Pinto, Lothian Road, Edinburgh

A mental visual of fiestas, large hats and margaritas immediately entered my head upon receiving an invite to Lothian Road’s recent opening.

Pinto is Edinburgh’s newest offering of Mexican fare, following a successful launch of three similar hangouts in quick succession in Glasgow’s city centre.

Although (and probably thankfully) the large hats were missing, the welcoming vibe was typically Mexican with an easy and laid back greeting set to a background of some edgy and very fitting music.

The Pinto staff seemed excited by their offering, enthusiastically explaining the menu and choice of delicious smelling goodies. The concept is simple, the execution, clean-cut and the food, delicious.

A contemporary interior, designed for the brand, offers the opportunity to sit-in and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying the food; the alternative; a takeaway for the busy office staff and those on the run from the surrounding locality.

Service was quick, even from a fairly extensive menu, with lots of variations and options, beginning with an initial choice of Quesadilla, Burrito, Tacos or Salad and Nachos.

Fillings are varied, tasty and typically Mexican, surprisingly offering a low carb option and all arriving with a promise of “No Freezers, No Microwaves” – a great USP, especially in the lunchtime food market, where speed is often of the essence and no less for the evening trade, where confidence in fresh produce is equally as important.

Judging success by the fairly steady lunchtime trade, it is apparent that Pinto has settled into the neighbourhood and has already established a base of ‘regulars’, ordering with a familiarity of both concept and servers – nice to see.

I hope the team at Pinto never lose their enthusiasm for this wonderful product and that carries through to the newest addition to the Pinto team, due to open in Shandwick Place in the coming months.