Sunday, 20 February 2011

Poll results and The Street Food Chef

Firstly, I’d like to say thanks to all who voted in my recent poll. It’s great to have some reader involvement and I really do appreciate your input. I welcome comments on my posts and if any of you have any requests for items you want covering, it would be great to hear from you.

In the meantime, I have the results of the most recent poll and I am quite surprised by the result. The majority of you, in fact 41% of you, voted for Mexican. I personally thought you would have had me struggling with bits of rice and seaweed to make sushi, but no, you’ve been kind and it’s gonna be Mexican.

Mexican seems to be getting more and more popular, at least it seems that way in Sheffield. Obviously we’re far behind the Americans who have developed their own take on the cuisine; TexMex. You may have already seen my review for Amigos Mexican Kitchen which is a relatively new Mexican venture in Sheffield, and now we have a new addition.  The Street Food Chef has opened its own Mexican Burrito Bar on Pinstone Street. You’ve probably seen these guys before as they have attended many events in Sheffield with a food store selling their Mexican wares. Now they have a permanent set-up and they are quite handily located between the Moor and the Peace Gardens. It’s only been open a week or so but I’ve had my eye on it as soon as I heard it was coming. 

Well, today I needed to pop into town and as it was approaching lunch time I suggested that we nip out to check out the Street Food Chef to Gav. This suggestion was, unsurprisingly, well received!

The set up is quite simple. This is strictly street food and there are no stools to perch on, nor are there tables to eat from. They specialise in burritos, wrapped or ‘naked’, but also sell tacos and empanadas. The naked burritos are essentially the contents of a burrito served on a tray rather than wrapped up in a tortilla. The tacos are small soft tortillas, laden with their fillings and served open. Neither of these were for me. We were walking and eating and I wanted something I could grab in my hand; I didn't want to have to use a fork.

I chose the rice, cheese and beans empanada and Gavin had the shredded pork burrito with picante salsa. Service was quick as the empanadas are already made up, ready for toasting and the burrito fillings are pre-cooked and kept warm. The burrito was rolled up on the counter in front of us; as everything is open; there is no hiding place for this Street Food Chef! 

I had my empanada served with sour cream which meant that it came on a tray, otherwise it would be handed over to me wrapped up in foil, just as Gav’s burrito was. There was habanero sauce too and we were encouraged to try it. It is very hot; only a dollop or two is required, but it’s a tasty hot! I had a bite of Gav’s burrito and I was impressed. The pork is cooked with cumin seeds and cider vinegar and although I only had a small bite I could certainly tell that cumin was used. And, as I love cumin this really worked for me. Gav wasn't complaining either. His choice of picante salsa and the odd splash of habanero sauce left his lips tingling a little so if you are nervous of heat, skip the habanero and choose the pico de gallo salsa instead of the picante.

My empanada was suitably satisfying. It wasn't packed with as much flavour as the burrito, but it was packed with cheese and the tortilla was toasted nicely. I added some of the habanero sauce to the sour cream which made a great tasty dip. Maybe next time I’ll try the pork, rice, beans and jalapenos empanada.

Amigos Meican Kitchen it is not and this is still my favourite for Mexican, but the Street Food Chef isn’t trying to be another Amigos. It is purely street food at a good price and it makes a great quick lunch or snack. Quite often I have been in town and been stumped as to where to go for a quick, well priced lunch and I usually end up with a pasty from Greggs, but now I’ll be coming here for a £2 empanada. 

In the meantime I’m gonna look at ideas for my own Mexican feast. I’ll probably do a mix of the traditional and TexMex to ensure all angles are covered.

Have you tried The Street Food Chef yet?  Will you happily walk and munch, or do you prefer to sit and eat?


  1. oooh how exciting I have had a few chats with the guy who runs the street food chef and had no idea he was setting up a shop (my chats were last summer to be fair).
    How nice to be able to grab a nice quick cheap snack in town!

  2. It's great isn't it? I have a feeling that I'll be frequenting it quite a bit!

  3. Thanks for coming down Clare! Everything we sell, we make from fresh ingredients. We added the Emapandas to the menu to give our customers a quick and cheap alternative for lunch when they are in town, and we are still working on getting them as tasty as the burritos and tacos. Your readers who are looking for a bite packed with punch should try a taco or an burrito.

  4. I think dollops of the hot habanero sauce is possibly inviting melted tastebuds! I put 3 or 4 drops of it on my burrito, and it was noticeably hotter than without it. Very nice little unit, friendly staff and tasty food.

  5. Good point Gav, dollaps may be a bit too much!