Pico’s Tacos, Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle St, Manchester, M4 5BU – Visit Now
It’s been something of a lifelong ambition (6 years) of mine to find a Mexican joint a little closer to home, which could give me the same good time feels I had when eating a tamale on the beach when I was 24. A very specific brief, I’ll agree – but after countless efforts of searching for the Juan, would you believe Pico’s Tacos have just gone and served it on a bed of tortillas?
You can find Pico’s Tacos in brick-walled, exposed-bulbed Mackie Mayor. It’s fast, it’s casual but it’s anything but ordinary. The love-child of newly engaged Luc and Laura; their passion for authentic, made-from-scratch Mexican is poured into every plateful which leaves Pico’s kitchen and is as good as (if not better) any hole-in-the-wall taco joint you’d find in Cali.
The menu is short and savoury, all dishes balancing flavours to perfection. My recommendation? Order one of everything
Left in the hospitable hands of the Pico’s team, our evening kicked off how all good evenings should begin- with margaritas. Sipping on our frozen slushies of joy, Luc and Laura took us on the Pico journey, from their courtesy to keeping everything on the menu gluten-free (not even for personal preference, just because they’re ace), to ensuring as much produce is as organic as possible and always sustainably and ethically sourced. We hung on their every word, fully invested and hungry to be a part of it.
The menu is short and savoury, all dishes balancing flavours to perfection. My recommendation? Order one of everything. The nachos are a platter of beauty. Homemade tortilla chips, smothered in necklaces of guac, sour cream, a scattering of cabbage, homemade Mexican chorizo and jalapeños.
Now I know what you’re thinking; “But wait….what about the cheese? Nachos need cheese!” Well, let me tell you – the nacho cheese that co-owner Laura agonised over deserves its very own paragraph. Warm, rich, gloops of house-made, plastic-looking cheese accessorises the dish like a naughty oxymoron. These drizzles of gorgeous, unnatural sunshine-yellow goodness almost make the dish if its fellow components weren’t also ridiculously wonderful.
Veggies fear not, as there is an abundance of choice, as exquisite as the carnivorous counterparts
Now, when ordering the tacos, let me put your mind at ease that there really is no wrong choice. All delicious as they are beautiful, there were two however which really stole the show. First, the Pork Carnita; pork shoulder crisped and rolled on the grill, served on a homemade tortilla, with salsa verde marmalade, pickles and jalapeño. If I had to describe it as a haiku I’d go with: “firework bites of a crispy pork pancake” (pure poetry right?)
My second go-to has got to be the Baja Tempura Fish Taco. Crispy battered cod paired with fresh and herby salsa verde, smokey chipotle cream, pink pickled onions and crunch toasted corn – all served atop a homemade tortilla. Sen-sational. Veggies fear not, as there is an abundance of choice, equally exquisite as the carnivorous counterparts.
The Corn Esquites is fresh, moreish and full of zingy flavour. Paired with tortillas repurposed from yesterdays taco batch – they’re fried and served alongside as tasty vehicles for minimal waste – so be sure to feel good about helping to save the planet while you chow down.
I am guilty in the past of calling cauliflower “ghost broccoli”, however Pico’s do it a fabulous service
Now, I am guilty in the past of calling cauliflower “ghost broccoli”, however Pico’s do it a fabulous service by crisping up a floret and serving it with their specially spiced, roasted nut salsa, avocado, toasted corn and hot ancho chilli oil for hot, sharp and smokey kiss. A rogue yet compatible marriage of flavours, it’ll go down an absolute treat.
Despite only being up and running in Mackie Mayor for less than a year, soon enough you’ll also be able to find Pico’s Tacos at Altrincham Market as they welcome their new bebé to the original market house. But if you can’t wait (and I highly advise you don’t,) you can get your fix every day but Monday from 12pm. ¡Buen provecho!
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.