Scribblings from the hard shoulder of the Information Superhighway

How much is that Doggy?

(Lita Rosa)

Dogs and Dough – Manchester

Manchester claims to be the home of ‘dirty’ food, that’s ‘dirty’ in a good, guilty pleasure sort of way, a trend that can probably be traced back to ‘Almost Famous’ opening in August 2012 (I blagged my way into their ‘soft launch’ evening).

Well I think it can be said that Burgers have probably been explored and exploited – Manchester’s new ‘Red BBQ’ restaurant serves a ‘Doughnut Burger’ that weighs in at 2,700 calories!

Courtesy of Manchester Confidential

I think I’ll pass on that.

The new trend seems to be hot dogs, and while I haven’t yet explored the genre, and may not have time to before my sojourn in Manchester ends, everybody seems to be opening ‘dog’ restaurants, all promising ‘hot dogs with a twist’.

A case in point is ‘Dogs & Dough’ which opened towards the end of 2013 in Bow Lane, Manchester, just off of Cross Street – en route from the trendy Northern Quarter to the resurrecting Albert Square area. It’s hardly a glamorous area, but there’s evidence of other restaurants being fitted out nearby, so maybe they’re ahead of the curve.  In through the doors and downstairs into a dimly lit, generic bar / restaurant. The waiter (it was a Tuesday evening and he was working the room alone) informed  me that it used to be the home of ‘Santiago’, a Chilean restaurant. Never having visited ‘Santiago’ I can’t comment as to whether the venue was refitted, but I could imagine not.

There are large, solid wood tables, banquettes and strange,  green tiled walls reminiscent of J.K Rowling’s ‘Ministry of Magic’. A couple of beer branded neons and framed sports magazine covers give a hint to an ‘American’ theme, but this could be changed within an hour.

The menu includes eighteen variations on the hot dog with prices ranging from £4.50 to £8.00, and a pizza menu that runs from £6.00 to £10.00, oh, and a ‘dessert’ pizza (Nutella and ‘tasty treats’) for £7.50. There’s a reasonable range of side dishes, a comprehensive cocktail menu and some interesting imported beers. The only draught beer is Budweiser, so again the menu and theme could be changed quite simply if the owners decide to change direction.

I ordered the ‘Triple Threat Pizza’ (Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries) Pizza  for no other reason than I had enjoyed a ‘Triple Threat Burger’ at Almost Famous and Luck Lust Liquor & Burn. ‘Triple Threat’ – for the uninitiated – is a term from American Wrestling, I had to look it up!

Courtesy of Manchester Confidential

My pizza had less topping than the photograph, which I’ve ‘borrowed’ from ‘Manchester Confidential’, but I guess I’m not a well known local food critic.

The ‘burger’ was actually meatballs, and there was a scarcity of bacon, but there was definitely cheese and fries, served on a thin and crispy hand-made base. It was okay, in a guilty pleasures sort of way. It was okay, if I go back I’ll probably try a hot dog.

If I go back.

The final aspect of any dimly let ‘guilty pleasure’ bar is the music, in this case it was, somewhat surprisingly, ‘The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’; a band I have never heard played in any restaurant or bar before, ever.

The music was loud, but not so loud that you couldn’t hear your own arteries slamming shut!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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