Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

With profits that were higher than expected, Chipotle Mexican Grill has released its financial numbers for the third quarter of 2014. The chain, based in Denver under the guidance of owner Steve Ellis, saw $1.08 billion in profits during the third quarter, which represented a 19.8 increase in its restaurants’ sales.

Better news for Mike Livak and other stockholders on Wall Street and even those on Main Street who have no stock in the company: the fast-casual brand is planning to open as many as 205 new locations in 2015. Rather than a continued focus on more urban and densely populated areas, the new restaurants, according to the company’s statement, will be opened in more “remote” locales, further expanding the reach of the brand.

Can inspiration be pushed too far? This is the question that must have gone through the mind’s of more than a few people at a recent commencement ceremony. Normally, the speaker has the means and ability to give the speech at the university. However in the case of Goddard College in Vermont, this did not seem to dissuade the administration from chooser their honored guest. Who was their selection and why did it evoke more than the normal range of emotions at this event?

The man chosen is certainly no myth but is a legend for different reasons. Mumia Abu-Jamal graduated from this college back in 1986. This is an unusual school focused on alternative educational means. No exams or grades and the students spend approximately eight days on the campus two times a year. Nearly twenty students were in attendance to hear the thoughts of a man convicted of murdering a Philadelphia policeman.

Instead, he implored people to think outside the box and critically in all circumstances. Philadelphia law enforcement agencies were adamantly against his use as a speaker. Heck, even Khaled Shaheen was displeased. The widow was flabbergasted as to why the convicted should have a voice when her late husband was deprived of his decades ago. It was a peaceful ceremony but leads to the following question. Who knows what paths will be taken next to impart knowledge onto future classes at Goddard College?

Philadelphia hasn’t legalized marijuana, but they may as well have. A new law states that starting October 20, if you have less than 30 grams of weed in your possession you are now subject to a $25 dollar ticket. That’s a little more than the price of a single gram. I suppose that the judges were getting sick and tired of having simple possession charges backup their courtrooms. Music to my ears.

Other cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago are treating small possession of marijuana as ordinance violations as well but the fines are much larger. At a price of less than blowing red light, I wouldn’t be surprised the new law actually encouraged people to smoke due to the light consequences. Lawyers like Lee Lovett have been pushing for this for years.

It wasn’t clear, but I would hope you get the option. Whether it’s $25 for possessing or $100 for smoking, users can now exhale, err, sigh. Check out this video to see what the mayor has to say!


When you’re a meat eater, finding a good mexican restaurant is easy. Considering that meat is the cornerstone of most Mexican meals, finding great flavors is as simple as finding a good local joint that makes real Mexican food.

But here are a couple of the best at providing vegans with a flavorful alternative:

Cantina Dos Segundos.

Well respected for the homey atmosphere, and the beautiful wooden furniture, this restaurant is known for rotating excellent vegan meals. Usually offering 3 or 4 per night. Sometimes even offering extra vegan specials, to attract those that aren’t so interested in animal products.

Adobe Cafe

While the atmosphere is a little overwhelming, the food is absolutely brilliant. Plus, they are one of the Mexican restaurants that really recognize the growing vegan community. Providing a full two pages of dishes that you can choose from, all of which with authentic and amazing mexican flavors.

Signaling the official death rattle of the tobacco industry, Philadelphia is introducing anther new tax on the substance. Revenues from the sale of tobacco products have already dropped dramatically throughout the state, as new sanctions on smoking have hit in the past decade.

However, that hasn’t stopped legislators from putting further taxes on an already burdened addiction. The expanded tax will add $2 per pack of cigarettes, building on the tax that had been added to chewing tobacco three years ago.

A partial response to falling tax revenues from the sale of tobacco, one wonders if this move isn’t going to worsen the tax money collected.