The Nosh

Chipotle A beacon of light and healthy eating has risen from the murky depths of grease and cholesterol that is University Way. Chipotle, a new Mexican restaurant, part of a chain sweeping the Northwest, offers debt-ridden college students the unimaginable: a justification for dining in style. Not only will the average customer walk away with several dinners' worth of leftovers for under $6, the ingredients in each bulging entrée are guaranteed to be fresh. Diners customize their orders, then watch and drool as chefs prepare the food, stuffing burritos, tacos, or bols (burritos without the tortilla) full of glistening cilantro rice infused with soy oil or caramelized peppers and onions charred to an artful perfection or robust, spicy chunks of steak marinated in adobo. For organic lovers, the mildly spicy carnitas are made from free-range Niman Ranch pork and taste exceptionally rich topped with roasted corn chili in a bol for $5.65. And by far the best deal at Chipotle is the enormous burrito, which tastes good stuffed with just about anything. Temptation to scarf restrained, the burrito will last upward of two nights. The restaurant itself is a palette of unfinished metal, birch-veneer wood, and gigantic windows, providing students with an inexpensive yet classy joint to bring a date. Most important, the food is fresh and light, guaranteeing an honest-to-goodness healthy meal—something rare and wonderful in the University District. EMILY PAGE 4231 University Way N.E., 206-547-4644. UNIVERSITY DISTRICT

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