Tag Archives: beer

Cane & Grain: Ribs, Beer & Bourbon

Whilst reading my twitter timeline last week, one tweet in particular caught my eye. It spoke of a new restaurant in Manchester that specialised in ribs, bourbon and beer. I was sold purely on that and vowed to sample Cane & Grain as soon as possible. It’s neatly tucked away in the Northern Quarter, oozes style and has an unpretentious atmosphere. The bar staff were friendly and approachable, even though they were extremely busy. The bar had a huge selection of beers and they were all roughly £4.50 a pint/bottle/can but when you consider that it seems to be imported from the USA, I don’t think that’s too horrendous.20140716-145444-53684942.jpg

Unsurprisingly for a restaurant that’s marketing itself as a rib joint, the food on offer was…ribs! But there was also some delicious sounding starters and extras, we sampled the bacon popcorn and pig fries. They arrived pretty quickly in a paper bags and went down really well with the group – the pig fries were like nothing I’d tried before. I don’t like pork crackling or pork scratchings but these were gorgeous and are well worth a try. The bacon popcorn (suitable for vegetarians) was as wonderful as it sounds…20140716-145445-53685653.jpg

Cane & Grain offers a wide selection of beef and pork ribs, I opted for the beef short ribs with a rum sauce. It arrived in a metal tray topped with bacon, sauce on the side with a small portion of frys – it looked great but it tasted even better. The meat fell off the bones and I struggled to finish my meal, I decided to leave the fries and work on the meat! Having never tried beef ribs before, I was impressed and can highly recommend them to you. 20140716-145447-53687062.jpgIf you’re feeling a little more caveman then you should try the Dino ribs – one beautiful, massive, beef rib cooked and flavoured to perfection (we also sampled the smoke pit beans with rib bits, which were just brilliant – I could eat them every day and never tire of them). At £22 each for the short and the dino ribs, Cane & Grain isn’t the cheapest place to eat but that didn’t seem to be putting people off as the place was filled with people. 

20140716-145447-53687973.jpgOverall, our experience of Cane & Grain was a good one and I’d definitely go back again. The music was an eclectic mix of indie/rock from the past few decades and was loud enough to hear but not intrusive. The waiting on staff were friendly and made sure we were well looked after. Seeing that we were in a bar specialising in bourbon, I asked what they’d recommend – the waiting on staff actually sent a barman over to us to ask what sort of bourbon we’d like to sample. He listened and came back with three distinct bourbons – if I’d been more wealthy I would quite happily have pulled up a stool at the bar and drank bourbon all night. And that, to me, is the sign of a good bar. 20140716-150116-54076505.jpg

I have not been asked to write this post nor was I gifted anything in return for writing it. If you want to sample the place yourself, you can find Cane & Grain at 49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester (call 0161 839 7033 for bookings).  


Festival highs and lows

After years of refusing to go to a festival, I finally went and did it. A very good friend of mine went to Boardmasters in Newquay, Cornwall last year and he was adamant that it was the event to pop my festival cherry. Now he knows me pretty well, and he knows that I don’t like crowds and feeling penned in, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

It seemed to have everything that floats my boat: sea; surfing; beer; camping; food; comedy; music; pasties; horrible shorts and crazy sunglasses. And it did indeed tick all these boxes but (and there’s alway

s a but), it also ticked all my ‘things that annoy me’ boxes. For instance, drunk and drugged up people are mightily annoying when you’re sober. For anyone planning to attend a festival, you’re pretty safe from those types til about 2100 – I had an amazing time in the festival arena until around that time. Perhaps I’m a party pooper and I’m ok with that but I took myself away by 2200 each night, chilled in my tent and went to sleep until the entire campsite started to shriek “Alan!!!” over and over again. If I go next year, I will make a Tshirt that says ‘No need to shout! I’m Alan’. 4am the masses decided to sleep – before you ask, yes I was wearing earplugs…

The festival site was well set up and was very impressive, spending the days there at the various stages relaxing listening to comedy, unknown bands and music was a real treat and I would definitely do it again. However the whole experience was blighted by what I’d always presumed a festival would be: thousands of drunk, dirty people crammed into a small space with no consideration for others.

Call me grumpy but waking up and discovering that someone’s taken a dump outside your mates tent and there are sweet and sour noodles on yours, isn’t my idea of a nice time.

Overall verdict? Day tickets for me next time (or perhaps staying nearby and escaping at night).