There are times when I wonder if it is more hassle than it is worth trying to impose some kind of order to this blog (drunken, late night posts accepted).
Such a time came last Saturday night, as, sat in Pinche Pinche in Chapel Allerton, Leeds – I sank my teeth in to the softest, most tender, lamb burrito I had ever eaten. With every glorious bite of lamb, cheese and salsa, my thoughts turned, not to plate but to this place – to how I was going to have to write, not just a plethora of complimentary phrases, but something slightly more critical. For across the table sat Lauren; and her near untouched plate.
Food reviews, at least restaurant reviews have been given over on this site, to provide a family rather than solely, personal perspective. I may have sat happy, considering whether to call for the chef and heap praise upon him, his cooking and my burgeoning stomach – but Lauren sat picking; pushing and prodding. All was not well.
Pinche Pinche isn’t really set up as a family friendly restaurant. It happily welcomes families –accommodating us, our children – even Harry, asleep in his car seat; blocking a path between kitchen and outer tables. What they don’t have is anything to entertain. No crayons, not activity books – no “make your own day of the dead mask”. It wasn’t a problem. We can entertain our own child. It’s just that one of the small things that might tempt you back was missing – the prospect of a happy, busy child; as you feed your even happier belly.
What they also have for consideration is a slightly modified approach to food for children, rather than a different approach altogether. The problem for Lauren was that, although mild to adult tastes, her burrito was too “spicy”. It had a definite kick; enough at least, to put her off. This would have been great three, maybe four years down the line; but for a three year old, this was definitely not what she wanted. Amy suggested a better alternative would have been a “make your own” offering with a simple tortilla wrap, plain chicken, salsa, cheese and salad. A missing salsa, no doubt kept from fussier eaters, was the one thing we thought was actually needed to tamper that slight heat. So we tore her chunks off our wraps as she devoured her cheese and slithers of tortilla chips.
It didn’t affect how much I enjoyed my burrito. Selfish, I know. But it does make me wonder what she might have, should we go back again? Maybe it’s better if we just go back as adults, on our own. At least there will be more churros left for me.
Selfish, I know.