Review of 'Picante Restaurant Grill (NOW CLOSED)'

Having read about Picante in a local email list I was anxious to give it a try. We happened to be in the neighbourhood so decided to give it a go…and I think that is probably where I should start off since the “neighbourhood” is quite far from anywhere, really, in pretty much a back alley in the middle of some residential apartments. Certainly not exactly convenient even for Victoria, the closest tube. You could be forgiven if you even walked right by…But this would be your loss - Make the effort!

The small restaurant has only a few tables and generally does most of it's business with take-away - certainly during the day with the office crowd who have made the effort (see?). The staff are welcoming though we had to wait for a few minutes while they photocopied the menu (did I mention it was small?). The somewhat short menu basically consists of the usual suspects: Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and (one or two) enchiladas served with the normal assortment of meat and the obligatory veggies as well. If I seem a bit blase about the offering that is because this is being done to death right now in London with Chilango, Wahaca (ok, somewhat more up-market), and our local Daddy Donkey. Of course, it is the quality that counts so ordering we go: We decided to start with their home-made nachos with “frijoles negro” (£5) which were, to our delight, piled high with toppings including cheese, the beans, and a somewhat thin (to the point of non-existent) bit of sour cream on the top. Tasty if a bit extra crunchy - To be honest it would have been nice to have some more nachos since we had to resort to using our plastic forks…

For our mains I had the Carnitas Enchilada Plate (£6.50) which came with a salsa-verde-style “mole” topping. This came with beans (brown this time though I had the choice of frijoles if I wanted) and rice. The brown beans and enchilada were both quite surprisingly spicy - Not really hot but just hot where I did not expect it to be hot! The whole dish was quite tasty if not completely overwhelmingly awesome.

My companion had the Chicken Fajita Plate (£10.50) which came with a generous portion of grilled chicken and what looked like a whole grilled pepper sliced up. It was good and fresh. But, again, not overwhelmingly awesome.

I have to say I also had their home-made lemonade which, at £1, was nicely inexpensive and very tasty - A bit sweeter than I was expecting but very good.

The whole meal was a lot cheaper than we expected, at £24 for the two of us. We had a chat with the manager on the way out (did I mention it was quite small?) who mentioned that they are looking at opening another branch in a lot more of a central location - Just down the road from my office! So will have look out for that.

Conclusions? Hum, well, very friendly staff. Quite tasty food, fresh, good sized portions, great prices…The home-made element to pretty much everything on the menu is refreshing (I am not sure how many other Mexican restaurants in London are looking at opening their own tortilla bakery or even make their own nachos!). Biggest problem here was probably the location…

Rating:

Review Date: 2013-08-09


Cuisine: Mexican

Address: 18 Greencoat Row London SW1P 1PQ ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Victoria

Location: London (England) - Victoria

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7834 0027

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