It was Seb’s birthday weekend and after spending some time exploring Time Machine at the Manchester Art Gallery, we decided to head to Lucha Libre for some quick grub. Lucha Libre is one of my favourite places to eat in Manchester – its good simple Mexican food done well. When it initially opened in 2013, it got a mixed reaction from Manchester’s food critics with talks of slow service and food not being upto scratch.
Living on Deansgate, this is one of my local joints and it’s always been convenient but its the food that keeps brining me back for more. Situated in the Great Northern Warehouse next to Almost Famous and opposite Reveloucion De Cuba, its not always easy to stand out but the impressive array of tequila displayed in the bar, visible through the glass panes and the chairs made out of rusty tin barrels outside makes sure you don’t miss it.
The interiors of Lucha Libre screams Mexican – it’s more Mexican than Mexico itself. Red chillies, the film posters hanging on the walls, the Mexican tiles on the floor, the cabinets full of Mexican hot chilli sauces all lend its hand in giving this place a very Mexican vibe.
But what truly makes this place a Mexican delight is the bar! If you like Tequila, then this is your idea of heaven. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Tequila (read – scared of Tequila like me), you cannot not help trying one of the tequila cocktails on offer and they have quite a few to pick from. The restaurant is split over two floors with a variety of seating options, right from secluded comfy booths to a seat at the bar.
It was 1pm and we thought it might be too early to jump on to the Tequila bandwagon. We were greeted at the door when we arrived and promptly seated – no fuss just the way I like it. Our friendly waiter handed us menus and talked us through the food on offer. We ordered our drinks along with a few nibbles and continued chatting away.
Jake went for Lucha Libre’s version of the Zombie which he was very happy with it as you can tell. I love the skull shaped glasses, its so cool!
But my favourite drink had to be Izzy’s Mint and Mango Lassi made with mint, mango and you guessed it, Tequila! Light refreshing and the teqilla actually works well with the yoghurt. Definitely going to be ordering this myself the next time I go.
We also shared a starter of Tortilla Chips and Guacamole with Chilli Bacon Jam while deciding on what to order from the very extensive menu, which by the way was delicious. I thought serving them in a cup instead of a bowl was quite a good idea. Our waitress even swapped our empty cups of chips for fresh ones and none of us noticed – now that is good service!
Izzy and I decided to share the Street Food Platter which came with 3 Pill Bil Tacos, 2 Chicken Tostadas and 2 Quesadillas – a Maria Sabina Quesadilla and a Chorizo & Potato Quesadilla. You even get two sides with that. It is quite a lot of food for two people but for £19.95, you cannot complain.
I loved every last bit of it, but my favourite had to be the Maria Sabina Quesadilla. You cannot beat pan fried mushroom, Mexican herbs, fresh spinach and that cheesy goodness wrapped in between two tortillas. I however, wasn’t the biggest fan of the refined black beans – it was delicious but was a little too buttery for me.
Jake went for something quite different – he ordered a Ceviche Cocktail which is fresh fish cured in lime juice and served with chopped tomato, onion, cucumber, green salsa, jalapeño chilli & green salsa.
What was his verdict? He loved it. The freshness of the ceviche was outstanding and it was perfectly spiced. Definitely something to try if you don’t want the usual nachos, tacos or quesadillas you associate with Mexican cooking.
Seb and Matt also ordered a platter to share, but they went for the Taco Tray instead of the Street Food platter which was just as delicious. The Taco Platter is a selection of Pil Bil, Chicken and Chorizo, Steak and Al Pastor Tacos. Doesn’t that look impressive? It’s perfect for people like me who can’t decide what to order and want to try everything on offer.
We chatted away as we enjoyed our food and drinks and made plans for the night. We were quite full after all that food and decided to give dessert a miss but the Chilli and Chocolate Brownie did look very promising. Something for next time I suppose.
Also the fact that Seb and I looked like twins didn’t help. Oops! At this stage all I wanted to do was go home and change into something different – not checkered or red!
Lucha Libre as usual didn’t let me down. The food was absolutely fantastic, the service was efficient and the drinks were spot on. And what’s even better, it’s not too heavy on your waistline or your pockets.
Perfect lunch on a perfect saturday afternoon. Thank you Lucha Libre.