Tag Archives: Northern Quarter

Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn: Reviewed

Manchester’s newest taco joint, Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn, inspired by a road trip from Vegas to Mexico, is blowing the minds of those lucky, lusty (and smart) enough to have paid it a visit already.

Exterior signage

Exterior signage

Formally known as Socio Rehab, the guys behind Home Sweet Home, Almost Famous and Keko Moku have brought us another glorious hangout over two floors!

It’s not just ‘Almost Famous with Mexican food’. It’s a completely different vibe to Famous, not better or worse but different, more ‘grown up’ shall we say? Less slut, more class and unmistakably ‘cool’.

Guac and artichoke dips with 'chips'

Guac and artichoke dips with ‘chips’

The menu is large and varied, providing meaty, veggie and fishy options. Accompanied by the delightful Sarah Nosh, we started off with the guacamole which is hand-smashed at your table for uber-freshness meaning you get the full hit of the lime, chilli and coriander complimenting the avocado. Alongside this we ordered the warm artichoke, jalapeno and cheese dip which also comes with nachos and was extremely moreish and something I’d never had before so I was pleasantly surprised.

However, for the calorie conscious you can indulge in carb-free goodness too such as the chicken lettuce cups. Chicken, pineapple, peanuts and sunflower seeds drizzed with a teriyaki BBQ sauce and served in a gem lettuce leaf. VERY good.

Chicken Lettuce Cups

Chicken Lettuce Cups

On to the tacos, burritos and sticky buns (now you’re listening?!), well, they are quite something. We ordered the Beef Smackdown burrito which was delicious but a bit heavy for me (the portion sizes are substantial). The slow-cooked beef with chipotle gravy, peppers, onions, hot sauce and cheese is spicy and comforting and it sure as hell gives you bang for your buck.

MASSIVE Beef Smackdown

MASSIVE Beef Smackdown Burrito

We also tried the Yum Yum sticky pork buns. The mini brioche buns are very sweet, too sweet for some but I enjoyed them. Smoky and sweet shredded pork topped with BBQ sauce and pineapple, HELLO INDULGENCE. However, on my second visit I ordered the Dirty Chicken tacos and I really can’t recommend them enough.

Sticky Pork Buns with Chips AND Salad (we ordered extra)

Sticky Pork Buns with Chips AND Salad (we ordered extra)

Dirty Chicken Tacos - Phenomenal

Dirty Chicken Tacos

They’re gorgeously tasty, creamy, tangy, cheesy and even refreshing ALL AT ONCE! I don’t know how that’s possible, but it is at Luck & Lust.

A new feature to those who are fond of Famous and fancy something a little different is dessert! Now, apart from when the weekly special had vanilla ice-cream on the burger the closest thing I’ve come to a dessert in Famous is ordering another tequila Scramble cocktail.

However, dangerously, you can now choose between salted caramel chocolate brownie (baked with a freaking oreo in the middle!!!) or a pineapple and coconut cheesecake with strawberry sauce, lusty wafers and amazing blood orange jellies. Both come with a scoop of Penelope’s malted vanilla ice crea. Yummy! Could I pick a favourite? No. Basically, it will take several return visits in order to come to a conclusion.

Salted Caramel Brownie with Oreo

Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake

Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake

I must confess that due to lack of funds and having done Dry January I haven’t yet ventured into Tom’s cocktail creations but the drinks menu is certainly one to widen the eyes and whet the appetite. Next time.

The main difference between Famous and Luck & Lust, because people will compare (rightly or wrongly), is the sheer volume of the menu on offer at the latter. The quality is there, the atmosphere is there and also, they have actual plates at Luck. Decadence, indeed.

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A Christmas Miracle hits the Northern Quarter

Winter is coming and what better way than to shake off those seasonal blues by eating and drinking yourself to your ‘happy place’ in a winter wonderland where it’s always Christmas? I fear that this may become an addiction.

Traditional Christmas fair…?

Welcome to Miracle, the Northern Quarter’s seasonal celebration spot with Christmas-themed drinks and traditional Christmas food with an Almost Famous twist. Turkey slathered in butter slammed on a roll and topped with delights! You want it don’t you?

