Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chipotle or Potbelly?

I don't always make my own food and bring a lunch to work. Of course, that would be ideal, but I enjoy getting something else for lunch once in a while. The cafeteria at work is severely lacking in vegetarian and healthy options (which is weird considering that many researchers employed here are international). Fast food is never a good choice but a few restaurants do provide healthy-ish options.

I'm trying to decide where to get lunch today...Potbelly or Chipotle. As my roommates from college would attest to, these are my two absolute favorite fast food restaurants. They also provide (and definitely advertise) seemingly healthy options. Both websites contain nutrition calculators so I decided to input what I normally get:

Potbelly: Tuna Salad on thin-cut wheat bread with no cheese and lots of veggies and hot peppers (I like it hot!). Total calories at 431 with 18 g of fat and 26 g of protein. Not bad at all. Except, this sandwich is not vegan and contains some mayo in the tuna salad. However, its not extremely mayonnaisy like at Subway.

Chipotle: Salad with brown rice, black beans, salsa, and guacamole. Total calories at 760!!! WTF! And all this time I thought I was eating healthy. Apparently the vinaigrette (which is pretty amazing) is 260 calories and 24.5 g of fat! So, without the vinaigrette, the total calories and fat are 500 and 19 g, which makes it comparable to Potbelly. I always ask for more black beans and less brown rice so the protein count is probably more like 20 g. I think that this meal is vegan but I could be wrong.

So Potbelly or Chipotle? Potbelly is better in terms of calories, fat, sodium, protein, and even carbs. However, Chipotle is vegan and has more veggies (and thus more vitamins). Therefore, I'm pretty much still undecided. Both options are healthy in terms of fast food, but by no means perfect.

What should I have for lunch today? (Answer in comments)


  1. the chipotle calorie counter always totally destroys my chipotle buzz. it's always such a bummer/slap in the face/reality check.

    1. I know. I don't even want to know what happens when you add a tortilla.


What do you think?