Chipotle's (NYSE:CMG) (NYSE:CMG-B) third-quarter financial results looked pretty tasty. But the stock's drop last week suggests that they still weren't spicy enough for some investors.

The burrito chain reported that net income surged an impressive 76.9%, to $34.5 million, or $1.08 per share. Revenue increased 13.8% to $387.6 million, and same-store sales increased 2.7%. Even those relatively modest gains are no small feat in the current economy. In more happy news, restaurant-level operating margin increased 410 basis points, to 25.5%. By all appearances, the company is really rockin'.

Chipotle even beat analysts' expectations, although many Foolish investors would take such tidings with a grain of salt (or a sprinkling of cilantro).

I think Chipotle's a fantastic company. Its "Food With Integrity" mission recalls the type of passion that Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI) displays for organic and natural fare. The burrito chain helped to sponsor a documentary on our food supply, Food Inc., last summer, and I've recently noticed vegan dishes at some Chipotle locations. 

In my opinion, the restaurant's advocacy of sustainably raised ingredients is a visionary stand that will only grow more important to consumers over time. At the very least, that type of passion definitely differentiates Chipotle from cheaper fast-food rivals such as former parent McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM), or Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE:WEN).  

It's hard to tell why investors reacted so negatively to Chipotle's savory earnings. While I think Chipotle is a high-quality stock, I'll admit that its share price has gotten a bit overstuffed. Last quarter it was trading for a bloated 30 times earnings, and even with its recent pullback, it still commands a P/E of 28 times. McDonald's has been doing very well operationally, and shares fetch only 16 times earnings. And unlike Chipotle, Mickey D's pays its shareholders a juicy dividend as well.

I don't think investors should throw Chipotle shares away; it strikes me as a good long-term pick for a growth-geared portfolio. In the near term, though, I think it's too expensive to gobble up any shares now, and current shareholders may endure a short-term roller-coaster ride, given its high price. I may love the company, but I'm not thrilled about its price tag.

Load your plate with some spicy related Foolishness:

Chipotle is a selection of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Hidden Gems. Whole Foods Market is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle. Try any of our Foolish newsletters free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Whole Foods Market. The Fool has a disclosure policy.