Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Chipotle in the Lehigh Valley

Next year, I will celebrate my sixth year as a Lehigh Valley resident. There are so many things I appreciate about my new home. And a lot has changed in these six years. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Coach, and Banana Republic arrived. But there are still a few things that I miss about Washington, DC.

Trader Joe's is one. Chipotle is another.

The wait is over for one of them. Chipotle is coming.

Yes, I love Cali Burrito. Lots. But Chipotle has some sort of weird hold on me. White Castle lovers say they feel something similar for the chain's sliders. Maybe it's because when I was newly-graduated and living on a really limited budget, a Chipotle burrito could feed me for two days for $10. Or that the one in Tenleytown had a liquor license. (I doubt the Lehigh Valley Mall location will.) I'd wait in line for 20 minutes to get one. On Halloween, people dress up like burritos to get a free one. Music playing inside is hip and the vibe is chill. Food memories are silly but powerful.

In the absence of our favorites, we muddle through, find substitutes or make them ourselves.

Now that Corner Bakery's closed its Lehigh Valley location, I miss their ham and cheese sandwich on pretzel bread - an indulgence I allowed myself when things got stressful at my fundraising job on K Street. But now I can buy pretzel bread at Wegman's, or order up the ham and bechamel on brioche sandwich at The Mint.

What stores or restaurants is the Lehigh Valley missing, in your opinion? And what do you do to get by?


  1. Cool! It's coming! LOL.. dressing up like a burrito on Halloween, to get a burrito! Classic.

  2. I gasped aloud when I saw this! When I visit friends in Rochester, Chipotle is always the first stop.

    I miss Trader Joe's also, although I'd trade a city with a good Wegmans and no TJ's for the opposite just about any day. Restaurants are easy for me to do without because I love to cook, but as for shopping, I'd looove an Anthropologie (though maybe it's for the best that I can't spend all my money there anymore!)

  3. I'm with you on the Trader Joe's fight! I asked the last time I was shopping there and they said they're scheduled to add some crazy number (possibly 3 to 5 hundred) of stores nationally. Hopefully we'll be one of them!

  4. I have been campaigning for a Chipotle in the Lehigh Valley since I moved back after 4 yrs at college in NYC. I just saw the sign at the mall today and started dancing through the parking lot! Best News Ever!!

    A Trader Joe's would be great too! Did you know that there is a TJ warehouse here? So the food is here, they just won't sell it to us!

  5. I wish the Lehigh Valley had a PF Changs.

  6. Need a California Pizza Kitchen.

  7. Anonymous4/12/2012

    I'm glad to see that the LV is finally getting a Chipotle, but disappointed that it's going to be in one of the most inconvienient locations to get to in the area...especially with the upcoming reconstruction of the 22/145 interchange. "My" idea was to demolish the former Dempsey's at the Westgate Mall and put it there. Plenty of office/hospital workers and college students in the surrounding area to give it business. It would also remove an eyesore and improve traffic at that dying mall.