Dear friends and readers, you are in for a treat. Thomas Cook Airlines are celebrating their newest American routes direct from Manchester by holding a burger takeover at Grill on the Alley. They recently started flying to New York and Miami with Boston and Los Angeles set to hit their roster early next year, so the fabulous chefs at Grill on the Alley worked their magic to create some very special themed burgers. What’s more, if you order one of the takeover burgers before the end of July, you are entered into a competition to win two flights to one of the destinations. With just Boston to tick off my travel hit list I was in like a shot.
We visited on a Tuesday evening and the restaurant was really quiet, just the way I like it. Settled in a corner booth we argued over the burgers, him because he likes burger, and me because I love all three of the American cities I have visited so far. I travelled to Miami with Thomas Cook last month so was nearly swayed by the pickled watermelon, pineapple and horseradish coleslaw, we actually had to order a starter whilst we procrastinated over it.
The sharing platter is rather pricey at £15.75 but the ribs were beautiful with the tangy BBQ sauced ribs falling off the bone at the slightest touch and the chicken skewers meltingly soft with the sweet and sticky honey glaze. The salt and pepper calamari was overdone with too much batter so it had gone quite crunchy, whilst the sweet potato wedges were pleasant with a touch of seasoning.
Onto the burgers and my friend chose the one place I’ve yet to visit from the list, Boston.
A medium cooked burger topped with prawns, crayfish, garlic butter and back bacon. The bun itself was a lovely change from the brioche version we have come to know and love in Manchester. It is more like a crusty cob giving it that bit more stability. The prawns were juicy and fresh whilst the bacon was salty and crisp. The crayfish were soft and buttery but there just wasn’t enough of them to get a hit of the flavours when eating the burger as a whole.
I finally gave in and went for the NY Deli. New York has held a special place in my heart since my first visit in 2000 and my fourth, and last, in 2009. I need to go back I really do, Lady Liberty is calling me. Anyway, the burger topped with pastrami, pickles and Lancashire blue cheese was lovely and the flavours worked really well together. The slightly salty pastrami, the lightly spiced pickles and the strong yet creamy blue cheese give a lovely depth of flavour. I was initially disappointed at the addition of a local cheese in an American inspired burger but I’m not sure what else would work as well as this. Answers on a postcard please.
To enter you need to book into the restaurant HERE and order your favourite. I may just get time to visit again for the LA burger with its onion rings, guacamole, chipotle mayo and beer battered pickles. LA was one of my absolute favourite places I visited on my road trip last year, if only for Hollywood and the tour of celebrities houses.
Good luck and let me know what you order.
We dined as guests and were not asked to pay for our food.