Mexicue and the future of fast food

LogoChipolte came on quick and scaled before our very eyes.  In Los Angeles we had lunch at Tender Greens. Recently I read about a pizza place where you can choose your own mixtures to put on the pizza and then they put it the super hot oven and bring it to your table.  I can't recall the name but the second I read about it I remember thinking "brilliant".  So what is the future of fast food? 

I believe the next generation of fast foods is called fast casual restaurants.  They will have good food that is healthy, well prepared, and relatively inexpensive and quick.  I particularly like the restaurants where the consumer gets options.  That is true at Chipolte, Tender Greens and the pizza place in Los Angeles. 

I recently met with the people behind Mexicue.  Mexicue began as a truck but as it has become increasingly more difficult to have a truck in NYC, they opened up two store fronts.  We went to the one on 7th Avenue between 29/30th.  Mexican oriented by with a slant towards BBQ from the South.  The food was quite good.

Nice grapefruit soda from Mexico, Jarritos.

Blistered creamy corn.  Chipolte chili powder, cream and pickled onion. 

Green chili mac & cheese.  3 cheeses, cilantro and their green salsa.  Nice spice.

Nice crispy chips with a green salsa on the side.

BBQ Bean and Rice. Smokey BBQ beans, lime paprika rice, crispy greens with just a sprinkle of cheese, thin strips of tortilla chips and spicy red cabbage with house pickled haberneros. 

Pulled pork sliders with tortillas and an avocado spread

Soft tortilla stuffed with smoked short ribs and memphis mole.  Mini burrito

They have salads, rice bowls and a few other options.  At one point I hope they change things around so you can choose what you want in each dish.  You could walk away with a salad with a few choices that isn't so heavy or opt for a rice bowl as your base of even a tortilla. 

The food is made at one location and distributed through out their locations for consistency.  Really interesting concept and I liked the food.  I hope that we see more and more of these innovative ideas that will disrupt the fast food arena of McDonalds, Arbees and Dominos. Look for one coming to you soon. 


Comments (Archived):

  1. AMT Editorial Staff

    We are big fans of Tender Greens. Pay a little more for A LOT more. Never hurts to be able enjoy a nice glass of wine too….

    1. Gotham Gal

      walked by there today on the way to the garden. looks nice…and fresh!

  2. Guest

    Funny you posted this today.  I ate w/ all of my siblings last night at a place called Smash Burger and we were impressed.  We thought the same thing in regards to where fast food is going… and we all like it!  

  3. ttenneson

    What I hope for is just what I see here…. more vegetables!

    1. Gotham Gal

      less protein, more vegetables. hopefully the future.

      1. Max F.

        and then we can all be short… 

  4. awaldstein

    This change towards healthy in society and restaurants is something that doesn’t get enough play.In wine, I’m all over this in my blog but with food and nutrition generally this is still not a talked about direction. If you have any recommendations for blogs that address the general trend in understanding nutrition I’m interested.

  5. pixiedust8

    Tender Greens sounds interesting. I think a friend told me about Mexicue, but I’m not sure if there’s a branch in Queens (which is the restaurant he was telling me about). Anyway, I want to try both, if they are different! BTW, Jarritos is one of the few sodas that still actually uses sugar, as opposed to high-fructose corn syrup.

  6. Ryan Drew

    “I hope that we see more and more of these innovative ideas that will disrupt the fast food arena of McDonalds, Arbees and Dominos”Amen. This is the direction in which fast food needs to move.It was depressing watching the Kentucky Derby and repeatedly seeing the Yum commercial about KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell proliferation in developing countries. Unhealthy food options are getting jammed down their throats (pun intended).

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is honestly disgusting to see those fast food commercials and what’s on the menu.

      1. Ryan Drew

        If I was a Mexicue, or other small (independent) fast food purveyor, I’d get with the HowGood guys and work to get their ratings affixed to my dining options.Behavior directly opposed to the workings of the King, the Clown, and the Colonel.

  7. rebeccastees

    Panera Bread is making a big effort this year to grow their own organic food.

    1. Gotham Gal

      they are and they do a great job.

  8. jen w.

    I think you are thinking of 800 Degress in LA.  It is in Westwood and it is a very well-run place.  There is always a line, but it moves quickly, and by the time you get your pizza there is a place to sit.  I will say as a New Yorker that the pizza crust and sauce is not as good as most places in NYC but for LA it is really quite good and it is an excellent concept, particularly in Westwood where actual adults occasionally like to have meals not just fast food.  

    1. Gotham Gal

      yes. that is the place. i really want to check it out when I get back to LA.thanks!