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Chipotle Is Bringing Back This Wildly Popular Menu Item

The Mexican chain is finally bringing back this menu item after the chain repeatedly sold out of it half a year ago.
Chipotle restaurant

This menu item, which was Chipotle's fastest-selling new protein launch in history, is finally reappearing on menus after being M.I.A for over half a year. Fans of the fast-casual Mexican chain will be delighted to hear that carne asada is back on the menu starting Tuesday, September 22. (Unlike these 7 Things You'll Never See at Chipotle Again.)

Chipotle's carne asada, which is juicier and more tender than the regular steak option (and 50 cents pricier), appeared on the chain's menu in September 2019. The chain originally said it would be a limited-time menu item, but it was so successful that in November, the fast-casual chain extended its run until February 2020 with murmurs of it potentially becoming a permanent menu item.

After repeatedly selling out at chains across the country, carne asada was finally pulled from the menu in February. Fans were shocked to hear the news, but Chipotle had a good reason for removing the wildly popular menu item: sustainability.

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Chipotle has some of the highest-quality sustainability standards in the fast-food industry. Known as their "Food with Integrity standards," Chipotle is committed to sourcing responsibly raised beef with no antibiotics or added hormones. The chain also has high animal welfare standards and "make an extra effort to partner with farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers whose practices emphasize quality and responsibility in sustainable farming," according to a November 2019 press release.

It was these high standards that forced carne asada off the menu. Chipotle was limited to sourcing the meat only from suppliers that met their requirements, which is why the menu item repeatedly sold out.

After undergoing "an extensive vetting process to find more suppliers that meet our stringent Food with Integrity standards," Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer, said that finally, carne asada earned a spot on the chain's menu again.

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According to the fast-casual chain, only 5 percent of U.S. beef meets Chipotle's strict sourcing standards, which means it comes from animals given no antibiotics or added hormones and that are raised responsibly. Chipotle took on a year-long mission to grow its carne asada supply chain by partnering with new farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers whose practices emphasize quality and responsibility.

Unfortunately, some of us are going to have to wait a bit longer to reorder the famous menu item. Chipotle's Rewards members are getting exclusive access to Carne Asada on September 22 and September 23 via the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com.

After that, from September 24 through September 27, the premium protein will be available as a digital-only menu item on the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com.

Finally, on September 28, you can order the tender beef in restaurants and through third-party delivery services.

You better act fast—despite its popularity, carne asada still hasn't earned a spot as a permanent menu item. Chipotle says it will only be available for a limited time (but hasn't revealed the limit yet). While you wait for your chance to order carne asada, why don't you busy yourself with Chipotle's Famous Guacamole Recipe?

Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more