Review: Almost Famous Burgers, Manchester

almost famous burgers manchester
Sometimes I really hate reviewing food.

Not that I’m ungrateful (far from it!) – I simply have a problem sitting down to start blogging after a tough workout and healthy breakfast, only to develop an insane craving for a dirty-as-they-come burger.

I think my mouth is throbbing. And I’m blaming Almost Famous.

This restaurant is so wrapped up in burger hype that I felt it be sacrilege not to order one…or two…with loads of fries…and crack wings….and cocktails. Ahem.

Though almost all of the burgers on Almost Famous’ menu start with a double cheeseburger base, each and every one is met with a flurry of – slightly insane – toppings. My best friend couldn’t take his eyes off of the River Phoenix; the double topped with bacon, BBQ fried onions, frazzles, baconnaise, chipotle ketchup, BBQ sass, and fresh chilli. With the trifecta of bacon (and bacon-esque) toppings on offer, it sounds much more sickly than it actually is. Somehow, the high-low mix of ‘ingredients’ like fresh chilli and Frazzles worked.

Jumping off the deep end, I went for what I was most intimidated by: the super saucy Baddaboom. While this burger was topped with just one slice of bacon, the other ingredients (chorizo, onions, marinara, famous sauce, frenchs, parmesan, and chilli) maxxed out all available space inside the garlic butter brioche. Beautifully so. The chilli and chorizo added another dimension to what I’m sure is a disgustingly calorific food mountain.

Deciding to share some ‘Winning’ fries (heavily house seasoned skin-on and sweet potato fries) in between bites of their ‘Crack Wings‘, I was in Americana heaven. The wings come in ‘Suicide’ (HOT!), ‘Redneck’ (BBQ) and the soy-based ‘Pho-king amazing’ sauce. I went for the latter, and fell in love with the asian sensation (I’m positive the sauce had some sriracha in it).

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about Almost Famous was ordering at the bar. While I don’t expect much ‘service’ from any restaurant I go to, I have had low-key table service at restaurants/cafes that cost less than half as much. Waiting ten minutes to order food, another few minutes for cocktails to be made, and then having to carry them – and a purse – back to the table? It prevented me from ordering more drinks. It’s a disservice to an otherwise awesome establishment.

Note: Like all good burger joints in this day and age, Almost Famous has a no booking policy that means two hour waits are not uncommon on a Friday or Saturday. If you can’t hack a queue, don’t think you need to write it off. Lunchtimes are still buzzy (but queueless), and a Thursday evening visit will keep you in a happy food coma until the weekend arrives.

almost famous burgers manchester
almost famous burgers manchester
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The Weekend Wonder – A.W. Tozer

refuse to be average

Refuse to be average, let your heart soar as high as it will.”
- A.W. Tozer


NME Awards 2014

nme awards
Having worked with Windows Phone and NME on a few mini-projects leading up to the 2014 NME Awards, I was incredibly lucky to be invited along to the ceremony itself.

You guys know I’m a music nerd. Being close enough to propose to all of Haim, Lily Allen, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Damon Albarn, and Kate Moss? That was just unreal for me.*

The night turned into a pleasant and Patron-induced blur only a few hours in, but the trusty camera of my Nokia Lumia 1020 (and the 10+ blurry photos of Kate Moss eating Domino’s pizza) will keep the evening fresh for always.

*Sadly, no wedding plans have been set…yet.

nme awards
nme awards
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Recipe: Shrimp Feast (for Dudes and Dudettes)

shrimp feast
Once upon a lazy weekend, The Manfriend and I were really in the mood for a shrimp feast.

Or, ‘prawn feast’, as he will have just corrected me when reading this.

I wanted a gluten-free wrap. He would rather eat toilet paper than eat a gluten-free wrap. Swapping his feast’s carrier for a carby, starchy dude roll, we were both able to enjoy this simple, healthy (and surprisingly spicy!) recipe in personalised bliss.

Ingredients:
8-10 shrimp (cooked or raw, just make sure they’re peeled and cleaned if raw)
The gluten-free rolls/wraps of your choice
¼ cup sliced or diced onion (your preference)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon red grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon celery salt

For the remoulade:
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons red grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon red grapefruit zest
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon mayo (I used low-fat)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Heat the butter in a large pan at medium/high. Cook the onions until they begin to soften (likely

2. Stir in the garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper and celery salt.

3. If your shrimp are raw, add them and cook until they become opaque (this will take roughly 3 to 4 minutes). If they are pre-cooked, simply add them.

4. Stir in your grapefruit zest and remove the pan from heat.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayo, mustard, grapefruit juice, horseradish, zest, and paprika. Follow with your onions and parsley.

6. To serve, throw some cabbage onto your bun/wrap, top with your shrimp and onion concoction, then add a few tablespoons of the remoulade, to taste.

Enjoy!

shrimp feast
shrimp feast
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Bomb Cosmetics

bomb cosmetics
To get the obvious comparison out of the way from the get-go, Bomb Cosmetics is very, very similar to Lush. While both companies create ‘handmade and natural’ bath products and refuse to test on animals, Bomb Cosmetics are a little bit more kitschy and – delightfully – more affordable.

Each of their products are scent-sational. Ugh, puns…but it’s true. The moment my little box of products entered the house, the smell made me smile. There is something very warm and sweet about each of these bad boys:

First, the Berrylicious Soap Cake Slice. Though I never use ‘normal’ soap (it dries my skin out faster than the summer sun), the ingredients from Bomb’s slices are happy skin approved. There is nothing too revolutionary about the product itself (it cleans), but it’s smell is delicious; like a caramel-tinged Ribena, the Berrylicious smell is all blackcurrants and strawberries and vanilla.

The product I tested next was the Strawberry Daiquiri Intense Lip Treatment. Again, the scent was a dream but I didn’t find myself blown away by the product. ‘Intense’ is a definite stretch. The consistency is no way near as buttery as the taste. Though I am happy to keep it in my bag for a sweet little pick-me-up, I would never think to use it as an aide for dry or chapped lips.

Thankfully, my brand love was reinstated with the use of the Crazy Chic Bath Mallow. The little cupcake-shaped ‘Mallows’ are not only a genius gift, but they are super moisturising, as well. Unlike both bath ‘bombs’ or ‘drops’, the ‘Mallows’ release quite slowly – over five to ten minutes – and create beautifully silky bath water. The Crazy Chic is a blend of a lot of different components (I picked up a lot of ginger blossom, vanilla, lavender, and tangerine) but it balances just perfectly.

I think it might be time to restock my bath cupboards.