By Jo Cooksey
There are a lot of foodie choices in Manchester’s Northern Quarter but for us Cane & Grain is the venue of choice for all things meaty and dirty. Plus it serves various beers from Hawaii’s Kona Brewery, such as Big Wave and Longboard. Winner. The venue is very eclectic with a different look on each floor. The ground floor is grungy, skateboard chic, the First Floor Bar is all moody lighting with the air of a 1920’s speakeasy and on the top floor is the surf shack Tiki bar of The Liar’s Club.
With a new Summer menu on the go we hot footed down to Thomas Street and upstairs to the First Floor Bar at the first opportunity. Sat amongst the taxidermy squirrels we ordered Big Waves and perused the menu. There was still plenty of meat on there, in the form of ribs; short ribs, St Louis ribs, baby back ribs and the humongous Dino ribs.
First up, the sides. There were three of us dining but knowing how generous the portions are at Cane & Grain we decided to share two between us. A portion of 6 chicken wings in BBQ sauce with blue cheese dip and celery at £6. These were very meaty wings and even though I usually hate anything with blue cheese the dip was a fantastic accompaniment. We also had a very naughty portion of the Pepperjack Nacho Triangles at £4. Bliss! Triangles of Pepperjack cheese, coated in a batter containing crushed nachos then deep fried and served with a side of sweet chilli dip. Not the low calorie option on the menu but with food this dirty, who cares?
We asked for our sides to be served with the mains so as well as digging into those we were also attacking our meat portions. A tray of beef short ribs, that would feed a family of four, unctuous. juicy and lip-sticking with their Cane rum sauce at £22. I’m salivating just writing this. A half rack of baby backs with a side order of Hot as F*ck sauce at £8 and a Cane and Grain Burger, a quarter pound patty topped with smoked pulled pork, cheese and pickles at £9. We got stuck in, trying each other’s dishes to much ooo’ing and ahhing. I don’t think an actual word was spoken for at least fifteen minutes. There were definitely meat sweats in the offing.
We made a valiant effort but in the end the meat won and we all left a bit. There was lot of pant loosening too as we rolled back to the car. Two of us were guests of Cane & Grain and we paid for the third member of our party but our opinions are entirely our own.