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Changos Burrito Bar, Reviewed

David Blake on great food in a shattered wrap

Written by . Published on July 21st 2014.

Changos Burrito Bar, Reviewed

THE BURRITO is just about the perfect lunch.

It's just that the tortilla wrap, vital in holding the whole operation together, had the durability of dairylea chucked into Mount Doom.

All the business wedged into once handy meal torpedo. No tarting around. No chasing food across the plate, no manoeuvring to slice, no forking stuff. That’s not what lunch is about. Lunch is the lift and cram, the up and in.

I’d have all of my meals in burrito form if etiquette would allow it. Here are three meals off the bat that would be a damn site better rammed into a tortilla wrap:

Fish, chips and mushy peas, a Sunday Roast, a full English breakfast.

Tell me they wouldn’t. Every one of those meals eats good time trying to get every part of the dish onto one fork. Why bother? Roll it up.

And think of the time we’d save. Recent statistics state that we spend around half an hour masticating a day. That’s three and a half hours a week, seven and a half days a year stuffing your face.

You can throw down a burrito in five minutes. Assuming it doesn’t fall apart like the Brazilian defence lining up against a Teutonic assault. But we’ll get to that.

The burrito is just common sense. Just think of all the time we’d save. I could finally decipher the Rongorongo, finish Zelda, become the sixth member of One Direction.

Changos and one of Kings of Leon

Changos and one of Kings of Leon

So when I was asked to go and review Changos Burrito as part of our new Cheap Eats series (cheap, quick and cheerful grub for around a fiver), I was on it like a hyena on a limping zebra.

Being a true believer in the ‘little donkey’, I’ve had my fair share. Which either makes me a burrito connoisseur or a glutton. I’d say both.

Bar Burrito, Pancho’s, Luck Lust Liquor and Burn, I’ve been through them all, many times over. Changos though I've never reached, being neither a student, a commuter nor a beggar I don't spend a great deal of time around Oxford Road unless I'm feigning cultural stock at Cornerhouse or falling out of Gorilla with a shoe on my head.

It's a wonder Changos hasn't yet drawn me in. You can smell it from St Peter's Square, the rambunctious Mariachi music you can hear from Wigan. It's not rare to see lunchtime queues winding out the door at this gaff, the tucker must be pukka.

And it was. Or at least, it could have been. A burst burrito is a disaster. The sides had split before sitting down. I wept.

Knife and fork? SadnessKnife and fork sadness

Which is a shame because the constituent parts were cracking. The chilli beef sweet and robust, the beans hearty and sour cream calming. The rice was rice and the cheese was cheese.

The oak smoked chipotle sauce deserves a mention, deep and rich in flavour, as do the nachos crumbled into the fray. I've never seen this done before but from henceforth shall demand their presence in every burrito like a princess. The crunch among the crud is a touch of genius.

The service too was bob-on, and making the additional elements like guacamole, jalapenos and cheese free shames places like Bar Burrito that charge for these obviously necessary extras. That's always got my goat.

Still, I can't move past the exploded burrito. The reason I adore them so is because it's all wrapped up in there ready for the slaughter. This was all over the tray, between my fingers and down my chin. And eating a burrito with a knife and fork is like having sex with a wardrobe. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

But the burst was unlucky. I'll be back. And next time I'm double bagging it.

Follow David8Blake


Changos Burrito Bar, 91-93 Oxford Street, M1 6ET. 0161 228 2182

Large Burrito £5.50

Rating: 12.5/20 (Remember venues are rated against the best examples of their kind; fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes)

Food: 6.5/10. Tasty but explosive, would have been 7.5 without the burst wrap
Service: 3/5. Chirpy
Ambience: 3/5. Loud

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing, 14-15 worth a trip, 16-17 very good, 18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away


WoeIt's going...

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24 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2014.

Best burritos in Manchester followed by Luck Lust, the rest are poor.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2014.

