I don’t know if it’s the change in the seasons that’s got us craving a little bit of comfort food, but this week’s list is especially indulgent.
From the naughty smash burgers that were one of Manchester’s most ordered takeaway items during lockdown (over 1,000 a day, thank you very much) to garlic bread burritos, candy floss ice rolls and the most beautiful hand-rolled Iberico croquettes, you might want to have a cheat week after reading this.
Keep scrolling to discover some of our top picks in the city this week.
The ‘best smash burgers in Manchester’ pop-up at Trof
Manchester burger institution Burgerism is popping up at Trof, serving up their famously good smash patties from the NQ kitchen for the next ten weeks every Monday and Tuesday from 4 to 10 pm.
There’ll be four of the brand’s signature burgers on the menu: ‘beefed,’ ‘cheesed,’ ‘veggied,’ and ‘baconed’, served with optional cajun fries on the side and a choice of dips like ranch, blue cheese and buffalo alongside BBQ ranch, BBQ and ketchup.
Make sure to get down for one – 1,000 orders a day during lockdown don’t lie.
Find them at 8 Thomas St, Greater, Manchester M4 1EU.
Bocadillos and top-tier croquettes on King Street
Whilst the September sun still lasts, now is the perfect time to bob on over to King Street to sample the tapas at Tast.
The swanky Catalonian eatery is split across three floors, each offering a distinctly unique experience. Down in the bar though, it’s all about big jugs of sangria and classic tapas dishes done very well – plus a few surprises, like their dunkin’ donuts (a mixture of white chocolate, foie gras and raspberry).
Think bocadillos, patatas bravas, blistered padron peppers, and hand-rolled ham croquettes (apparently they sell around 2,000 croquettes a month here), plus big boards of cheese, charcuterie – and an amazing dish of duck egg, crispy squid and potato that blew our minds.
Pull up, order a drink or two. and try and wangle a seat with a view of the passers-by for a perfect afternoon of people watching. Perfection.
Find them at 20-22 King St, Manchester M2 6AG.
Garlic bread and pizza burritos at American Pies
If it’s a carb-fest you’re after, look no further than American Pies. We didn’t think that the deep-dish pizza brand could be any more of a guilty pleasure, but they’ve really gone and done it this time.
Serving up their own take on garlic bread and pizza burritos, this is the ultimate cheat day scran if ever we saw it.
Find it at unit 1, 58 W Mosley St, Manchester M2 3HZ.
Candy floss ice rolls at Zizos Gelato
If you’re looking for a sweet fix this week, there’s a trader on the square at the Great Northern Warehouse selling delicious pots of ice rolls loaded with sweeties, chocolates and sauce that will have you covered.
Think big candy balls of floss, bright pink flying saucers filled with tangy sherbert and multi-coloured sweet and sticky sauces – all served in neat little pots to make your treat easy to enjoy on the move.
It’s not just ice rolls, either. You’ll also find some seriously indulgent bubble waffles and ‘thick’ ice cream shakes here. Be advised, the winter menu is also on its way too – and we see that Biscoff bubble waffles are likely to be on it.
Find it at 223 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4QB.
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.