My eldest son Harry is almost 10 years old and this summer I've noticed he's starting to change into a proper tweenager. One of the signs is that he no longer orders child portions of food when we eat out and his favourite food has changed from 'chicken nuggets and chips' to the likes of burgers and Burritos. So when Zapatista invited him to try out their Burritos he had a big cheesy smile on his face and I relished in playing 'mum of the year' for the day for landing him such a cool gig.
You'll find Zapatista in two very convenient locations in Newcastle city centre - on Ridley Place just off Northumberland street next to Dawson & Sanderson and where we visited on Grainger Street opposite Central Station (it's right next to the statue of the man walking in the middle of the street). Opening times vary so your best bet is to check their website but they're always open for lunch and early evening.
First of all, I was super surprised at just how speedy our Burritos were made up - the people who work here have serious skills! Everything is made fresh in front of you. To put their speed into perspective, I succumbed to the dreaded Golden Arches the next day and I swear Zapatista made our lunch up a whole lot quicker than Mcdonalds did. Proper fast food done right! (check out this video to see how they roll the perfect Burrito - a skill I have yet to perfect!)
Zapatista offer one type of food and they do it very well - you can order Burritos, Taco, Fajitas and Nachos. The concept is really easy. You simply move along the bar, the team member asks which fillings you'd like then wrap it up in their super special way and you're good to go. This method is perfect for fussy eaters or kids as they pick and choose what goes inside. Don't like onions? - no worries. Only want a tiny drizzle of sour cream? Also not a problem.
I just LOVE Harry's face in this picture. He went for a 12" Burrito (£5.10) with chargrilled chicken (marinated overnight in a secret blend of herbs and spices), a mild tomato, red onion and red onion salsa, tomato rice, cheese and mild beans. It's fair to say he is in food heaven! Just look at his face.
My mum is a real salad lover and ordered one of Zapatista's salad bowls - this was only £5.50 and a fantastic option for a healthy lunch. You can pick and choose what you'd like but mum went for the works - lettuce, coriander and lime rice, red onions, cheese, beans, salsa and chargrilled chicken. It may not look like much but she was full to the brim afterwards.
I went for a Spicy Shredded Beef Fajita (£5.20) with coriander and lime rice, lettuce, chipotle salsa, cheese and sour cream. It was EPIC and approximately one million times better than the fajitas I cook at home. In fact I would say they were even better than the fajitas we had when we were in actual Mexico. Seriously - you need to try them! They're jam packed with flavour.
Children's Meals at Zapatista Burrito Bar
There are kids options too and they can order mini taste of Mexico - children's meals include a handful of nachos, two tacos, a choice of chicken, pork or vegetables, rice, cheese and lettuce - kind of like a 'make your own taco' kit plus orange or apple juice for the absolute bargain price of just £2.90 - I think this may be the best value kids meal in town.
Heidi wasn't playing ball though and had her beady eye on the nachos and wanted a whole bowl to herself so we went for those instead. Nachos (£4.90) come with cheese sauce, guacamole, sour cream, Jalapenos, beans and salsa, Little miss can be super picky though and declined all of these options! The staff handled it well though and convinced Heidi to have some cheese sauce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa on the side. They popped little tasters into little pots and low and behold - she did actually dip her nachos and try something new. Yeah!
You can eat in or takeaway - I spied lots of office workers leaving with their orders and they are clearly very popular. We decided to eat in and the atmosphere and decor were fab. Heidi couldn't stop dancing to the Mexican music in the background. Theere are table sauces to choose from as well (although I certainly didn't need these).
Onto dessert.........how could we resist a serving of Churros? At £3.70 per portion, they are freshly made to order (they take around 7-10 minutes which was perfect for us as they were brought up to our table just as we were finishing our mains). Your churros will be sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and you can choose either chocolate and lime or sticky toffee as your sauce. They were both delicious and the perfect treat for the kids to end their meal. YUM!
I honestly cannot fault Zapatista at all and I know we are going to be regular customers. There are endless choices and variations and you can choose something plain and mild or go crazy and choose something very hot - the choice is yours. The staff are all happy, cheerful and helpful and the service was super speedy. Once the kids are back to school I'll be returning with Steve to try their meal deal (only available at Grainger Street). You can order a Burrito, Fries and Soft drink for £7 - bargain!!
For kids, I would also highly recommend. We all loved our little taste of Mexico and Harry has declared Zapatista his favourite restaurant in Newcastle which is high praise indeed. We'll definitely be heading back for his birthday next month. At £2.90 for a children's meal, you really can't go wrong. Oh and there's free WiFi which always gets the thumbs up from us.
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Disclosure: We received a complimentary lunch in return for an honest review