Pinche Pinche review: Leeds’ popular Mexican restaurant doesn’t get the high reputation – Samuel Port

Leeds’ popular Mexican restaurant Pinche Pinche boasts authentic cuisine with recipes learned from the owner in the nation’s capital.

The Chapel Allerton restaurant, which offers take-out and delivery, has been a Harrogate Road staple since 2007. Owner Simon Heath, originally from Yorkshire, says he learned the recipes in Mexico City when he lived there briefly in his 20s and strives to maintain the authentic methods of food preparation.

The menu features Mexican street food, with dishes ranging from nachos, quesadillas, tacos, burritos, churros with a range of sides and entrees. As a restaurant menu it is rather limited as many of these items look very similar, basically the same type of food items prepared differently. It’s far from fine dining, it’s more of a place to grab a quick bite.

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For a take-out menu though, it hits a lot of sweet spots. I expected bright, wild flavors and a colorful presentation when unboxing my food, but much of it fell short of expectations.

First, the loaded Mexican fries had aioli, avocado salsa, jalapenos, radish, and spring onion. With the price of £4.50 I expected it to be packed to the brim with sauces, vegetables and a massive portion to boot. What I got was a disappointing view, I was faced with a small portion with just a few sauces. The fries were nothing special either.

Pinche Pinche Chicken Wings, Chapel Allerton

Then there was the chicken wings starter which really made up for the side dish. It was a really huge portion, so much chicken and meat, cooked well and crispy. The salsa on the side also made for a tasty spicy dip. Too bad the fried chicken was not seasoned.

Every time I have a Mexican my go-to is a burrito and I just had to try the baja style fish one. I was really intrigued by this, it’s less common to see than chicken, brisket or pork (all of which are on the menu). I feel like I got this order wrong. While I asked for medium spice it was quite bland and had a small piece of fish in it.

Baja Style Fish Burrito from Pinche Pinche, Chapel Allerton

It was a big burrito, there were lots of other ingredients in there including roasted potatoes, black beans, pico de gallo, ginger salad, avocado, cheese, chipotle aioli, arugula, as per menu. But I felt the bland taste of the avocado overshadowed all that. Looking back, I think the meat toppings probably would have offered a lot more flavor.

For dessert I went for churros which was the only option. It was the highlight of my meal.

Pinche Pinche Churros, Chapel Allerton

It was a generous portion, with about six or seven large thick pieces of pastries sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They tasted freshly baked with a crispy outer layer and a mushy sweetness inside. They were so much more. The combination with the dulce de leche dip was heavenly.

The food was perfectly adequate, fine, okay, satisfying – if a little stiff! But I expected so much better, I’ve had better burritos at Trinity Kitchen. Would I order again from there? Yes, I would but I think it’s nothing special, perfectly fine.

The law project

Loaded Mexican fries £4.50

Wings and salsa €4.95

Fish Burrito Baja style €13.95

Churros €4.95

Total: £26.35

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