If you live in Manchester, you already know of the institution that is Almost Famous. I call Almost Famous an institution because it intrigues me – I didn’t understand how an unadvertised small ‘room’ located up a staircase behind an unmarked door, made such amazing burgers. Almost Famous was the city’s worst kept secret and boy was it good! But then, the unthinkable happened – this Northern Quarter institution burnt down last summer. But for its loyal burger fan base (including me), they are back with a vengeance and I couldn’t be happier!
You probably know that I love a good burger, and when I heard that the new Almost Famous was opening in the Great Northern, next to where I live, I shed a tear of joy. They don’t do reservations so you have to turn up and hope that they have a table. Unfortunately for me there was a two hour wait on the Saturday night I decided to pop over. I didn’t fancy waiting two hours for a burger so decided to try again on the Sunday afternoon at 12 o’clock when Almost Famous opened and I got a table without any issues (perks of living next door). Somethings never change, it’s still unmarked without any signs outside the entrance except for a neon flying burger.
One of the first things you notice is how spacious the new Almost Famous is – this restaurant should easily seat over 100 people, quite a welcome change. The interiors still scream shabby chic with a giant Gorilla in the centre of the dining space and a life sized cow over the open kitchen alongside the quirky paintings hanging on the graffitied walls.
The menu is as quirky as the interiors and goes really well with the warped Disney graffiti. I love how simple it is – perfect for somebody like me, who struggles with too much choice on a menu. They even have a few non burger options for people who just don’t fancy a burger.
The drinks options are just as mental with drinks like ‘Bitch Juice’ on offer but we decided to stick to some simple boozy milkshakes. It was only 1pm and we thought it might be too early for some ‘Bitch Juice’!
You order your food at the bar along with your drinks which is brought over to you by thier friendly staff once its ready. I personally like this model – saves you the hassle of having to sort out the bill if you’re in a big group. It’s simple and effective! I decided to order the Butter Blood n Bleu Burger, something I have never tried before and it was absolutely divine. I love a good steak and I was convinced my burger had at least half a cow in it! I was in burger heaven and I definitely wasn’t complaining.
I was so glad that I ordered the boozy milkshake as my burger did pack a punch! But to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
All the dishes are served in plastic trays which definitely does add character but I would have loved proper plates instead. These trays aren’t very convenient and you need plates to handle these messy burgers.
Seb decided to go for the Chef’s special, a pork number smothered with crackling and covered in their legendary Almost Famous secret sauce and it was really good! The fact that the burger had glow sticks around it, made it extra special.
It was so big, that Seb needed cutlery to demolish the burger.
No trip to Almost Famous is complete without trying some of their legendary fries and I decided to order my favourite – the Bacon Bacon Fries, an unholy combination of sweet potato fries covered in ‘Baconaise’ and crispy bite sized bacon bits. Don’t even try to guess the number of calories in this creation, you will regret it. But you definitely won’t regret ordering these fries – they are as good as fries are ever going to get!
I absolutely love Almost Famous, it’s the epitome of indie chic, the burgers are amazingly good and the service is efficient. Yes, it slightly more refined than the old Almost Famous but that’s not really a bad thing. And at £15 per head, I left with my wallet as full as my stomach. Almost Famous somehow manages to live up to all the hype and that’s why I call this restaurant a Manchester institution.
Definitely not the place to go to, if your calorie counting but they claim that their ‘Burgers get your ripped’ and I am happy to believe them for now.