Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chipotle going local?

I was first introduced to Polyface Farms from its feature in the widely popular Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  Well, Polyface and Joel Salatin (owner) hit the news circuits again last week. Chipotle, a chain burrito bar has worked out a deal with Polyface to supply 100% of its Charlottesville, VA location pork.  Now, this is only a trial run, but...SWEET!

At the farmers market, I spoke to a few people who hadn't seen the announcement, so I thought I would pass it along to anyone who's interested:

If you have never heard of Polyface, you can check out their website, hear about them in an interview with Michael Pollan, or read the book Omnivore's Dilemma (great book, BTW!).


the t-dawg said...

Does FreeBirds not use local food?

Heather said...

Not that I know about but I know who to ask. We used to go there all the time and do still enjoy it , but we've been a little disappointed in it lately. It was bought out, I don't know, maybe a year ago and since then it's just not the same place it used to be. The best way I can explain that is that it doesn't have the same "alternative" feel and the "it's not normal" slogan seems to no longer apply. To me, it's becoming like all the other places: they changed the prices to not include tax (they are not making an extra .26 a day. Yeah for them!), they changed the menu, all the servers are more clean cut, and some of the people we enjoyed seeing there have been pushed out. Going corporate has not been a good thing for them, I think. But I can't blame the owner for wanting to cash out and retire. I'd have done it too. Have you noticed anything different up there?

the t-dawg said...

I don't go often enough to notice...perhaps just once a month to the one right by my office. The burritos taste pretty much the same, but I've never gotten to know or recognize any of the workers. The one change I did recognize was the switch from stamped cards to a credit card type deal that they swipe.

Heather said...

I agree, food is still really good. I think that in going corporate, we're starting to see some penny pinching, corp mentality that's eating away at atmosphere - going in the wrong direction.

In looking up info on Chipotle, I noticed that they used to be owned by McD's and now are not. Perhaps it was in moving in the opposite direction that opened them up to try something local, even though it's only one food product (pork) in one location.

Freebirds has such a history here. I'd like to see it keep some of the uniqueness. We'll just have to see.