*I was invited to dine at Hard Rock Cafe Manchester free of charge however all opinions and words are my own and honest as usual
I‘m not Irish but do enjoy a good celebration – and food. So when Hard Rock Cafe, Manchester invited me to try out their new St Patrick’s Day menu, it was a welcome treat and Adam was more than happy to come along as my plus one.
One of the main St Patrick’s Day foods on offer is the Guinness and Bacon Jam Cheeseburger; a 1/2-lb burger topped with Jameson bacon jam and Guinness cheese sauce, served with crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomato on a fresh, toasted bun with seasoned fries.
But I’ve jumped ahead a little. We were seated in a cosy booth and introduced to our server, Tom. After browsing the menu, Adam and I ordered drinks – basil and strawberry lemonade for me and a Pepsi for Adam – whilst looking around at the memorabilia that adorned the walls.
Being a Mancunian
child teen of the nineties, I was unashamedly caught up in the mania of Oasis back in the day and just behind our booth was an area boasting a classic 1955 Gibson J-45 acoustic used by Liam Gallagher, signed posters, iconic clothing and more.
We also spotted a Bowie set list from his ‘Glass Spider’ tour and, after wandering upstairs for a nosey, we saw a variety of pieces once owned by Ray Charles, Paul Stanley, Prince, Elvis and John Lennon. Even though I’m not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to music history, it certainly made for a fun talking point. Adam is pretty clued up on the instrumental side of things so was in his element and happily tried to educate me about technical stuff that I didn’t really understand…
Tom came back to take our food order and, as we deliberated, he mentioned that the chicken wings were one of his personal favourites. Adam went for the buffalo chicken wings to start and the Guinness and Bacon Jam burger as a main. I opted for a plate of loaded nachos as my main and Tom explained that they use a variety of different cheeses to give the dish a little more depth.
Whilst Adam and I carried on chatting about the memorabilia, Adam questioned the authenticity of such impressive pieces. Cue the lovely general manager Gillian coming over to educate us! Gillian explained that all items have to have been thoroughly verified before being put on display in Hard Rock Cafe’s across the globe so that answered that one!
Our food arrived and it turns out that Tom’s recommendation was spot on. Adam finished his chicken wings in record time as I attempted to make my way through the mammoth plate of nachos, complete with fresh guacamole, salsa, sour cream, spring onions, red onions and loads of other delicious toppings that I can’t remember now!
I nibbled at the portion of fries (we’d opted for extra Guinness cheese sauce as a topping and it was an unexpectedly beautiful pairing) whilst Adam started on the burger. His opening sentence was: “If we weren’t married, this one would be a knife and fork job.”. V. romantic, no? But to be fair, he had a point. The burger was oozing with beefy goodness and took some time to get through but I’m glad to say that Adam finished it off like a champion.
Being an utter sweet tooth, the boozy St Paddy’s Day milkshake (although it can be made without alcohol) was my favourite. Made with Absolut Vanilla Vodka and blended with creamy vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookies and a touch of mint finished with homemade white chocolate whipped cream, we swapping pudding for these beauts instead.
The milkshakes are certainly an occasional treat but will only be around from 13 – 17 March so you might as well make the most of it and order at least two, eh? I’m actually going to be in Manchester this Sunday for St Patrick’s Day so think I’ll be sampling a few more myself.
Thank you to Tom, Gillian and the Hard Rock cafe team; Adam has already made it 100 per cent clear that we’ll be coming back for buffalo wings sooner rather than later!