Photo: Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle fans who've come to love the chain's whole "fast-food made fresh" approach will soon be able to satisfy their on-the-go cravings with more than just burritos. May we introduce ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen.
As Slashfood reported last year, the restaurant world has been abuzz with rumors about what Chiptole founder Steve Ells was going to tackle next. News leaked out that Ells was thinking of going Asian -- but that was pretty much all anyone knew.
Now Nation's Restaurant News offers up the inside scoop on the new concept. And, basically, it seems like it's more or less Chipotle -- but serving up noodles and rice instead of rice and beans. Customers will move along the line customizing their meals, and execs confirmed that the pricing would be about the same.
The first outpost is slated to open this summer in Washington, D.C.
No doubt the company will have to do some advertising just to familiarize Americans with the term "shophouse," which sounds all-too-similar to the American (but seemingly antithetical) "chophouse." Shophouses in southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are typically mom-and-pop-style operations where the family lives upstairs and runs the restaurant downstairs.
"Anyone who has ever traveled throughout Southeast Asia can tell you that the food there is served very fast-it's also full of flavor, nutritious and affordable," Ells said in a statement. "This cuisine gives us a great opportunity to prove the idea that the Chipotle model can work with other cuisines."