Tag Archives: eggs benedict

Breakfast in Manchester – A Five Day Tour

“It seems you can get an early breakfast in Manchester, great start to the day”

The Cooktwit only earns his keep in Manchester. It’s an hours jaunt to the ‘metrop’. Breakfast is normally an early morning affair comprising semi skimmed milk and some wheat grains. For variety the grains may be flaked, branned, crusted or boiled.

The Flame took off for a week leaving the hapless cooktwit marooned. However, he doesn’t quake, he dusts himself down, gets out his credit card and hits town. An experiment ensued, what can Manchester offer for a mid-week pre office feed?

First up Pot Kettle Black, bit of a cheat this, I go here quite a bit for a ‘52diet’ porridge. Lovely little independent coffee stop in the Barton Arcade.  I’ve tried a few porridges in town. I reckon at £2.50 its good value for money, so I reckon this is the best. A good portion, still with a bit of bite and comes with a cup of honey and dried fruit. Could do with being hotter but you can break walls down with this. Good start.

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Tuesday I nipped down to Wholesome and Raw, one of the six new outlets awarded a stab at setting up full time at The Kitchens in Spinningfields. As the name suggests they specialise in organic, good for you grub. I had what turned out to be a cross between a salad and a toastie. Toasted sourdough bread with super scrambled eggs on one and sliced avocado on the other. Flanked by tomatoes and shrubbery dripped in balsamic and oils. An unusual breakfast but nonetheless another super start. Copped me £6.90 though.

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Wednesday over to surprise entry Per Tutti. An Italian restaurant by trade, but here it is offering a super breakfast menu from 8am. I dined alone in smart surroundings with great coffee. I plumbed for a smoked haddock, kedgeree scotch egg. Set on rocket it was a fair size and was very tasty. Came in at £8.50 with the brew. A surprisingly good start.

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Thursday its over to Bills. First chain of the week, but one I’ve always thought seems a bit better than many. Been to a few around the country. They all seem well thought out with an eclectic interior and a good menu. I had the eggs benedict. I love eggs benedict. I’ve had better than this to be fair; I prefer a thicker hand cut ham, rather than the thin sliced stuff. But I’m quibbling, there’s quite a few in here, the service is perky and smart and it’s a great view onto John Dalton Street. All in Dearest of the week £9.30.

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Final day, it’s a sunlit Carlucci’s in Spinningfields. Another chain, but again another quality one in my opinion. Had a corking fry up in Leeds once as well as several decent pastas around the country. Had a simple muesli and yoghurt which came with a dish of honey and a dish of berries. Good portion, great crunch and taste. Lasted me well into the day. Coffee always decent as well, spent many a time in Piccadilly waiting for train with one. All in £7.35.

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Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my little tour of early doors eating in Manchester. Couldn’t fault any of them. If you’re on a budget probably best to stick to a simple independent. All in all I spent £34.65 but each time I was well set up for the day. Ill certainly be giving this a try again as a little treat.

http://www.bills-website.co.uk
http://www.potkettleblackltd.co.uk
http://www.pertutti.co.uk
http://www.carluccios.com
@wholesomeandraw

The Old Blind School – Liverpool

“It’s was only A bit of brunch but it was still a good feed”

It’s 9.30am Sunday morning, the flame and I have awoken from a slumber caused by a Saturday night Kylie Minogue gig! What to do for breakfast? I rather hopefully suggested a date at ‘The Old Blind School’ in Liverpool. Surprisingly, the flame considered this a good idea despite Liverpool being a forty minute train journey! We were on! Just after eleven we sauntered in to the latest and grandest addition to the NewMoon Company portfolio. We are big fans of Manchester’s ‘Beef and Pudding’ and so ever since the Twitter hype started ‘TOBS’ has been high on the list.

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It cuts a fine dash on Hardman Street; it’s a hop, skip and a jump from The Philharmonic. It’s a fine old grade two listed building. It’s actually difficult to believe that this is a restaurant. It is huge. Once in, we settled stage right on the ground floor. We were a little surprised at the lack of eating height tables, but we had little to fear. Dave Mooney (one of the owners) was on hand to supply a quick tour of the place, proudly revealing a further couple of floors. Upwards, via a magnificent staircase a further three rooms provide a veritable platoon of quality settings.

Some fittings
Some fittings

The walls are scattered with artworks reflecting the ‘Scouse’ heritage. ‘Lennon’ prints and nods to the original blind school usage make it more like an art gallery than a high end ‘gastro pub’. Not that that’s a bad thing. Greys, blues and yellows combine with wood, leather and daring chandeliers. It makes for a truly sumptuous experience.

More fittings
More fittings

As it was Sunday morning it was a heavily truncated menu. Its weekend brunch time. One of my favourite meals. It’s a cracking little booklet. Some slight variations to the normal suspects as well.

