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Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Burrito (2012)
Chipotle Mexican Grill
2140 California Ave., Sand City, 899-1096
500 Del Monte Center, Monterey, 641-9353
When attention to detail and ingredients of this caliber appear not on a white tablecloth but in a foil-wrapped burrito, it’s worth waiting in line. As a dedicated, even fanatical following has figured out, food this good in portions this big for prices this fair ($6.10-$6.50 a burrito) is a rare find. This is fast food done by people who know food. Not only does Chipotle send buyers to visit farms across the world – from lettuce fields in Salinas to chicken houses in Appalachia to avocado groves in Mexico – but they’re training employees how to cook instead of how to push buttons and open cans. Fresh ingredients prepared according to a menu based on customization further means everyone, kids and vegetarians included, can eat well.