Walking up Northumberland Street, it’s easy to spot many a bored looking student holding a sign for a business or restaurant that is “just round the corner”, “5 minutes walk” or “right down this ally way”. There’s so many, they’re far too easy to ignore as you dodge the endless stream of charity workers, political activists and market researchers as you try to get quickly from A to B. (Although I never dodge the Pringles market researchers… Free Pringles and a shiny pound coin for telling you that Pringles taste nice? You’re alright in my book). However, one sign recently was impossible to ignore. It has the word ‘Mexican’ on it in giant letters. Enough said. I’m sold.
Zapatista is located, surprise surprise, just off Northumberland Street on Ridley Place. Once inside, it’s your standard Burrito Bar affair. It’s got a nice atmosphere, plenty of seating and hot sauce on every table. I visited at a peak time and there was still plenty of places to sit and the queue disappeared fairly rapidly as service was very fast.
I opted for a pork burrito with every kind of filling: Rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese. You name it, if it’s on the menu; I want it in my burrito. The pork itself was alright, it wasn’t as flavoursome as described “slow cooked with red onion and brown sugar” but it was moist and went well with the myriad of other fillings I selected. The salsa in particular was very tasty, not too spicy but with good chunks of tomato, onion and a splash of lime. Although the meat was a slight letdown, when mixed together with everything else, it still made for one delicious combo!
There are plenty of other options on the menu to choose from, everything from tacos to nachos and salads. Plus with 4 stages required to put together your meal, the list of meal possibilities is a long one. Ordering food to go is also a huge convenience. Burritos are wrapped in foil and bagged so you have a hot, filling meal that’s easy to eat on the go.
As the only Mexican Burrito bar in the centre of Newcastle, Zapatista does a great job of filling that Mexican food shaped hole in my life. Whenever I feel the need to embrace its awesomeness, I dodge everyone on the high street and keep my eyes glued to that sign. Look for that sign, it’s the only one you shouldn’t ignore.
Check out Zapatista at: 28 Ridley Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8JW