1st August 2015 – 12.30pm
I was invited to try out Pinto’s Shandwick Place branch this week. As my love for Mexican food knows no bounds, I scuttled along as soon as I could. When mentioning this to a friend, she said that she loved the Glasgow branch (actually one of two in Glasgow), so that filled me with optimism and rightly so. Pinto has a surprising amount of seating considering it’s relatively small shop front and there were already several customers chowing down on their food. There was also some seating outside should the weather be favourable(!). Mid-way through the restaurant is a serving counter where you order. I was greeted by helpful staff who took my order. I knew I had to try out the burrito. The member of staff serving me explained all the different fillings and options available to create my burrito, including three different salsas catering for an increasing level of heat. So I had a barbacoa beef burrito with rice, pinto beans, medium salsa, cheese, soured cream and lettuce. This was then wrapped up in the customary tin foil to create a delightful burrito parcel. I did ask for a diet coke but they had run out that morning. Whilst a little disappointing, there were masses of other options and it gave me an opportunity to try Coke Life (verdict – not as good as diet coke). To be honest, if I’d gone later in the day, I might have taken advantage of the margaritas on offer. Anyway, I took my food and drink and settled in one of the smaller tables by the window.
I unwrapped the top of the foil surrounding my burrito and took a hearty bite and then another and another. This burrito did not disappoint. The tortilla was beautifully soft and the meat was full of flavour. The pinto beans were not too hard or too mushy and gave a good amount of texture to the burrito. The salsa worked really well. The medium option had a lovely little kick without setting my mouth on fire. The soured cream and cheese complemented this, evening out any chance of the salsa becoming the overpowering element. The rice was also very well cooked. I was utterly full after this but in a good way.
The atmosphere isn’t stellar but I wouldn’t really expect anything more of a fast food type establishment. The Mexican music seemed a little awkward (and coincidentally was being drowned out somewhat by a bagpiper across the road). Anyway, I imagine Pinto has a larger demand for take away rather than sit in. This is borne out in the speed in which they are able to complete your order. It was nice to see that they do encourage for you to separate your rubbish for recycling. On the way out, the woman who had served me earlier mentioned their burrito buddy scheme and gave me some cards. Essentially with these, if you bring along a friend and buy one burrito and two drinks, you will get a second burrito free. I already liked place and intended to come back but this just sealed the deal.
Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 6.5/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 32.5/40
Cost – complimentary but cost for a burrito and a soft drink just over £7
Please note that whilst this meal was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Lizzy for arranging.