This place represents everything that's wrong with the food scene in Manchester.It only been open a relatively short time and yet it has already increased prices by 10%,that's 5 times the rate of inflation in this country.Manchester is being colonised by operators who charge obscene prices for what is basically fast food.We have burger joints charging £8 for just a burger,£4 for fries and 'craft' beers for £4.Add that together and it is actually extremely expensive. I am sure they will say its all because of labour and property costs,but you can get a three course set lunch for €12.50 in Spanish cities.Central Manchester is becoming a total rip and will soon price itself out of reach of many people in a Greater Manchester

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Alex24July 21st 2014.

You can get a set lunch for that price in Manchester too...restaurants/fast-food outlets charge what they feel is appropriate I don't think this is unique or represents 'everything that's wrong with the food scene in Manchester'.

Obollox The GaulJuly 21st 2014.

Oh get lost, there are still plenty of shit burger and kebab places in town, including off the top of my head on Portland Street and Oxford Street. MacDonalds isn't going anywhere if that's what floats your boat.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

'Central Manchester is becoming a total rip and will soon price itself out of reach of many people in a Greater Manchester' Welcome to Elysium.

EbertJuly 21st 2014.

There always seems to be a subtle attempt to provoke a negative reaction in Blakey's reviews, he's like a Clarkson in training. In this one it was the unneccesary comment about beggars, I'm not offended by it, it's just a bit weird and takes away from the rest of the review. Although in this instance there wasn't a great deal of talk about food, is it really justified reviewing a place on one trip where you ate one item that went wrong? Doesn't seem that useful (or entertaining) to me...

1 Response: Reply To This...
EbertJuly 24th 2014.

Hmmmmmmm where did your comment go Jonno?

Barry MaginnJuly 21st 2014.

Cheers for the template of what a bad review should look like. They'll use this in food critic training college as a 'what not to do' lesson for years to come.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 21st 2014.

Bet he wishes he was an International b2b Marcomms Specialist like you Barry. Living the dream.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2014.

Leave off Barry, he's a world class runner.

Barry MaginnJuly 21st 2014.

Haha. Love a LinkedIn stalker. Especially since you are Anonymous here but I can see exactly who has viewed my profile. My job seems a hell of a lot more interesting than yours mate. And I'm not ashamed to use my real name. And the world class runner is obviously an ironic in joke, so it's hardly witty to make fun of me for stating it on my profile.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

Get a life Barry.

Barry MaginnJuly 22nd 2014.


AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

You shouldn't have opened the Burrito! Methinks someone needs a few lessons on how to eat one...

CainJuly 22nd 2014.

I love Changos, before I moved to Manchester when I was commuting I used to pick a burrito up once a week from here on the way home. Since moving here in April I haven't had one as don't head down towards Oxford Road as often. Visited Lust Luck Liquor & Burn a few weeks ago and a burrito from there was great too but nothing on the one's I've had from Changos in the past. Might have to take a trip there this week to relieve the glory days.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

Best burritos in Manchester

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

Yeh textbook error unwrapping the whole thing. Eat your burrito like you would a Cornetto on a hot day. Barry cheers the template of what a pointless, self-righteous comment looks like. Goon.

Mark BoardmanJuly 22nd 2014.

agree best Burrito in manchester bar none. like a falafel wrap from the gay village this should never be unwrapped further than making sure you dont get tin foil on your fillings.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

Think its a pretty spot on review. for me the best burrito in manchester. The oak smoked chipotle is ace, even bought a bottle to take home, as well as the crushed nachos, which is now a stable everytime i have a chilli at home. The burrito itself has dinitegrated all over my hands on several occasions mind. The price increase was a little excessive, but has only bought it line with pancho's.

Dave ThorleyJuly 22nd 2014.

Full English breakfast rolled in a Staffordshire oatcake. Job done.

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

Barburrito (not Bar Burrito) only charges extra for Guacamole. They also provide handy instructions on how to correctly eat your burrito, looks like the author of this article could have done with some.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 22nd 2014.

I stopped eating at Bar Burrito as soon as my bank manager stopped approving extensions to my overdraft facility. Price Up Your Life.

Jay WrightJuly 23rd 2014.

Sorry Guys Panchos are the best Burritos in town... better ingredients, value for money and service... try the Cochinita Pibil... Enrique for President!

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