Tag Archives: Mexican

Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana, Leeds

Social media is still my first port of call when it comes to finding out what’s new and worth trying out, so a quick twitter request threw up a couple of suggestions prior to my Leeds visit. There’s so many new places opening up it can be tricky filtering out the good from the bad. One that instantly appealed was Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana on Cardigan Road, thanks to blogger bigspoonlittlespoon.com for the recommendation! The place doesn’t have a website, but it’s Facebook page had lots of glowing reports and so my decision was made pretty swiftly.

Located on the lower part of Cardigan Road, for those in the know it’s just passed the Spar petrol station on the left, opposite the Harold’s (as I call them) and from the street looks like a roadside cafe that’s been pimped up with vivid yellow walls and Mexican skull wall art – I loved it straight away!


The place was definitely deceptive in terms of size, from the street it looked small, but its open kitchen and bar sat nicely alongside the dining space leaving enough room for plenty of tables. A comprehensive menu, very clearly laid out was on show with guacamole, salads, ceviche, street food, seafood sides, meat dishes, tacos and enchiladas – lots being gluten free, great for when the other half comes back for a visit too; if it was any good that is! Drinks-wise they offer beer, cocktails and soft drinks, including some traditional Mexican offerings, we went for the Agua de Jamaica; intrigued by a concoction of hibiscus flower, sugar and water. Sweet without being sickly, it was perfectly refreshing.

The place itself had only opened a few weeks earlier, after lots of eager diners kept asking when it was opening. A relaxed, warm welcome made us feel at home quickly and our food came out at a steady pace, we were in no rush and were happy to graze. From the four items we picked, there was lots to enjoy and commend – homemade thin, crisp tortilla chips served with salsas that tasted homemade too – the tomato one didn’t resemble a standard chunky salsa I’m more accustomed too, was full of freshness and heat where required. From the street food section the flautas was a highlight – a crispy rolled tortilla filled with mildly spiced chicken and topped with earthy black beans, a tomato salsa, sour cream and mild queso fresco which all worked so well together. The sopes rancheros was another tasty mouthful – the shredded beef in an adobe sauce had a delicate piquancy, more hearty black beans, all balanced out with avocado and queso fresco.

Agua de Jamaica
Tortillas w/ salsa
Flautas
Sopes rancheros
Queso Fundido

It’s probably obvious I really liked Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana, it’s open for lunch and dinner so get yourself down there!!! It’s an informal and relaxed affair, the food is so so good, there’s plenty for meat lovers, veggies, also lots of gluten free dishes and it’s all kind on the pocket!!

Lupe’s Cantina Mexicana 

204 Cardigan Road

Leeds

https://www.facebook.com/lupescantinamexicana/?rf=203829306636135

Pinche Pinche, Leeds

I hadn’t seen the other half all week due to work commitments so Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner. For some reason I was lacking inspiration and couldn’t muster any decent ideas of where we could get a good feed, especially from somewhere we hadn’t tried before. Leeds foodie Twitter folk came to the rescue and gave me a couple of great ideas of places that have been on my list, but I’d forgotten about. Out of the two, we decided on trying Mexican restaurant Pinche Pinche, based in Chapel Allerton it’s a restaurant I knew of through glowing reports I’d read in the past. I hadn’t gone out for Mexican in while so it made a refreshing change. It’s located on Harrogate Road, right in the centre of the action in the area and luckily we managed to park outside courtesy of the free on street parking. 

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It was Saturday evening and it opened at 6pm, so I was hopeful it wouldn’t be too busy if we arrived before 6:30pm. On arrival we were nearly out luck as they were pretty much booked up till much later that evening, but thankfully we managed to nab the window seat which we duly accepted.

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The menu is broken down into Appetizers and tapas, salads, Enchiladas, Northern Mexico/Tex-Mex (Burritos, Chimichangas, Fajitas Nachos and Ribs) and sides. There’s also a children’s menu too. 

I was pretty hungry after just having a yummy bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and skipping lunch, so we ordered the Pinche guacamole to share first.

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Made with Hass avocados, onion, coriander and fresh lime juice it was tasty and had a creamy texture to it. It was a very large portion of guacamole and we were defeated by it as it was too much for either of us to finish. 

Next up were the main attractions: the other half went for a burrito with chips, yes not strictly Mexican, but Pinche Pinche say they offer Tex Mex dishes as people typically think of these as Mexican, even though they aren’t strictly authentic, but more of a fusion.

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The burrito was absolutely crammed to the rafters with chicken and rice, tasting great. Unbeknownst to me though the other half had eaten a mini curry after his Saturday hockey match so he struggled to finish it all on this occasion. 

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I liked the idea of trying the street food dishes so went for Tostados and Quesadillas, both were really well done with lots of tasty fillings. The Quesadillas had a filling of Adobo marinated pork with spicy pan-fried pineapple, the tender meat had a slight hint of pineapple running through it. The Tostados were crisp corn tortillas generously topped with slow braised lamb in a Pasilla chile marinade,  each had refried black beans and topped with Salsa Ranchera (tomatoes, chipotle chile, onion and garlic) and cheese. The meat was moist, flavourful, the beans were meaty (if that’s possible) and the salsa helped to cut through any richness.

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I loved the sides, the rice was fantastic and I could eat bowls of the stuff with finely chopped coriander and parsley running through it, it had a lovely texture and great flavour. I’ve been a massive fan of plantain since Uni days, where a housemate used to cook it for me in exchange for apple crumble and custard, and then this was even more reinforced on a memorable holiday in Cuba a few years ago. These were lovely, well, cooked with just the right amount of give and softness to them. 

Our dinner cost us £48.50 for 2 courses each with sides and a bottle of wine. We were both pretty stuffed by the end of dinner, in a good way too!

I’d recommend going to Pinche Pinche!!

Food: good portion sizes, full of flavour, a great range of dishes with lots to cater for different dietary requirements. 

Service: staff were accommodating, friendly and efficient. 

Atmosphere: had a good buzz at the place. I wasn’t too keen on the red lighting though (from a photograph taking point of view).

Pinche Pinche
116a Harrogate Road
Chapel Allerton
Leeds
LS7 4NY

0113 2681110

http://pinchepinche.com

Pinche Pinche on Urbanspoon