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Pancho's Burritos, Arndale, Reviewed

Rakhi Sinha loves spicing it up with the unexpected

Published on September 4th 2011.


Pancho's Burritos, Arndale, Reviewed

GIVE an outstanding olé to Pancho’s Burritos in the Arndale Market. How they manage to cook up delicious, fresh-tasting food in such a tiny space, I don’t know.

 It's a genuine delight with genuine food. 

The husband and wife team, from Mexico City, rush around their tiny shop sprinkling cheese on a burrito here, warming tortillas there and stirring the massive pots of steaming food on the cooker at the back.

Whilst the setting, in the food section of the Arndale Market, may not be reminiscent of Mexico, the flavour of the food and the charming staff certainly were.

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I went for veggie tacos and my partner had a beef burrito (both £4.40) which came so heavenly laden with toppings, I wasn’t sure it would close.

There was beef, rice, cheese, jalapeños, refried beans, extra chilli sauce, salsa, guacamole, lettuce. It packed a punch and was filling to boot. So determined was my partner not to waste a bite, he had a pause halfway through before going in for round two.

My three veggie tacos were stuffed with grilled onions and peppers and came with refried beans and cheese. I also got a side of guacamole, which was good and creamy, and a zingy salsa (£1.20). The veg had a lovely, smoky flavour and the refried beans were far better, as you’d expect, from the stuff out of the tin.

(Click here to add text)We also got a side of deep fried cheese jalapeños (£3.50) which the generous Pancho’s staff served up with a free dollop of guacamole.

Pancho’s is popular and at lunch time there were plenty of people stopping by, but bemusingly, the queue at the Chinese next door was much larger. More fools them.

I don’t know what brought the Pancho’s gang to Manchester – maybe they followed Chicharito - but their place is a gem. I’m sure glad they’re here and I hope they stay because I’ll be back frequently. This is the perfect lunch for two for no more than £13.50. It's a genuine delight with genuine food. 

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ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL. £1000 to the reader who can prove otherwise, and dismissal for the staff member who wrote a review scored out of twenty on a freebie from the restaurant.

Pancho's Burritos
Arndale Market, City, M4 2EB

Rating: 15/20
Food: 8/10
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5

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, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away.

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

ChloeSeptember 4th 2011.

Where's the pictures of the food?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 5th 2011.

On their way Chloe. Then you can eat our words.

CBSeptember 5th 2011.

yes this place is great. I've been here loads. Pork burrito and a half a pint of ale from the Arndale Market Bar is a cracking lunchtime treat

Greg ReideSeptember 6th 2011.

I love the burritos from here, absolutely superb. Fresh tasting and packed with flavour.

I had the misfortune of buying one from one of Alton Towers outlets at the weekend.....poles apart.

Andrew BownessSeptember 6th 2011.

Looks a bit more authentic than Barburrito, I'll have to check it out, thanks for the review.

WildgoonSeptember 6th 2011.

I admire the husband and wife team for their dedication but there are parts of the menu that are lacking in quality - the tacos for one - are very bland.

I hope they can get it right, but for now my vote is still Barburrito.

Confidential, you should do your homework a lot better - they are not both from Mexcio! The wife is from Manchester which probably answers your question about why they located here!

AnonymousSeptember 6th 2011.

Barburrito? Behave.

AnonymousSeptember 6th 2011.

Enjoyed a beef burrito tonight. I'll be back to try out more offerings.

Gunning HawkSeptember 7th 2011.

I agree with Wild Goon. The food I've had from Panchos has been extremely bland. Barburrito is far tastier.

HammerheadSeptember 7th 2011.

Do the goons and hawks work for Barburrito? Pancho's is far better.

Gunning HawkSeptember 7th 2011.

I don't work for Barburrito, however I just can't understand how anyone would favour the absymally bland Pancho's over Barburrito! Barburrito is a winner every time in my book!

AnonymousSeptember 7th 2011.

Has someone changed the definition of the word 'bland'? I've had both and while I'm a fan of Barburrito, Pancho's is a different kettle of spicy fish. I agree the cheese is a bit nondescript, but Mexican cheese generally is. The chillis, guacamole and salsa are top notch though. Perhaps Goon and Hawk have just made unlucky condiment choices?

CBSeptember 7th 2011.

I've also been to both and much prefer Pancho's food, although I've always stuck to the burritos. I think Pancho's is cheaper too.

WildgoonSeptember 7th 2011.

Hammerhead - surely I can have an opinion about a place that delivers a far better quality of burrito without being accused of working for them. Do you work for Pancho's?

Like I said I admire anyone who can be dedicated enough to run 2 stalls in the same food market. But honestly the taco's are so bland its unreal - you literally get a bit of minced meat and some awful cheese in taco shells are far too soft. It's just very bland. I don't think the burrito's are even any better than Panama Hatties!

Granted I haven't had all the condiments, and no offense but if a place has to rely on its condiments to get praise that really says it all. It's like saying "I went to a new chippy recently - the fish and chips were awful but boy the ketchup and vinegar was great!"

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2011.

After the enjoyable beef burrito 2 days ago, asked for pork burrito tonight. By mistake ended up with chicken. Chicken stew filling didn't work for me.

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2011.

Easily MILES better than hidious BarBurrito.

AND THEY ARE MASSIVE!!!!!!

Rob RichardsonSeptember 9th 2011.

Barburrito isn't even serving the same cuisine as Panchos. They serve up Subway food with a sombrero on. Panchos is the real thing.

And if you think it's bland, get some habeneros in adobe sauce chucked on your burrito. Vinegary, red hot, AND smokey. Seriously mental.

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