When I was living in Rome, my friends and I took a weekly trip to Spanish-founded Montaditos 100 where you can get a pint of beer or sangria for €2 and then pick at their selection of mini baguette sandwiches—or montaditos—for €1 each. What a great concept! Drink the night away without having to stop for a greasy takeaway on the way home (which you’ll inevitably regret). Now I have discovered a new place to satiate my alcohol-induced appetite at Mexican Lucha Libre, located in Manchester’s Deansgate. Instead of mini sandwiches, here you get mini tacos, all for only £1 each, while you enjoy their quirky—and may I add, potent—cocktails, or a jug of house sangria.
This offer runs every Tuesday (yes, midweek, but Manchester is a student city, so if you’re reading this then do you really need to be up bright and early Wednesday morning?). The tacos are served in the restaurant’s bar area, where you’ll be tended to by a team of friendly waitresses (there wasn’t a male waiter in sight when I went).
My coffee-obsession was satisfied with their oh so sweet espresso jalisco (£7.50). The strawberry and basil lemonade (£7.50) is whimsical and refreshing, and the red sangria (£15/jug [approx. 4 glasses]) is so light and fruity that you’ll be surprised when you’re feeling a little worse for wear three glasses in.
As for the tacos, some were hits and others missed the mark in my opinion, but for only a quid each, who’s complaining? Let’s start with the hits. The succulent, sweet Al Pastor pork belly in cola taco, with Bramley apple salsa and crackling was the outright winner for me, followed closely by the crisp beer battered Baja Fish taco with delicate white market fish, a punchy caper aioli, radish, picked cabbage and a tang of tamarind salsa. The juicy slow-cooked Spiced Brisket taco with guajillo chilli and a crunchy jalapeño slaw also took my fancy, as did (surprisingly to me) the beer battered Cauliflower and Beetroot taco smeared with vibrant spiced beetroot puree and glittered with pomegranite seeds which cut nicely through the richness. And for the misses: unfortuntely the Lucha Fried Chicken was quite dry, not the succulent mouthful I was expecting, and the Prawn and Mango taco was quite bland, needed more heat and had no trace of mint in the so-called ‘minted guacamole’. You’ll have to venture the Pibil pork and Halloumi and Pineapple tacos yourselves, as I couldn’t possibly try them all! So grab you’re friends and head down to Lucha Libre. If the cocktails don’t have your head spinning, then the spellbinding powerhouse of colour and pattern decor certainly will! Salud!
p.s. I apologise for the awful photography—cocktail tasting doesn’t make for a steady hand.
4, Great Northern Warehouse
The Great Northern
T: +44 (0)161 850 0629
Open 12:00-22:00 (Mon-Thurs & Sun), 12:00-23:00 (Fri & Sat)