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May 11, 2010

Baja Fresh - New "Guest Choice" Prototype

Baja Fresh
My local Baja Fresh shuttered a while ago and left me bereft of any of their delicious made-to-order churros. However, it recently re-opened with a new look dubbed the "Guest Choice" prototype.  I happened to get a look on opening day and took some pictures. You can see that they're still training new employees and whatnot.

If I were to describe the new look, I'd say it feels a lot warmer with lots of wood incorporated and more earth tones as opposed to the sterile white, clean, hospitalish scheme they had going on before. The sis said it feels more Mexican.
Baja Fresh
It looks like margaritas will eventually be served so you can get your afternoon or lunchtime drink on before heading back to the office.  They bring your food to your table at the prototype instead of having to wait at the counter for dining-in.

The menu differs a bit from your vanilla Baja Fresh. It's simpler and more Chipotle-like where you choose a meat and then a preparation (tacos, burritos, salad, or fajita) but they still don't make it right in front of you in Chipotle fashion. It's also more expensive than Chipotle ($6.59 for chicken at Baja Fresh compared to $5.70 at Chipotle) but I guess you get free chips at Baja Fresh whereas it costs 90 cents at Chipotle.
Baja Fresh
Another Chipotle-like touch is the focus on all-natural meats. Unlike Chipotle, Baja Fresh has fish and shrimp options and for those who just can't decide what they want, there's the Ultimo Fajita, which includes shrimp, steak, and chicken for $9.99.
Baja Fresh Guacamole & Chips
A sticking point is the removal of dessert from the prototype menu which means no fresh-fried, double-twisted churros for me!   Noooooooooo!  Left with no churros to order and not hungry enough for a meal, I ordered an 8-ounce Guacamole & Chips for $3.59 (they didn't have the smaller, cheaper 3-ounce guacamole).

The Guacamole was pretty fresh with lots of avocado and the chips were thin and crispy.  It was pretty good but I really wanted a churro.
Baja Fresh Pineapple Salsa
The "Guest Choice" Baja Fresh also had six types of fresh salsa with a "salsa of the month" on rotation.  This month, they have a pineapple salsa which is a very spicy blend of fresh diced pineapple, onions, cilantro, and green chilies of some type.  It was a welcome alternative from your typical salsa; a blend sweet, tart, and spicy.

Baja Fresh Restaurant Locator


Nutritional Info - 8-ounce Guacamole (227g)
Calories - 310 (from Fat - 290)
Fat - 35g (Saturated Fat - 3g)
Sodium - 710mg
Carbs - 14g
Protein - 6g


Nutritional Info - 5-ounce Chips (142g)
Calories - 740 (from Fat - 300)
Fat - 34g (Saturated Fat - 3.5g)
Sodium - 170mg
Carbs - 90g
Protein - 10g


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