s not their fault, they just have to be careful not to over-serve. When it’s busy, employees are often in a hurry and even grab the wrong things for burritos and bowls, and if you’re a Chipotle control freak as I am, you don’t want any lettuce or loose pieces of shredded pork to end up in your meal. Sometimes you find yourself pointing or giving specific directions because there’s no other way to get exactly what you want out of your order. There’s an entire article on Business Insider about receiving larger portions at Chipotle, and almost all of the tips entail asking the worker for extra portions. That piece has more than a million views, not just because people adore Chipotle, but because they hope to get as much as possible out of their dining experience, and that’s what Obama did on Monday.
As pointed out by New York magazine, Romney didn’t overstep his boundaries during his own famous Chipotle trip in 2012, but I admire any guy who is so stoked to be at Chipotle, he simply can’t hide his enthusiasm. Does Romney look happy to be here? Not happy enough, and certainly not “hands on”:
The glass is there to keep our food safe, but Obama seems like a pretty clean fellow to me. He merely loves Chipotle like so many of us do. He’s just the only one brave enough to be assertive about it. He’s also president, and though one could argue he doesn’t deserve special treatment, I think we can make an exception this one time. Chipotle addicts get it.