Yes, Miracle is the home of the Miracle burger! Now this is a proper turkey burger, not like those rancid ones you remember from school dinners, oh no, proper shredded turkey, sausage stuffing, potatoes AND brussel sprouts. As well as some extra pigs in blankets for garnish (that’s my kind of garnish!). It’s also worth mentioning that Miracle has really produced a miracle by making brussel sprouts taste really, very good!

Chris Bull, a man who knows his burgers, fries and general junk food, usually flat-out refuses to eat turkey yet, he scoffed away a Miracle burger with pleasure. A true compliment to the chefs!

Along with the mouth-watering burgers we tried the beef in beer, which has as much booze in as the cocktails, and the gobble gobble gravy fries which are topped with shredded buttered turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy! Christmas really has come early this year.

Gobble Gobble Gravy Fries, Beef in Beer and the Miracle turkey sandwich

Lead in through the back of Socio Rehab and up the stairs (my female sense of direction was scrambled by then) we emerged into a wintery wonderland of cocktails and debauchery, as well as fantastical decorations to get you into the festive spirit, including this one by Kat Crass Stitch!

So, I can’t even believe it’s taken me six paragraphs to get on to the drinks… The fantastic Mr Tom Higham was on hand to provide the cocktails, plenty of festive cheer as well as general insults and creative cursing (thanks, Tom!).

But seriously, the cocktails are inspired! I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to drinks, but these were divine. The Apres Ski works as a delicious post-burger palate cleanser and was accurately described as ‘a melted mint Vienetta in a glass’ by one Sarah Nosh. Yummy!

The Candy Cane Collins, which will probably become my ‘usual’, is a delightfully punchy vanilla vodka cocktail topped up with CREAM SODA! A very welcome blast from the past, seriously, why don’t I drink Cream Soda all the time? I’m questioning my decisions in life as I type.

Candy Cane Collins and Apres Ski

Tom has put so much effort into this cocktail menu and he loves it so dearly that he even differentiates the candy canes for different drinks; a seasoned pro.

As well as cocktails there is the traditional mulled wine, spiced cider and boozy hot chocolate to warm the cockles of an evening as well as some bottled beers, wines and spirits.

Miracle also has more sweet treats in the form of desserts! The ‘Sweet Things’ come as a skewer of delicious pastry/doughy/brownie-type delicacies with like a custard and nutmeg dip. So delicious I completely forgot to take a picture. What was I saying earlier about not having a sweet tooth? I think Miracle has changed me!

Now, if you like the finer things in life then the Xmas in New York is for you; a cocktail made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon topped up with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and finished with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. It was as hedonistic and rich as it sounds and, granted I couldn’t drink too many, it truly hits the spot. In fact, it hits about 25 million different spots, it’s so damn good!

A Very Berry (with gin) Christmas and Xmas in New York

Miracle is launching to the masses this Thursday (22nd) at 6pm. The first 50 folk to show up will be treated to free food and the first 100 will each receive a free drink! So, don your Christmas jumper and lift those Christmas spirits into delicious, drunken oblivion…

(We all need more of Kat’s Christmas crafts in our lives, I’m sure you’ll all agree. So fuck your family off this Christmas by taking them some of her lovely work: http://folksy.com/shops/CrassStitchCrafts.)

New mini-food menu launched at Tib Street Tavern

If beer, food and football, or just beer and food, is your thing you’ll be pleased to know that the Northern Quarter’s Tib Street Tavern has launched a food menu!

The traditional-style pub is serving up traditional pub grub with quality. The menu is a ‘mini’ one for the moment and it serves as a small taster for things to come when the full menu is launched.

Mini Menu

We opted to share the Currywurst sausage with chips and home made sauce, it was definitely the pub-grub that we needed! With the food at a very reasonable price, it provides the perfect amount satisfaction and sustenance to get your started on the pitchers of beer.

Currywurst Sausage and Chips with Homemade Sauce

The chips were great and seasoned really nicely (my partner enjoyed them and he’s definitely a chip man! The sausage was yummy and the homemade sauce was a tangy, tomato and onion mix with a hint of spices – really good!

