Like a lot of work-at-home/stay-at-home mums, I do pretty much all the cooking in our house. For the most part, I don’t mind. It’s something I enjoy doing, even if it’s not always easy preparing food with three small children in the house.
However, it’s always such a treat when someone offers to cook for me, so when Barburrito Cardiff invited us to put their family dining to the test one evening after school, I had no hesitation in accepting. No cooking! No clearing up afterwards! No washing up! No one moaning that they don’t like it, even though they liked it last time we had it. Result!
Located on the ground floor of the food quarter at St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff city centre, Barburrito opened in summer 2015. It’s part of a growing national (and international) chain of casual dining restaurants, serving street-style Mexican burritos, with options to take-away or eat in. With restaurants in London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham, this is their first opening in Wales.
A burrito is a tortilla wrap packed with fillings and neatly folded up. At Barburrito, rather than ordering off a set menu, diners can pick and mix their own burrito, choosing different combinations as they travel down the counter.
My children – Little Miss E, almost six, Little Man O, just turned four, and 20-month Toddler Boy I – are used to Mexican food. We often eat fajitas, quesadillas and chilli at home, so they were excited to try the food at Barburrito. The two eldest loved that they could choose what they wanted to eat (Toddler just eats anything – he’s not fussy at all). I think it’s so important for children to be involved in food choices and although we had to lift them up to see over the counter, they loved seeing exactly what they were getting.
Owain, the friendly store manager, is really keen to welcome families to the restaurant. There are several high chairs available and all children dining in are given colouring sheets and mini pencils. He explains that parents don’t need to be put off if their children don’t like spicy food. As you can customise your burrito, you can opt for it to be as spicy or non-spicy as you like.
After deciding whether you’d like your burrito in a tortilla wrap (£5.30 small, £6.30 large, £2.99 for children) or loaded into a bowl (£6.30), which is great for people cutting down on carbs or who follow a gluten free diet, the next choice is brown or white rice, then mild or spicy beans.
The main choice of fillings include grilled chicken, spicy chicken and chorizo, pulled pork, spicy shredded beef, grilled steak and and vegetarian (flash fried vegetables). There’s then a choice of mild, medium or hot salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and salad. I love the way they wrap the burritos up so quickly and efficiently, before wrapping it in foil and paper. The idea is to eat it from the wrapping, rather than fully unwrap it, thus being able to minimise mess.
The children’s burritos are about half the size of the adult ones and were just right for my three. Miss E complained her chicken was a bit spicy, but ate most of it nonetheless, while her brothers wolfed theirs down. We found it easier to unwrap Toddler’s burrito and put the contents into a bowl for him to eat with a fork. He honestly couldn’t get enough of it, devouring his and grabbing Cardiff Daddy’s spicy chorizo and chicken complete with hot salsa out of his hand and chomping on that too! My vegetarian burrito bowl was really tasty, although it would have been nice to have had more than once choice of vegetarian main filling.
We accompanied our burritos with a side of tacos and guacamole, which were a big hit with everyone.
Possibly my children’s favourite part was the water cooler machine. They thought pressing the buttons for the ice and water was brilliant fun and drank way more water than they usually would at a meal.
Which brings me to my next point – toilets! Like a lot of the smaller eateries in St David’s food quarter, there’s no customer toilets in the restaurant – but as it’s right opposite the brilliant family-friendly loos at St David’s it wasn’t too much of an issue for us.
My children were super excited to try out their dessert of churros with chocolate sauce. These are a twisted doughnut-style treat which you dip in warm melted chocolate. They loved it, no surprises, especially scooping out the remaining chocolate with their spoons. Well, actually they started doing this with their fingers until Mummy intervened!
We parked in the St David’s car park, so getting back to our car and home after our meal was super easy.
With three children and two parents well fed, it was straight to bed for my three little ones. And, best of all, once they were all tucked up and asleep, there was no teatime carnage cleaning up for the grown-ups! Like I said earlier – result!
Win a family dining experience at Barburrito Cardiff
Fancy experiencing Barburrito family dining for yourself? Barburrito Cardiff are offering one Cardiff Mummy Says reader the chance to do just that. The prize consists of a family meal (two adults and up to four children) of burritos and drinks.
To enter, just answer this simple question on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page.
What was the name of the dessert that my children enjoyed at Barburrito?
The closing date is 11pm, Monday 30th November 2015. Please write your answer in the comments section on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page post for this blog post, dated 25th November 2015.
For more ideas for local family-friendly events, see the Cardiff section of Cardiff Mummy Says.