Friday, 16 October 2015

Cane and Grain - The First Floor Bar, Manchester

Cane and Grain - The First Floor Bar
Before we start, I have a couple of questions for you. Do you like cocktails? Yes? Great. Now then, how do you feel about the kind of food where you end up with sticky hands, bits dripped on the table, and quite possibly a splatter on your top? You're down with that? Oh good. If you did answer 'no' to these, it's probably best that you stop reading now. Time is precious my friend.

Cane and Grain - The First Floor BarI first went to Cane and Grain around this time last year. It had just opened, and my friend Emma and I ate too many ribs and sides. No, there was no learning from this on the subsequent visit. Their hidden First Floor Bar has become a bit of a favourite of mine recently, with its ambient seating area, elegant cocktails and terrifying taxidermy light fittings. The staff are always an utter delight to have a chat to, and are well versed in the drinks and food they serve.

So then, off we trot the other day to check out some of the brand new cocktails, which were helped along with some of the tantalising meaty treats as mentioned above.

We were greeted by Jen; a lovely bubbly lady with a genuine enthusiasm for everything she described to us. We agreed that the best way forward was to remove any element of choice, as everything sounded far too wonderful to possibly choose between them.

I'm going to cover cocktails first, as the second you clap eyes on the food, you're going to be transported elsewhere for a bit.

1862 (left):  A strong bourbon based number with a peppermint kick.
Amaretto Sour (right): Sour but with sweet almond from the Amaretto.
The First Floor Bar, Manchester
Corn n'oil (left): Another strong one, this time rum based with a hint of lime.
Casablanca (right): More rum, but with tropical flavours. A bit cakey, this can only be a good thing.
The First Floor Bar, Manchester
Bees Gimlet (left): Gin with syrup and honey. Sweet and simple, again with dessert-like qualities.
Ramos Gin Fizz (right): Creamy cocktails turn my stomach as I'm not a fan of milk, however, this opened my mind! Gorgeous. Gin based with egg whites, citrus and sugar syrup.
The First Floor Bar, Manchester
So to the food. I should have taken pictures of our hands and the table afterwards. Sauce bloody everywhere! 

Beef Short Ribs with Dr.Pepper sauce: Why did I not take a picture of the inside of these ribs? Oh I remember why... because we were too busy eating them! So tender, sweet and sticky. Big old Jacob's Ladder style bones too. 
Cane and Grain - Ribs
Half Rack of Baby Back ribs with rum sauce: Smaller and sweeter than the short ribs, and smothered in rum sauce with soaked sultanas. My mouth is watering, and I'm considering making a trip there this very second. 
Cane and Grain - Ribs
C&G Burger: Nothing standard about this house burger. A quarter pounder with smoked pulled pork, Monterey Jack and pickles. It ran down my wrist. Gloppy burgers rock my socks.
Cane and Grain - Burger
Truffle Cheese Fries: Seriously, Cane and Grain do amazing fries. Never underestimate a good portion of fries folks. Recall how disappointed you are when you get a pale, limp chip? These are golden and crisp and salty. Yes. I didn't have these particular ones as I have a very melodramatic reaction to truffle, and my eyes were on the prize that was the 'Hot as F*ck' item below...
Cane and Grain - Fries
Hot As F*CK Fries: Christ alive. Happiness is hot as f*ck fries. Fries, Monterey Jack, Louisiana hot sauce, crispy onion bits and wait for it... bacon wrapped jalapenos! Anger has set in. I need these now. I'm having a Chinese for tea, but it's just not going to cut it.
Carolina Slaw: I've become very fond of this kind of 'slaw. This is what happens when your co-diners are generally adverse to mayo. Crunchy veg with a tangy dressing. 
Cane and Grain - Fries and Slaw
So I've upset myself horribly reliving my First Floor Bar experience. I have the most horrendous craving for ribs, which will not be satisfied by anything within a reasonable distance of my chair. Yes, I felt like I may never be clean again when I left, and I'm fairly sure I had hot sauce in my hair. Word of advice, go with someone who doesn't mind a clean up operation with 'Wet Ones' before you leave - those with cleanliness OCD will not enjoy it one bit!

Go to Cane and Grain if you love cocktails, bones covered in barbecued meat, and a belting chat with the folk who serve them.

Disclaimer: We were invited to the First Floor Bar to try the new menus. We were under no obligation to say nice stuff about them, or clean the table with wet wipes afterwards, but it was quite frankly a slip hazard. 

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