Picante

So, it turns out that relationships can play havoc with a previously thriving burrito blog. When a) your other half isn’t keen on burritos*, you’ve suddenly got to be seen naked and have gained a stone thanks to burritos, and your new hobby is playing Scrabble in pubs instead of eating burritos, it really puts a dampener on the whole burrito-blogging business. Plus, I broke my laptop when it fell off the bed (ahem).

It was worth it.

But relationships can also be good for a burrito blog. At least they were just this once. Following a visit to Mr Mullies’ homeland of Wolverhampton, we were due to arrive back in London with plenty of time to catch Picante before it shut. It being one of the many burrito joints in London only open at lunchtime on weekdays, this was very good news indeed.

At least it seemed like good news, until train delays (a dodo riding a unicorn blocking the line with magic beans or something) meant we had about five minutes to catch Picante before it shut.

Now, I’m no stranger to Mission Impossible-style jaunts to find a good burrito. But we had several bags (to be fair, Mr Mullies was saddled with most of these, like an alluring pack horse), it was a hot day, and my sense of direction is worse than Frankie Cocozza’s hair. By the time we got to Picante – a cute, blue-fronted building down an invisible side street in Victoria – Mr Mullies was crying, and the staff were sitting down for their lunch.

Bluer than the blue, blue sea. Or a blueberry.

We must have looked suitably pitiable though, because the very friendly owner let us in anyway, and served us up two delicious-looking burritos for a mere £5 each – although sour cream was 20p extra, which was a bit weird.

It was worth the extra cash, however, as Picante burritos are really rather nice. My hot sauce was a bit too hot, which was my fault for ordering it. But, as I was already sweatier than Greg Wallace checking out The Great British Bake-Off’s ratings, it was a bit uncomfortable. It was also a little too cheesy, but there the criticisms end. It was lovely and juicy, with very tasty chicken, a well-packed by not over-stuffed wrap, and a great balance of ingredients. 

A burrito anointed with sweat, yesterday

Considering it was the very end of the day, it tasted completely fresh. Plus the staff were super-friendly, and – as if that wasn’t good enough – Picante also offers the opportunity to buy some very tiny, very strong magnets after you’ve eaten your tasty burrito.**

Holds six sheets of A4 paper!

My packhorse declared his the best he’d ever eaten (bearing in mind he’s a rank amateur), and less oily than Tortilla, which has a branch underneath his office. Then he admitted that what had initially been a begrudging duty had blossomed into a delight. Put THAT on your sales blurb, Mr Picante!

So impressed was he, that he urged me to take a photo of his empty plate, suggesting it would be an excellent addition to my blog. Being a journalist, he should have realised this is the equivalent of someone telling him a long and involved story about a cat trapped under some decking then proudly saying, ‘Stick THAT in your magazine!’ But I’ve decided to humour him anyway:

Ta-da! *Proudface*

Overall, Picante is a lovely little place, perfect for lunch if you’re in the area and aching for some hot burrito action. Or some very small magnets.

*I know, I know. But he won Countdown, so I forgive him.

**This, apparently, being the owner’s sideline. Hmm.

Mood before: Tired but happy, like a child after a trip to Legoland

Mood after: Sweaty 

Rating: Food 7/10, Ambience 7/10, Staff 9/10, Value 8/10

Where: 18 Greencoat Row, SW1P 1PQ. The number’s 0207 834 0027 in case you get lost and need to phone them like we did. 

Closest tube: Victoria

Web: Find them here /@Picantegrill_UK, but the owner says he doesn’t do Twitter much, although his wife has the odd look. You’re better off finding them on Facebook.

Recommended?: Yes, definitely.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cashmore on October 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Your pack-horse loves you very much.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Cashmore on October 7, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Are you right? Naaaayyyy!

    Reply

  3. Hello, only just found your blog page for us. I remember the day that you came in with your bags and am very glad that you enjoyed your burritos.

    Just a couple of clarifications:
    1 – The magnet business was what I started when I moved to London. It also allowed me to get to the point I could open Picante. Plus, they are really good for holding Mexican recipes to the fridge.
    2 – The 20p charge for the sour cream was only applicable to the £5 Taqueria Burrito that you ordered. It comes as a free extra on the regular burrito.

    We hope you can come in and sample some of our other fillings. The Carnitas (shredded pork) is very tasty.

    Many thanks
    Jason Coolbaugh (Owner)

    Reply

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