Tag Archives: tacos

Review: Y Fabrica – Californian & Mexican Diner

Last week the stars aligned and a much needed good thing happened – I won lunch for two at Y Fabrica in Didsbury. Y Fabrica is where the Mud Crab Cafe used to be, it recently opened following a total rebrand and now specialises in serving a colourful menu of Californian and Mexican food. I decided to take my husband out for lunch, we don’t get much time without the small boy, so we were looking forward to eating a meal without having to make small talk about Paw Patrol in between courses.

I’d been checking out the menu at Y Fabrica since it opened. I confess my eye was caught by the very decent looking cocktail menu, lots of tequila based drinks and with several twists on the classics, I know I won’t be happy until I’ve worked my way through the lot. My first cocktail port of call was the Mai Thai Ting – a classic Mai Thai but served with Ting, like Lilt but better. Fruity, refreshing and the perfect foil for what was to come.

Y Fabrica

Y Fabrica has a big selection of “small plates” to choose from – like tapas but a bit bigger and heartier; as well as bigger plates such as burgers, lamb tagine and fried chicken (amongst others). As it was lunchtime we chose a selection of small plates to share. It’s very easy to have a simple light lunch here, or order more small plates (like we did) and have a greedy Friday treat of a lunch.

Y Fabrica

We ordered the adobo pork belly taco with apple slaw, pico de pina and salsa verde and the roasted poblano and sweet potato taco with pickled red onion, refried beans and crumbled feta cheese.

On the side we had a Mexican pizza filled with black beans, avocado and mozzarella, topped with a fried egg (carnivores can have chorizo instead); guacamole and tortilla chips, grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayo and Parmesan; tempura of calamari with black aioli and a stack of chargrilled sweet potato fries.

Y Fabrica

If you want a light lunch, the tacos are a great place to start. Each serving of two tacos is piled high with fillings. My roasted poblano and sweet potato taco was deceptively hearty and bursting with freshness. The taco packed a little kick which was in part soothed by the cool creamy crumbled cheese on top. It was very well balanced. Husband who gave up smoking and took up pulled pork instead, wolfed his down with the demeanor of someone who hadn’t had a hot meal all week. 

The Mexican pizza was a large tortilla, folded and filled with refried beans and avocado. It looked as pretty as a picture with the sunshiny egg on the top. I thought it was delicious, I’d love it to have a big handful of coriander inside the pizza – but I’m a coriander addict and I suspect if I asked, they’d throw some in for me.

Y Fabrica

Deserving of special mentions were the chunky sweet potato fries – chargrilled for a smoky flavour and tossed in some delicious but secret seasoning, I reckon these might be the best sweet potato fries in Didsbury. The tempura of calamari with black aioli was also a bit special, the light and crispy tempura had finely sliced chilli and coriander flecked throughout, and the black aioli made with squid ink looked appealingly arresting on the plate. 

Y Fabrica

I was by this point (remember, this was a supposed to be a light lunch) feeling a little drunk on food, but we were determined to have desserts. Hubs went for the caramelised apple and cinnamon burrito served with cream cheese. His sweet burrito smelt deliciously autumnal, of apples and cinnamon. Once he devoured it, he grunted with the kind of approval he reserves only for good puds. 

I opted for the peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwich with caramel sauce. I’d seen photos on Twitter of this highlight of the dessert menu and it did look awesome. In real life it was much bigger than I was expecting. Two freshly baked peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, each around 4 inches in diameter, sandwiched with ice cream and caramel sauce. It was huge and I could only finish half, a fact which makes me feel disappointed in myself even now. If you like peanut butter, it is absolutely worth saving extra room for this ice cream sandwich, or sharing it with a peanut butter loving friend.

Y Fabrica

Replete, husband opted for a coffee and I had an espresso martini before we went our separate ways and back to work for the afternoon. We’d had an excellent, laid back lunch and some valuable quiet couple time together.

Our meal at Y Fabrica was really enjoyable. I’ve long felt that Didsbury really needed somewhere casual but grown up, a place where you can grab a taco or two and a frozen margarita (how I’ve longed for frozen margaritas in Didsbury).

The staff (shout out to the lovely Huw) were delightful, very helpful and keen to explain the new menu, recommending dishes along the way, and were attentive without being overbearing.

I’m pleased to see so many veggie options on the menu too. The food feels vibrant, fresh and healthy without being pious about it. I reckon I must have had about 800 of my 5 a day without even noticing.

It’s good to see the old Mud Crab Cafe getting a new lease of life as Y Fabrica, it’s even better that it’s round the corner from my house and has met my long hoped for wish of tacos and margaritas within walking distance. A good addition to Didsbury village, we’ll be back!

Y Fabrica is at 747 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester. You can find Y Fabrica on Twitter.

We were invited guests of Y Fabrica (I’d won lunch for two). I was not asked to blog about my meal, but we enjoyed it so much I wanted to write about it and show off some of the nice pictures we took.

Our Mexican Feast – food from Old El Paso

As a family one of our favourite quick and easy evening meals is fajitas. Usually our fajita evenings consist of an Old El Paso fajita kit, some potato wedges, and as much salad, avocado and guacamole we can lay our hands on. I’m a veggie so we usually load the fajitas up with really well cooked vegetables and some sliced up soya burgers for a bit of protein. It’s a popular, sociable meal which we will all happily eat, it feels like a bit of a treat, but with all those veggies it’s a pretty healthy one.

I was sent a box of things to try from Old El Paso, and with Mexican food being a casual, social affair, we invited some friends around to join us for a fiesta feast!

Old El Paso

I’d never seen the “Stand ‘N’ Stuff” soft taco kit before, it contains boat shaped soft tortila shells which you fill up with whatever you want. It also contains a packet of salsa style sauce and a sachet of flavour powder. All you do is brown some mince (I used Quorn), add a drop of water and stir through the flavour powder, it is ridiculously quick and really tasty. It had a really lovely smoky BBQ flavour which would I imagine work even better with minced beef. I really, really liked these and would definitely have these again instead of our usual fajitas.

The pack also included a packet of chilli flavour mix. We are big chilli fans and I’ve been eating chilli since my fairly exotic Nan started giving it to us for our tea in the early 1980s. I love chilli and know a good one from a bad one,  this was lovely. I followed the instructions on the packet to the letter, but again used Quorn instead of minced beef. I would use this flavour packet again, maybe next time I’d add more chopped tomatoes for a slightly wetter chilli and cook it for longer to allow the flavours to develop further. 

Old El Paso

We also tried a jar of salsa – a store cupboard staple for us, and this was a lovely accompaniment to our tacos, likewise the guacamole, it’s nice to have an ambient one for the times when you just can’t make your own. Hubs who likes  a bit of heat enjoyed most of the jar of jalapeños. I wasn’t brave enough to try them and I don’t think the small boy is ready for chillies just yet. 

Old El Paso

It was a fine feast, we all ate and ate well. The shape of the soft tacos was a bit of a game changer for me, it worked really well for the small boy too, there was less food down his top than usual which is always a good sign. Old El Paso seem to have really expanded their range recently, with more taco and flavour options, I’ll be keeping an eye out for new things to try from them. 

As a family we can’t really go wrong with Mexican food, it’s so easy to eat and secretly healthy and a great way to get veg into the boys without any fuss. All that was missing were the margaritas! 

Note: We were sent a selection of Old El Paso products to try for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.