Those who haven’t read my previous post about Solita may be blissfully unaware that I decided to celebrate my birthday in Manchester this year by way of a fabulous display of gluttony. During the two day eatathon my eating partner and I had planned to eat at three separate venues, but the generous hotel breakfast and slightly sore heads on the second day put us a little behind schedule, and behind schedule we remained.
Anticipating a bit of a hangover on the second day we had planned to go to Almostfamous - a super cool burger joint that I can’t help but think certain new leeds restaurants are trying to emulate. However, when we arrived it was packed to the rafters and unfortunately the waitress/front of house woman didn’t decide to bump us to the front of the queue (which she did seem to do with a few other much trendier looking folk what walked through the door after us). I’m starting to get a bit para that I am not cool enough to eat meat in hipster meat joints, which is a shame because I really am excellent at eating meat, in fact, I’m an award-winning meat muncher even if my haircut and colour is little on the beige side and I don’t fit in skinny jeans that good. That said, we did have the chance to sample a few drinks in there and they were very good and the barman were also pretty, smily types (I put the comma in there on purpose).
After almost eating in Almostfamous, we wandered a wee way down the street to find a warm friendly place with seats and carbs and stumbled across HomeSweetHome, which had been recommended to me by a work colleague. The impression when walking in this joint is of a light, airy and friendly place and there was a reassuring sweet smell of pie and cookies in the air, so we took a seat and readied ourself to consume and enjoy. This was an eating extravaganza so we went all out on the ordering front and fully intended to sample dessert too, as we noticed lots of groups around us tucking into multiple plates of cookies, pie and brownies, but our exploits from the night before and ample breakfast meant we weren’t quite up to the job.
HomeSweetHome aim to “feed the child within all of us” and there was plenty on the menu designed to do this. It all looked good, perfect hangover fodder. Though the food we ordered was good, I would say the service was quite slow and the two waitresses who served us were a wee bit vacant and inattentive, but in fairness the place was rammed and with a good few large groups. It was a long wait (over 35 minutes) until anything arrived and it came all at once, which wasn’t what we’d asked for. We did also give up and go to the bar initially to order a drink because our waitress had forgotten it.
The first element of our meal – the bit we had intended to be a shared starter – was some spicy chicken wings. I’d evidently developed a taste for fried chicken the night before and decided I should binge on higher quality versions rather than risking KFC. The wings came with coleslaw, which much to our relief was tasty and wet. It also came with a serving of hot sauce, which I suspected was Franks sauce (or at least similar, I know my condiments and I know my hot sauce). I think these were about £5 but they aren’t on the menu at the moment so I can’t check. These were good chicken wings with plenty of flavour in the light, crisp batter.
Feeling a tad over confident after just about surviving eating ice cream the night before, my second course was cheese with a scoop of pulled pork £8.50.
In an echo of the pulled pork sundae consumed at Solita the night before, I wanted more of the tangy barbecue sauce that came on top. Take note meat vendors of Manchester, more condiments, please!. The mac and cheese came with hunks of bread to mop up the very cheesy sauce. Eventually my dairy greed did get the better of me and I was in considerable pain on the train home. With this in mind, it was probably for the best that there wasn’t quite as much bubbly cheese on the top as is my personal preference, but the sauce was a beautiful mix of cheeses and the pasta cooked to a lovely consistency (too many places serve total pasta mush).
My dining partner was hell bent on continuing his burger tour of Manchester and so ordered the burger £7.95 and extra bacon 70p. It was a thoroughly good burger, nicely toasted brioche (can you buy burgers not in brioche nowadays?) and the chips were particularly tasty, something I feel translates well in the following photograph.
Overall, I thought HomeSweetHome was very good value, I do think the service could have been a little better, but the place itself is a bit of a gem and the food was worth waiting for when it arrived.