Wednesday 30 April 2014

Parlour Dogs, Chorlton.

I know what you're thinking, yet more bloody hot dogs, I felt the same. We can't move right now for new hot dog/sausage restaurants, they're this year's burgers. However a few things make Parlour Dogs different. Firstly, the locally sourced meat is from nearby butcher's Frosts, and as everyone knows, Frosty makes the fabulous Almost Famous burgers. Secondly, they've been put together by ever reliable Parlour team, thirdly they're situated in the beer garden of my local and still favoured pub The Beech. So I was duty bound to try them out.
Dog cabin.
I'd already had a few tweets from people, 'had I tried them yet?' No I hadn't as we'd been away on the bank holiday. It was pissing me off too. So we went on Friday night. I'd been sat in Common waiting for Mrs Bacon to do some shopping so I'd had a few beers whilst I was waiting. I reckon these dogs are perfect after a couple or four. I had a starter of a bag of scampi fries. Classy eh?
We went for two between us. Welsh rarebit classic rarebit sauce, Lancashire crumbly, buttered onions and a Bacon Blue, dry cured smoked streaky, Shropshire blue, buttered onions (both £5). I have to say they were both bloody marvellous, messy, meaty (quality meat, you could tell) and the toppings were spot on.
We asked for extra cheese. The bread didn't fall apart either. All the details were correct. It was one of those nights, we joined a table of friends of friends and neighbours we'd not had big chats with in the past. We left having made new drinking buddies and with well full bellies. It's that sort of place, The Beech.
We enjoyed the dogs so much, that we returned on Sunday for their special. Sunday Best; (Sunday's only) six hour brisket, horseradish, parlour bone marrow gravy, buttered onions (£6). If anything, this was even more messy. It was slightly over facing even for me. I was all 'meated' out. It was really good though.
I asked them if I could photograph a blue cheese one quickly as the photos from Friday were a bit dark (I was pissed then too). So they sent a complimentary blue cheese one out and let us eat it. Oh dear, 'professional' pride meant that I had to scoff that one as well. I was all 'dogged' out again, I think I'll leave hot dogs for a while, this is big food even for me. But when I return to eat them in a week or so and after a few beers, I'll get them from Parlour Dogs no doubt, as these are amongst the best we've had.

* Plus an extra hot-dog I asked to photograph and struggled to finish.

Sadly Parlour dogs is no more because of complaints from a neighbour about food smells/noise.

Parlour Dogs on Urbanspoon

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Lusitano, Chorlton.

I was going to visit an old favourite; Sticky Walnut (in Chester) for lunch but I thought I'd take a gamble on a new restaurant in Chorlton; Lusitano. I had misgivings to be honest, the menu looked pretty good but I felt it was slightly overpriced. I doubt they'll have many takers for a £22 steak around these parts. I emailed them anyway, would they honour the three tapas for a tenner on Friday lunchtime? (Normally this is evening only 5-7pm). They happily agreed, so I went over.
I'd not visited the previous restaurant here, Mezzaluna, I'd heard it was yet another crap place in M21, so I never bothered. For me it's a disadvantage having the restaurant upstairs, despite it being well located opposite Croma (bafflingly the busiest restaurant in Chorlton). First impressions were good though, it's quite large, it felt like a Spanish restaurant and the Portuguese music playing was spot on. I met the two very friendly fellows running it and set to order with their help.
For me, a good meal always starts with good bread and I could tell right away that it was quality local Barbakan bread they're using.
They let me have a sample of their 24 month old Pata Negra.
It's such a delicacy that I always enjoy. I remember a twenty year old me 20 years ago in Spain rejecting Jamón ibérico as it 'tasted like raw bacon'. Some things improve with age, and taste for me is one of then. I'm not sure I ate olives at that age either, these were decent ones here at Lusitano.
The Favas com Chouriço (Broad beans, chorizo and quail egg,) were good and hearty, I know Mrs Bacon would have loved this dish. I wanted more chorizo, way more, but then I'd add chorizo to pretty much everything if I could.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau (Traditional cod fish cakes) were fine too, although perhaps could have done with a little more gooey moistness inside.
Lastly, the Morcela com Ananás (Black Pudding with caramelized Pineapple). I normally hate sweet and savoury together, but this really works quite well.
They sent out a traditional dessert and espresso, and I paid for the food, whilst we chatted. I even met the mama who does a lot of the cooking and another chef who has previously worked at The French. It's a real family place, an antidote to all the plastic chains that are so prevalent.
Overall this was a really pleasant experience. I think Chorlton is quite a tough market though, people seem to flock to places with a good atmosphere and location over the very best food (the ever popular San Juan is surely their biggest competitor). The Laundrette is another one with distinctly average food (at best) but which has another prime spot on Beech road that people seem to enjoy in great numbers.
However I think these guys can hopefully make this restaurant work. The 3 for a tenner tapas choice is an excellent deal, I think they should extend that to get the punters in. It's also enough food, these portions are decent in size.
They don't overcharge for beer either; the Sagres is £3.60 a pint which is quite reasonable for a restaurant. (I hate it when restaurants really rip you off on the booze especially small bottles). I suggested that they could make more of their bar area as well, it is predominately a drinking culture in Chorlton first and foremost.
In conclusion I recommend trying out Lusitano, it's nowt fancy, but good, hearty, traditional Portuguese food with lovely staff, and it's a place I will definitely return to, specifically for some suckling pig that they're promising.
Twitter;  @LusitanoRest.

*They sent out a few complimentary items but I paid for my ordered tapas.

  Lusitano on Urbanspoon

Monday 28 April 2014

All Star Lanes, Manchester.

We went down to All Star Lanes as guests of head chef Ashley Clarke last week to check out some of the new menu. Here's a photo *preview of our evening.
*New menu item; BBQ Baby Back ribs.
From the current menu; Blackened Salmon crushed cajun sweet potatoes & chipotle sour cream.
*New menu item; King Pin Burger. Bacon cheeseburger with a mac & cheese croquette.
*New menu item; Salt Beef Croquettes, dill pickle & deli mustard.
*New menu item; Blueberry Cheesecake jar, oreo cookie crumble.
*Previews are not paid for and are not reviews.
To see my full review from last year click here.

All Star Lanes on Urbanspoon