Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Pinche Pinche, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

Pinche Pinche is probably your best bet for Mexican food in Leeds. I didn't love everything we ate but the good stuff was really very good, and it was all a significant cut above your average Tex-Mex chain fodder. If it was one of my local restaurants I could definitely see myself stopping in from time to time for a few tacos and a beer.

We started with an impressive mountain of guacamole and some pork nachos. Both of these went down a treat, the fresh, bright guacamole being particularly fine, a world away from the luminous processed green paste versions. I want to describe it as zingy, but I hate that word.

Of the good stuff the meaty things were the highlight. The aforementioned nachos were piled with shards of tasty pork (tasty - another rubbish word. Sorry.) and I could have eaten a dozen of the excellent lamb or pork tacos.

The lamb was slow braised to moist shreds with a gentle, fruity chilli heat, the pork the opposite; small pieces in a garlicky adobo marinade, quickly flash-fried until just done. The result was beautifully tender meat, not easy to do with lean cuts of pork.

I was less enamoured with the flautas from the specials board. I can't remember exactly but I'm sure they were supposed to involve pork scratchings, but just seemed like slightly greasy deep-fried guacamole filled tubes. Others liked them though so what do I know.

Getting the negatives out of the way all at once the fish tacos were also a bit dull. Tasteless fish on a bland and not at all spicy as advertised coleslaw.

Finishing off on a positive note a portion of fries were properly fried, and the refried beans were great. All comforting and savoury and mushy in a very satisfying way.

Service was friendly. Very friendly. Exceedingly happy verging on scary. I shan't complain though, that's just my British cynicism at play, which makes me automatically consider American style service to be false, deranged or both. The fact is everyone was lovely, and they brought us the food we ordered in a reasonable amount of time, and cleared up after us. What more do you want?

We paid £20 each for a good spread of food and a couple of drinks apiece. A good quality local restaurant that's well worth a visit. You probably need to book at weekends as it's small and clearly very popular.


116a Harrogate Road
Chapel Allerton


Becs @ Lay the table said...

I love Pinche Pinche - Simon who runs it is a really nice guy and catered for a blogging event I ran a couple of years ago. It's a shame you didn't try the ceviche, which tastes incredible.

It's the best Mexican in Leeds by far - I've eaten at Cielo Blanco a couple of times and it was exceedingly average.

Dave said...

Cheers Becs, I'll bare the ceviche in mind if I get round to going again.

Doesn't entirely surprise me that Cielo Blanco is average, it's run by Leelex who I think are good at bars and drinks, but not great at food.

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