Pancho’s Burritos has been a resident of Manchester for many years now, however, they have recently returned to the spotlight, attracting a new band of fans with the opening of their new Oxford Street store. Just a short walk from the universities, it’s fast becoming a student hub, rivalling Changos and Bar Burrito just down the road. If you are looking for authenticity, Pancho’s is the place to go. Their flyers don’t lie-it’s ” not tex-mex, not California-mex, not Brit-mex nor any other mex but real home cooked Mexican comida callejera”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a true Mexican grandmother emerge from the kitchen. Pancho’s by far have the widest choice in their menu. Alongside the usual chicken, beef and pork, you can have spicy lamb, veg or meat chilli, or griddles veg. Plus, all of their meats come in three varieties to suit every palette.
The burritos are the stars of the show and most popular choice on the menu, but I decided to branch out and went for their tacos. I was thankful to discover that their tacos use a soft corn shell, which avoids much of the frustration of eating hard shell tacos which fall completely to pieces after the first bite. I went for the pulled pork after reading a rave review online and it didn’t disappoint.
The lovely Mexican Señorita offered to let me try each of the pork varieties; one in each of the three tacos, which was very exciting. My favourite was by far the zingy lime pork which bursts with brightness and citrus flavour. The other two were amazing too; one in their special sauce flecked with pieces of cactus (an ingredient I had never tried before), and the other a smokey spicy chipotle which tingled the lips but didn’t overpower with chilli. Piled onto each taco was refreshing shredded lettuce, cooling herby tomato salsa, a little mound of grated cheese, creamy guacamole and a light sour cream. The taco shells themselves were an unusual and intriguing flavour that I had never tasted before. They tasted very authentic and had a “do I like this or not… I’m not sure but i definitely want another bite” quality about them.
My friend was extremely pleased with her picante lamb burrito with creamy beans and nutty brown rice wrapped snugly in a soft spinach flour tortilla. The burritos are filled until bursting at the seams, keeping you full way past dinner time!
So pleased was I with the food at Pancho’s, that I returned a few weeks later to try Enrique’s Famous Home Cooked Chilli con Carne. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this. A generous helping of succulent beef mince and kidney beans simmered in a spiced tomato sauce is served over a bed of your choice of rice, then topped with all the accompaniments; creamy beans, sweet peppers and onions, crispy shredded Iceberg, grated cheese, fresh salsa and a dollop of guacamole to bind it all together. I could have done with a little more heat, so next time I’ll kick it up a notch with a drizzle of spicy sauce.
Unit 1 The Quadrangle
Arndale Food Market