Review: Zapatista Burrito, Ridley Place, Newcastle

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IT’S not often I go to Newcastle and don’t spot a new place to scoff.

Wandering about before dance class, I spotted Zapatista Burrito off the main shopping drag of Northumberland Street.

Peckish and curious, I decided to take a peek, along with a friend who’d joined me for a city centre mooch.

Zapatista is so new you can still smell the paint that coats its brightly-coloured interior.

Luckily, that doesn’t overpower the smell of Mexican-inspired goodness from Newcastle’s first burrito bar.

Eating at Zapatista happens in four easy steps – first, choose your main meal, second, pick your filling, select your salsa and finally, choose any extras to round it off.

Mindful of my appointment with bopping about, I chose a healthy rice bowl, topped with chargrilled chicken and hot chipotle sauce.

With a less active evening in mind, my pal went for a bowl of nachos, topped with chargrilled chicken and calorific dollops of sour cream, cheese and guacamole.

Business is conducted from a sandwich bar-style counter, so you can have a good look at what’s on offer and staff are happy to let you try a spoonful of the different toppings, which include sweet shredded pork, spicy shredded beef, chilli con carne and sautéed veg for those shunning meat.

My salad bowl was packed with lettuce, peppers, red onions, rice and coriander, topped with chunks of chicken and beans.

I’d aimed a little high on the heat scale with the chipotle sauce, but it pepped up the salad and chicken, which otherwise would have been a little bland.

My friend’s nachos looked exactly the same as those you crunch through at the cinema, smothered with melted cheese and sour cream – pleasant, but unremarkable.

Zinginess can be found in Zapatista’s interior, with bright Mexicana motifs bursting from bare walls and reclaimed floorboards.

Most meals are about £4 and with drinks, our teatime treat came to just over £10.

Zapatista is open 10am-7pm, Monday to Saturday and is perfect for a quick re-fuel mid-shop.