If you are in Glasgow & on Twitter, you probably would have heard that Pinto (Mexican Kitchen) opened yesterday. I for one have been pretty excited about this ever since hearing about it because it’s just what Glasgow needs.
Located on Queen Street, Pinto is a burrito bar modeled on fast casual Mexican Street Food, which is extremely popular in the USA and ran by The DiMaggio Group & Businessman Paul Sloan.
“Having lived in the United States for almost 20 years and living in Mexico for 2 of those years my love for their food and culture grew immensely. We started Pinto for that main reason, our love of Mexican food, pure and simple.
First we looked at how much people like to eat healthy and then looked at how expensive eating out or take away really was today. Mexican street food was something we were all missing, its amazingly delicious, easy to cook and affordable. So we decided to bring it to life in Scotland.
Establishing an exciting, trendy and cool environment, where you can sit in or take away, a place you can enjoy the main culinary joys of Mexican cooking, Burritos, Tacos and more washed down with an ice cold beer a glass of wine or just a refreshment.
All our food at Pinto is made fresh every day, NO freezers and NO microwaves allowed. We believe in sourcing naturally raised chicken and using only red tractor assured beef and pork, our salsa’s and guacamole is made every day to keep everything we make soooo tasty.”
After following all the progress tweets from @iLovePinto, I couldn’t wait to try it out when it opened & decided to go yesterday, on Opening Day, to grab a snack after work & hope it lived up to the hype I built up in my head.
I went to Pinto around 5pm and met by two employees who were standing at the door handing out little flyers to the passing public hoping to lure them in, but when I entered, it was pretty quiet other than around 4 other people sitting in. I wasn’t worried about it being so quiet because it was only opened for a few hours & it was opening day so word isn’t out in the street yet (for those not on Twitter or Facebook that is!).
I decided to get a Chargrilled Steak Burrito with Cilantro Lime Rice, Pinto Beans, a mix of Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle & Hell of a hot Habanero sauce, complete with a helping of Sour Cream, which cost £5.95. I also got a box of Chargrilled Chicken Nacho’s Smothered in Cheese Sauce, Jalapenos, Guacamole and Sour Cream, which cost £4.95. My friend got the Chargrilled Chicken Burrito with Brown Rice, Pinto Beans, Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle sauce & sour cream, which cost £4.95.
While we were ordering at the counter & telling the staff what we wanted, there were a few little hiccups that I noticed. The girl putting the meat & sauces on the burritos spoke so quietly that I had to get her to repeat herself a few times as I had no clue what on earth she was saying. I thought I was going deaf until my friend said that he had to ask the same. Another hiccup was the fact that we weren’t told until we moved down the queue to the meat/sauce section that there was no Slow Cooked Pork left which my friend was looking forward to. He stated that if he was originally told this before ordering a Burrito, he would have ordered the Taco’s instead. But it wasn’t such a big deal in the end.
We took our seats & started to dig in, I was starving and couldn’t wait. I took a few bites and then got my camera out (like I do and started taking some snaps before it all vanished!). The steak was tender with a nice marinade flavouring to it and all the ingredients complemented this (my friend also agreed with his Chargrilled Chicken). My mix of hot sauces really worked out & gave my burrito a nice kick to it. However, half way through eating my Burrito, all I seemed to bite into was rice. The meat was not evenly distributed which meant it was at the top & bottom but the middle was just full of rice. I’m not sure if this was due to the way it was placed before rolling, or the rice & sour cream pushing the meat out of place. I had to get a fork to remove some of the rice within the Burrito so I could get into more meat. I also felt that the ingredients such as the tortilla & meat could have done with being a little warmer but again, it wasn’t a big issue just a personal preference of mine. Another preference of mine was the fact I could have done with a little less Sour Cream but that was really down to me stating that before the application, which I never did. I really enjoyed the flavours within the burrito but think with a few tweaks, the flavours could be spread out more thoroughly which all comes down to practice.
The Nacho’s I ordered were a little messy but that is to be expected, I don’t think you can ever eat Nacho’s without making a mess (my t-shirt is a good example, complete with dribbles & blotches!). The tortilla chips used were really nice with a salt flavouring to them. I loved the cheese sauce used along with the Jalapenos & Guacamole. It wasn’t until I started eating them that I noticed that no salsa was added but after eating a full burrito, it wasn’t needed & to be fair, I only ate half of the Nacho’s before being so stuffed I couldn’t eat anymore.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first Pinto experience. Sure there are a few little things that could be improved but it was Opening Day & everyone is learning as well as being extremely nervous. I would be too! I’d love to see how far Pinto has come a month from now once everyone has settled into their jobs.
Would I go back again? Yes. Why? Because I enjoyed the quality of the food, the pricing is pretty reasonable for the size & I enjoy the flexibility of customizing what you want to eat. I just have to get my sour cream balance right the next time
Pinto is located on 138 Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3BX & if you ‘LIKE’ them on Facebook, you get a Burrito Buddy voucher which allows you to Buy 1 Get 1 Free after 7pm every night until further notice.
Win Win Situation! You’ll be wanting more