I’m an old rocker me, more partial to a Deep Purple gig. Bearing that in mind imagine the terror I felt when entering the darkened arena that had been created to house the hot trending, street food binge #FridayFoodFight. Whilst the food blurb sounded good it was listed alongside rave DJ types like Jonny Dub, Will Tramp!, Krysko and Gold Teeth. I was a bit scared I would have to take my shirt off!
Note the #hashtag in front of Friday Food fight? that’s the sign that’s been flashing through all the foodies twitter accounts over the last few weeks. It’s been a bit cryptic though, as even on the day it wasn’t clear to me what it was and whether you could rock up or whether you needed a ticket? As it happens a few pints after work with a few chums morphed into a ‘where should we eat, I’m hungry?’. We meandered over to the Upper Campfield Market housed in the shadow of Beetham Towers and opposite fave ale joint ‘Cask’. The twitter campaign had at least revealed the venue. It’s reckoned 400 punters can fit in this wonderful, old, industrial structure.
By this time it was pushing 9pm and we were able to get in free and easily. Once inside the atmosphere was electric. Suitably dark, suitably urban and hip, suitably not too loud with a very suitable line up of street food vendors the juices soon started to flow. The foodies where housed down one side of the hall behind a makeshift bar. Their portion of the bench highlighted with a banner and blackboard menu slung overhead on a cross wire.
The scheme has been hatched by B.Eat Street MCR. They have rounded up food purveyors like Lucha Libre, Solita, Diamond Dogs, Piggie Smalls and Yang Sing to feed punters at the Campfield site for a 12-week celebration of food. The food list for the first event certainly lived up to the billing! A quick sweep across the boards sent me stage left to Andrew Nutters ‘Nutsfood’. The ‘Great British Fritter’ peaking my curiosity. A good eight inches of bury black pudding and Lancashire cheese encased in batter, served on a wad of £10 notes and some sauce. It was hot, crunchy, tasty and satisfying. As an extra treat fellow foodie, young Jinn, bagged me a quick snatch of black pudding won tons, set in a trendy cone and British flag! It was all great, but I needed more!
A further sweep took me to ‘Love From The Streets’. They were doing their ‘street box’ which had two fat pieces of the spiciest jerk chicken I’ve ever had with some ‘bad’ slaw (I think that means good!) and ‘dirty’ bean rice (how hip are you? -Ed). It was a bit spicy for me, especially with one of the sauces off the bar.
I was tempted to round off with some sweet, but the need for more beer took over. The Sugar Rush Gals had me severely tempted with their cheese and pineapple deserts. To be honest I could have run down the line blindfold and had any of the food on offer, Solita’s burger, Honest Crust’s pizza, Diamond Dogs hot dogs, Lucha Libre’s Mexican, Piggy Smalls pork delights, Umuzsushi Japanese, Arepa Arepa Arepa the list goes on, it all looked really good. And on top of all that there was great beer on and I didn’t have to take my shirt off and get down with the kids!
I got the train back about ten o’ clock so whether the dance music got more serious after I couldn’t say. As I mentioned its on every Friday for the next twelve weeks culminating in May. I’ll definitely be going again. It’s a great move by the organisers and great for Manchester. It reminded me a little bit of Camp and Furnace in Liverpool, so that’s no bad thing. Yang Sing are there this week, the food surprises just keep on coming, get down there and give it a try.
Weekly from Fri 7 Mar,
Upper Campfield Market, 5.30pm-11.30pm, Free entry,
full line ups here: http://www.beatstreetmcr.co.uk