I am not sure how they will do here. I tried it once in the Denver area and it was OK, nothing to write home about.
Ben, I don't agree with your cactus in a bed of roses analogy ;) Many botanists believe cacti probably evolved from a rose type plant. Also, most cacti have incredibly beautiful blooms- check out the Queen of the Night, Claret Cup, Easter Lily Cactus, etc. :) :)
On the surface it seems weird that Chipotle would open up in Albuquerque since the town already has an abundance of mexican food restaurants. But Chipotle's food is more baja style, i.e., corn, black beans, and whole pinto beans instead of refried. Also, their burritos aren't smothered in green/red chile and melted cheese. I love New Mexican style food, but Chipotle, like Bumblebee's did, will offer a slightly different alternative.
All in all I think Chipotle is decent, not awful but not great either.
I agree, Chipotle is a totally different style of burrito than what you can get locally. Ever since I moved here from San Francisco area, I've been bemoaning the loss of my beloved mission style burrito. Nothing here is similar. Plenty that's good, sure, but completely different.
To me, mission/baja style is all about black beans, whole beans, cilantro-lime rice, fresh bright flavors, a certain lightness (no smothering), and -- most importantly -- deeply flavored char-grilled chicken. For some reason, 95% of the chicken burritos I've had around here seem to essentially contain unseasoned wet, poached chicken. Not terribly appealing to me. (Taco Cabana is the notable exception. Their chicken is decent, for sure, but the overall burrito still doesn't match the mission burrito experience). Maybe it's just that the focus is more on other meats in New Mexican cuisine.
Either way, Chipotle is a welcome alternative for me. Incidentally, it's a great place to take little kids for a meal when on the road-- you can give them quite healthy basic ingredients (beans, rice, chicken, tortilla) but still have the convenience of a "fast food" restaurant. (My kids have never seen the inside of a McDonald's or the like, so I'm glad to have this kind of option.)
Instead of Chipotle, go to Salsita's in the mini mall at San Mateo and Cutler.