Fancying a change from the old routine I decided to go down Mexico way.
It’s always struck me as odd that Manchester doesn’t really have many Mexican-style restaurants. There was the (frankly nasty) El Macho in Portland Street but even that seems to have hung up its sombrero now.
As a style of food goes, Mexican food would seem to be a winning offering – relatively cheap to produce, offering healthy options with all those beans, popular being spicy and plentiful so why the lack here when other cities seem to support several?
Whatever the answer, it was welcome to see the Barburrito Mexican Grill sign in the revamped Piccadilly Gardens.
I’ve met quite a few people who talk about this place with an enthusiastic zeal usually reserved for supermarket bargains and the outfit was recently named as the city’s Newcomer of the Year so I was looking forward to seeing what the fuss was about.
From the outside, largely because of the name and the signs, I had decided it was a sit down restaurant but once inside it was obvious this is a south American take on a sandwich bar.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The offerings of quesadillas, nachos, salads and, of course, burritos seemed vast. I finally settled on a large vegetarian burrito (£4.15) while Himself tucked into a version with braised pork (£4.50). Not content to leave it at that, we also had some nachos and guacamole and he, of course, took advatge of its licence by ordering up a beer with lime.
The most notable thing about it was the freshness of the ingredients and I was impressed with the variety of the different fillings – beans, salsa, mushrooms, onion, the list goes on – it’s amazing how much a flour tortilla will hold!
Neither of us managed to finish it all which probably means the small option (at a lower price) would have been the sensible choice.
Service is fast and the experience turned out to be a good lunch-time call. Being close to Rice, which also does fast and fresh, it seems the gardens is becoming a good place to go for inexpensive but interesting lunchtime options.
Plus: Fresh ingredients, lots of choice.
Minus: Not a lingering lunch ambience.
Value: Good value with plenty on offer for under £5.