You’ll also be pleased to know that a four-pint pitcher of Amstel is only £10 from 3pm-7pm, and only £12 afterwards, so you don’t have to keep going to the bar if the match is on – perfect!

Although Tib Street Tavern shows football it doesn’t allow football colours to be worn. Odd at first but it actually makes for a really friendly vibe, especially if you’re not there to watch the game.

Bliss…

We’ve always experienced great service at Tib Street Tavern and our last visit was no different with table service being provided if we were running low and a complimentary peanut mix for all tables as the hours grew wee.

It’s the little things which make a bar great.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this place for a while as it has quickly become a favourite of mine. It’s unassuming and low-key and although it won’t excite everyone it has a charm about it which will always keep me going back.

The first time I visited, the bar was super busy, and my three friends and I wanted cocktails so we asked to see a cocktail menu.

Instead of saying that they didn’t have a cocktail menu, the really lovely girls behind the bar said that the cocktail menu hadn’t quite been finalised yet but they were more than willing to make us some of the classics (margarita, cosmopolitan etc).

We ordered some cocktails and they were fantastic, if a little impromptu! Since then, we were hooked and it set us up for a great night!

Great service, with a (genuine) smile, great drinks offers, a new menu and an even newer one in the pipeline… what’s not to like? Get down and try it out!

Tib Street Tavern 74 Tib St, Manchester, M4 1LG

Doughy Delights @ Bakerie

By Charlotte Dobson

Bread fans will love the Bakerie tasting store – just don’t call it a wine shop.

Picture this: mounds of bread, gallons of delicious wine and a line of punters determinedly queuing for their free tasters.

As one man wryly observes: “It’s like the war. This is an actual breadline.”

But this is no ordinary bread, this is the best bread you’ll get in Manchester courtesy of the Bakerie Tasting Store – the latest trendy delight to pop up in the Hive in the Northern Quarter.

The store’s no-messing strap line, ‘It’s all about the bread’ will not disappoint carb fans with a passion for the doughy-stuff.

We’re at the opening night and over by the ovens, you can watch and chat to the bakers as they kneed their magic into a selection of loaves.

Meanwhile in the corner, people are scrambling over each other to mop up some balsamic vinegar – the organiser’s did not see this frenzy coming.

Another dimension to the Bakerie is their impressive selection of quirky yet high quality wines. Whether you’ve a taste for a full-bodied Malbec or crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or (like me) you haven’t a fig about vino, Bakerie’s tasting sessions are a great place to start.

Bakerie store manager, Dale Meakin, explains: “It’s not a wine shop, it’s a tasting store. For us it’s all about finding great quality wine, no matter where it’s from or how whacky it is. For example, we’ve got a stunning Sauvignon Blanc from India, wine made from grapes grown on Mount Fuji and another from Cyprus.”

This is all new to a wine novice like me, stuck in the “I’ll get what’s on offer” state of mind.

Dale adds: “Because we’re independent, we’ve got a freedom in choosing what wines we have on offer without anyone telling us what we should be selling. It’s all about great quality wine.”

Next we shimmy over to the wine tasting session in ‘the Classroom’ – Bakerie’s bespoke contemporary arty space (it has proper primary school benches, the one’s you dropped on your foot in P.E lessons).

We’re welcomed by Peter Dawson and Dougie Lowe of Origin Wines & Spirits who top up our glasses with their finest.

First up is an Italian rose, Anima Rosa. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the pink stuff but this is beautiful. Light, dry and crisp – right up my street.

Next is up is a red made with a ‘very rare grape’ – La Crima and for red wine fan Amanda Dubrowski it’s a hit.

“It tastes like you’re drinking from the bowels earth, like frankincense – it’s beautiful.”

As we admire the legs on a Majorcan red, Dougie explains: “This Virat is an example of a more unusual wine and it’s named after a native Majorcan dog.

“The thing is, a lot of people tend to drink a lot of the same – if they like Pinot Grigio, then they will often drink that. But here you have the chance to try lots of unusual wines from places you might not expect.”

With it’s simple but addictive combination wine and bread, it’s clear the Bakerie Tasting Store is a big hit with Mancunians.

For more information go to: http://bakerie.co.uk/bakerie-tasting-store