Sunday 8 February 2015

El Capo, Manchester

El Capo, Manchester
I've been to El Capo three times in four weeks. You would think that I'd have lots of photos... Wrong. I had two incidents. 
  1. I upgraded my phone on a whim and lost loads of bloody photos. Foolish.
  2. I went on the night of the Slipknot and Korn gig. Photos - minimal, excitement - off the scale. Kiboshed.
Which brings me to visit number three. I got a grip, most of my act together and more importantly, some half decent photos. It is quite dark in there, so you may have to forgive me for not taking the clearest of pics!
El Capo, Manchester
El Capo is at the Piccadilly end of the Northern Quarter, up near Port Street Beer House. There's a cosy bar area on the ground floor, and the cantina downstairs, which feels a bit more restauranty. We've always opted for the bar. The walls are covered in Day of the Dead style art, which impressively even stretched to our server's tattoos! Dedication.

Needless to say we have sampled a number of their cocktails, tequilas and beers over the course of the visits, all of which have been amazing, however there were some little belters.

Underneath your Cloves - clove vodka, gomme, egg white and raspberries: Nice little nod to the stunner that is Shakira. Come on, clove vodka and egg whites? It's practically a cake. This is sweet and fruity but as pretty as its namesake. Who doesn't love a cocktail served with flowers?
El Capo, Manchester - Cocktails
Clockwise from top left...

  • Melancholy Holiday -  No.3 gin, melon briotett, lemon juice, honey and sage, peach bitters
  • Alahambra beer
  • Vodka Long and fruity - Stoli citros, triple sec briottet, strawberry purĂ©e, lemon juice, vanilla prosecco
  • Pistonhead beer
  • Tommy on Top - Sauza tequila, agave foam, lime sherbet
  • Many types of tequila...

El Capo, Manchester - Cocktails
There were others. However, I'll be honest with you. I have no idea what they were. Could have been anything. All I do know is that they induced a good time before the gig.

Although the drinks are pretty special, the food is equally brilliant. El Capo has a relaxed feel about the place. I'd generally recommend ordering some nachos whilst you peruse the menu, because it's going to take you at least twenty minutes to get through them!

Macho Nachos - shredded tender pork Colombian chicken: We've also had these with the pulled pork. Twice. I think they have to be my favourite nachos in Manchester. Also, they are the home made type rather than something that resembles a bag of Doritos from Tesco. There is one thing that could make them better... nacho cheese. I'm a total sucker for that yellow stuff.
El Capo, Manchester - Nachos
Chilli fries - topped with chilli con carne: Decent skin on fries with enough salt to make you consider whether they have been sprinkled with crack. Needless to say, quite moreish.
Cartel pollo - Baked chicken, garlic, onion puree, coconut milk and coriander: Packed full of marinaded flavour and smelled utterly divine.
Almojabanas - Puerto rican cheese and chilli fritters: I'm just angry that I didn't eat more of these. I'd forgotten how good they were until I saw this picture. Oh well, I'll have to go back.
El Capo, Manchester - Tapas style
Big cahones - sweet spiced meat balls, habanero chilli tomato sauce: I didn't even rearrange that chilli... Cheeky. These are the most wonderfully dense, cinnamon laced balls of meat ever. Big fans of big cahones.
El Capo, Manchester - Cahones
Burrito grande - Soft our tortillas filled with black beans, Mexican spiced rice, guacamole, shredded carne asada: This is one of my favourite things on the El Capo menu. I love a good burrito. I know something's good when I get that rage that can only come with reminiscing about how good it was, and then remembering that I don't have it in front of me now. That rage is very much present today.
El Capo, Manchester - Burrito
Los pollos El Capo buena vista - lime, mango puree, coriander: God these make a mess. It's because there is so much sauce on them though! Please don't think this is a negative, I'm an advocate of wearing your food. In the right setting. It seemed commonplace here. We were also told a story about 'wing night', where the floor ends up covered in sauce. Sounds a bit like a foam party, but without the scallies and pounding dance music. Not that I'd know. Honestly...
El Capo, Manchester - Wings
But what if I want wings?!
Slow low and slow - slow fried chorizo and habanero chillies: Do not - I repeat, do not think you're hard and bite a chunk of scotch bonnet before your chorizo. Unless of course you don't mind the end of your tongue being numb for about ten minutes. My pal Kev would be all over that red fella. You have to get this. I think we've had them every time!
El Capo, Manchester - Chorizo
With so much on offer in Manchester, I think it speaks volumes that we've been here so many times in such a short period. There's nothing fancy about the food, but it's well executed, the flavours are big, and the staff are friendly. I can see El Capo being a regular haunt.

El Capo on Urbanspoon
Square Meal


  1. Love the selection of cocktails :-) x

  2. Wow what a feast! I love the flowers in the cocktails x

  3. Wow what a feast! I love the flowers in the cocktails x


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