When it comes to finding a quick lunch in Manchester city centre, you can never go wrong at Pancho’s Burritos.
Nestled into its own very colourful corner of the Arndale food Market (just upwind from our favourite fishmonger), it has been a fixture in this bustling wing of independent food traders since 2010.
A hallowed stop-off for burrito fans in the know, for the past thirteen years chef-owner Enrique Martinez has been dealing in big, fat wraps and tacos stuffed with flavourful slow-cooked meats.
Cochinita pibil (pulled pork marinaded in achiote spices and lime), chicken tinga and beef in chipotle are longstanding favourites, served alongside an array of homemade salsas – all made as they would be in Mexico City using a Volcanic stone called a Molcajete.
Homemade sides and salsas here include Enrique’s special taquero sauce, own-recipe guacamole and XXX Habanero hot sauce. The latter is made using a recipe that has remained unchanged since 2009, and is to be treated with serious caution thanks to his use of fresh Habanero Chilies.
Other interesting morsels on offer include packets of chilli lime ‘fuego’ Mexican Taki crisps and a tangy portion of nopalitos (cactus leaf salad) – a staple in Mexican cuisine used widely in tacos, salads and stews.
There’s plenty for vegans too, with plant-based fillings choices spanning a vegan chilli, vegan fajita tofu and vegan jackfruit with broad beans in green salsa.
Open from 10.30am in the week and 11am on Sundays, Enrique also serves up a handful of breakfast dishes.
Fans of the stall will know that his 10 inch burrito stuffed with eggs, ham, black beans,cheese and homemade pico de Gallo salsa is just the thing to fix a hangover.
Priced at £7.50 as part of a breakfast meal deal, you can also secure a coffee, hot chocolate or tea to kick start your day. It’s also available as a quesadilla, but for us the burrito wins hands down every time.
Elsewhere on the menu, you’ll find soft-corn Masa Harina Mexico City tacos stuffed with Mexican red rice, your choice of fillings and Taquero salsa, 12-inch quesadilla ‘Gringas’, and Pancho’s nachos loaded with melted cheese, fresh jalapenos, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole and beans.
Add to that Enrique’s freshly-made Mexican flan and a variety of brightly-coloured Jarritos Meixcan soft drinks in flavours like guava and pineapple, and it truly is a lunchtime dream.
The family-run business has been a fixture in the Arndale for as long as we can remember. Owned by couple Enrique and Collette, the magic all began when the pair met in 2006 whilst Enrique was studying in Manchester.
The pair moved to Mexico for a couple of years, then had the idea of returning to start their own food business in the north of England. Having landed back in the UK in late 2009, their company was quickly formed and in in January 2010 Panchos Burritos opened inside the Arndale Market.
Enrique grew up on his Mother’s home cooking and the street food of Mexico City, a mixture of tacos, quesdillas, sopes, tortas, enchiladas and Sunday morning markets selling Mixiot – a traditional pit-barbecued meat dish that is very popular in central Mexico.
It’s this heritage that inspires the dishes he cooks up on the market stall every day.
Delivering big flavours for a pretty minimal price, it’s no wonder that this tiny little spot is constantly pulling in big queues at lunchtime.
We recommend heading down early or preparing to queue for a while, it’s always incredibly busy between the hours of 12 and 3 – but entirely worth the wait.
Being such huge fans of the place, we headed down to grab ourselves a big fat order Enrique’s Meixcan – and we even managed to score a discount code for you to get a tenner off when your order from Pancho’s with Deliveroo.
Oh, and to save on your next Deliveroo order from Pancho’s make sure to use the code [email protected] when you check out (note that the code can be used twice for two £5 savings on separate orders).
Feature image – The Manc Eats
85-year-old gran from Altrincham stars in new Adidas running advert
Everyone’s favourite gran, Barbara Thackray, is back in the headlines and this time she isn’t just jogging and raising money, she’s featuring in Adidas’ brand new running advert.
The Altrincham-born and bred grandmother, who has become a local legend and inspiration across the UK with her incredible fitness and fundraising feats in recent years, is no stranger to being interviewed following her amazing efforts, but now she’s popped up in the new Adidas running ad too.
Barbara stars alongside the likes of Liverpool footballer Mo Salah, Qatari hurdler Mariam Farid and Egyptian runner Khadija Hegazy in the new TV and YouTube ad spot.
In the genuinely moving minute-long commercial, Barbara’s lovely little face pops up right at the end. Always save your best till last.
Actually quite stirring and inspiring, right?
Maybe it’s just us going soft in our old age (we never used to well up and interviews, promise), or maybe it’s because we know all the truly wonderful things she’s been doing for charity and her local community of late.
The Alty nan, who turned 85 earlier this month — the same day she broke her own PB in the annual Trafford 10k — has raised over £20,000 for St Ann’s Hospice in just a few short years, having been a champion of the organisation for more than 10 years amongst her sister’s illness and eventual passing.
She only started running when she turned 77 but now she runs around 12 miles every week.
The organisation’s Fundraising Manager, Lucy Leeming, said: “The awareness Barbara has raised across Greater Manchester for the importance and vitality of St Ann’s Hospice has undeniably helped raise funds and awareness for our charity.
“Her passion and dedication to towards our charity shines through in everything she does for us, we’re so grateful to have her support.”
As for Barbara herself, she’s still encouraging people of all ages to get into running; her only advice is “to begin gently and listen to your body.” No wonder the global sports brand chose her: she embodies everything the campaign is about.
To show this Alty gran some love and help her continue her incredible efforts, you can donate HERE.
A restaurant in Ancoats is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel
A Manchester restaurant is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel – and their customers absolutely love it.
Taking game dishes to a whole other level, the wild crispy buttermilk fried squirrel at Ancoats restaurant Street Urchin comes served atop a creamy pulled ham hock cassoulet, with hazelnut bread croutons and nettle pesto and costs £22.50.
Sourced from their game supplier in Cumbria, it might sound nutty but owner Rachel Choudhary told The Manc that the dish has proven incredibly popular – and that the team has been ‘really surprised’ at how much of a hit it has become with customers since adding it to the menu.
She said: “We were looking for something new for the game options on the menu. Kev was speaking to our game supplier and randomly asked if he had any grey squirrels. Happily, he did.
“The whole team tried the dish the day it went on and the majority thought it was really good.
“We weren’t sure if it would sell, but have been really surprised. So many people have tried it and given good feedback. We’ve recommended that they eat it like chicken wings and pick it up, that way you get most of the meat.
“I’d never tried squirrel before and I absolutely loved it, it has great flavour, rich buttery texture, and it’s wild, free-range meat.”
The gray squirrel currently has an estimated population of 2.5 million in the UK according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and is considered a good sustainable alternative to factory-farmed meat.
It is legal to control grey squirrels by shooting or trapping them in the UK in a humane manner and even helps protect the UK’s endangered native red squirrel population.
Whilst some might find the idea of eating squirrels a tad unappealing, many chefs argue it is better to eat them when culling as it means the meat does not go to waste.
English market diner Street Urchin was first opened on Great Ancoats Street in 2019 by husband and wife team Rachel and Kevin Choudary.
Prior to opening in town, the couple ran The Victoria in Altrincham for eight years before deciding that it was time to move on.
Their Ancoats market diner has made its name on being one of the few city centre restaurants specialising in fresh fish, with everything from clams and mackerel to cured chalk stream trout, king scallops, and whole grilled red gurnard regularly available on the menu.