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Chipotle to Test Vegetarian 'Sofritas' in Bay Area

The company will test the product in seven locations in the Bay Area.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will test a new vegetarian menu item called “Sofritas” in seven Bay Area restaurants beginning Feb. 12.

Sofritas are made with shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices.

Chipotle expects Sofritas to appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers, as well as those who are looking for an exciting new taste, the company said in a statement.

Chipotle opened a new location in Los Gatos 640 Blossom Hill Rd.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO, said in the statement. “Sofritas is a very different menu item not just for Chipotle, but for any fast food or fast causal restaurant. It was really conceived with vegetarians and vegans in mind, but it’s so delicious that we believe it will have a broad appeal on taste alone.”

Sofritas will be available at Chipotle restaurants located at 525 Market in San Francisco; 121 Fourth St. in San Francisco; 126 New Montgomery in San Francisco; 2019 Chess Drive in San Mateo; 251 East 3rd Ave. in San Mateo; 180 El Camino Real in Palo Alto; and 135 El Camino Real in Millbrae.

Chipotle’s tofu supplier, Hodo Soy, is already well known in the Bay Area for its organic, non-GMO tofu and artisanal methods of production, according to the company.

Sofritas will be available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads and can be combined with other signature ingredients, including white or brown cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans or vegetarian black beans, house-made salsas and guacamole, and cheese or sour cream.

Chipotle tested another vegetarian menu item, Garden Blend, but was never fully satisfied with it and instead began developing Sofritas. Depending on results in the Bay Area, Chipotle may look to expand the test to other markets in the coming months.

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