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July 27, 2017

Could Chipotle be getting a drive-thru and queso too?

Forget everything about the Chipotle Mexican Grill you once knew. Well, maybe.

The Colorado-based fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in tacos and burritos is testing out a "vehicular pickup window" at at least one store and queso at hundreds of restaurants throughout the U.S. in August with a possible nationwide rollout in September, according to multiple reports.

Executives said during an investor call on Tuesday that the company would be testing the drive-thru at a location in Ohio this fall, Business Insider first reported this week

"We need to evolve the Chipotle experience," Chief Marketing Officer Mark Crumpacker said on the call, according to the news site. 

Looks like many requests on social media have been answered, though it's not clear what the success of the Ohio location's drive-thru will mean for other stores in the coming months. 

A bit earlier this July, Chipotle announced that it's testing out a queso recipe at a public-facing test kitchen in New York City's Greenwich Village, with plans to bring the melted cheese dish to more than 350 restaurants in California and Colorado on Aug. 1. If all goes well, Philadelphians could add queso to their burrito bowls as soon as September.

Curious as to what it tastes like? Food blogger Lisa Fain told The Washington Post that the texture was a "little grainy" but that the "spice is nice."

"We’ve been really pleased with the response to queso in the initial test at our NEXT Kitchen in New York and want to see how it will do in a couple of markets," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Thrillist. "Since beginning the test in New York, we have believed that the queso test was something that we could expand quickly, from an operational perspective, if we opted to do so." 

The fast-casual restaurant chain is bouncing back after multiple outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus in 2015 in a handful of states, including Pennsylvania