The brunch menu
The brunch menu

The Flame went for the 3 egg omelette or ‘Arnold Bennet’ as its called. It comes filled with naturally smoked haddock, cheddar cheese and double cream (£7.50). It was a fair old plate full, piping hot and chock full of flavour. The Flame really enjoyed it, but felt it needed a bit of something else, maybe some tomatoes for a change of texture and taste, but we are splitting hairs here. I went for the eggs benedict (£5.95) which were terrific; the ham was off the bone stuff, no pressed, boiled ham here. The hollandaise adding a luscious edge to the perfectly poached eggs. I washed this down with some French toast, served with strawberries and raspberries (£5.95) and lashings of hot coffee. The toast, super sticky and sweet. Good stuff.

French toast, haddock omelette, eggs benedict
French toast, haddock omelette, eggs benedict

It was only a quick impromptu visit and the ‘TOBS’ team were psyching themselves up for the father’s Day onslaught (the place was booked up twice over before five!). We’ll definitely be back for a stab at the super looking main menu which as with all the NewMoonCo outfits use quality raw materials.

The main menu
The main menu

And judging by this little visit, it would seem there’s someone who knows how to cook behind that newly transformed galley? A well marshalled fleet of smiling service staff, (Emily and Beefy’s Ashley were on hand this time) should ensure continued progress and success. Liverpool seems to be following hard on the heels of Manchester’s foodie explosion. TOBS is here ready and waiting! Bring it on!

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The Old Blind School
24 Hardman Street
Liverpool
L1 9AX
0151 709 8002

http://www.oldblindschool.co.uk

Moose Coffee – Manchester

“An American and Canadian diner in an office block in Manchester! It works”

I fancied a treat, normally The Cook Twit is scheduled for a light, healthy snack. Trooping round the back streets of Manchester on a cold, winters lunch time I happened upon relative newcomer Moose Coffee. It’s an American style diner that started life in Liverpool of all places and by all accounts to much acclaim. I decided to give it a quick go. Twice!

Outside looking in
Outside looking in

It doesn’t exactly scream “come in” at you from the outside. The overriding colour is brown. Set into the grey concrete of an office block you could miss it if you glanced the wrong way at the crucial moment.  Once inside the ‘Brown and Moosey’ theme continues. Beige, brown with a hint of mint echoing the rather clever ‘coffee bean with antlers’  branding on the menus, cups and operatives attire.

Brown, functional interior
Brown, functional interior

If a little dull it’s really all rather calming if I’m honest. Its lifted a little by the witty, ‘moosey’ appendages which adorn the walls at various points. I settled easily and comfortably at my central table for one.

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Then it’s the menu. And blimey what a menu. Extensive and filled with a myriad of stuff you would struggle to get elsewhere. Whilst breakfast dominates the left hand side of the card, it is thankfully served pretty much all day. And given the variety and quality of combos on offer there is something for everyone including veggies.

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I went for the ‘New Jersey Moose’. Two free range poached eggs on a potato hash, griddled with garlic, onion and mustard, then set on a toasted bagel and smothered in their hollandaise sauce. It arrived in good time and presented simply on a white plate. If I’m allowed to quibble it was a little under seasoned for me (Oooh get you, who do think you are Gregg Wallace – Ed) but, as with most establishments of this ilk, small, table top, containers are provided which allow the client to enhance the sodium content accordingly (do you mean they had a salt-cellar? – Ed). That said it was delish. Washed down with a rather fine black coffee the overall impression was that I’d had a rather scrumptious lunchette.

Clever branding, eggs, Heuvos Rancheros
Clever branding, eggs, Heuvos Rancheros

And then blow me down and smash me across the face with a wet haddock I deliberately went again a couple of days later! I had agonised whether to have the ‘Manolito’ the first time. The classic ‘Heuvos Rancheros’, two warm tortillas, smothered with re-fried beans, two over easy eggs, salsa, grated cheddar and sour cream. I had mine topped with griddled chicken for an extra ten bob. It might look a bit of a mess in the pictures but my lord it was good. I’m sure there was the odd jalapeno in there for extra piquancy. I washed it down with a snickers milkshake for good measure. What a treat!

Snickers milkshake, Moose coffee to go, Homemade cakes for after
Snickers milkshake, Moose coffee to go, Homemade cakes for after

Settling the bills sobered things up slightly, £9.10 for the eggs and coffee, £10.50 for the Heuvos Rancheros and milkshake. They are not figures I can weigh in with everyday. But there is no doubt I’ll be back to try more of the ‘brunchy’ goodies on offer. Theres at least a dozen more things to go at.

Moose appendages
Moose appendages

Moose Coffee give it a try, (if you can get in) it’s one to watch.

Moose Coffee
20 York Street
Manchester
M2 3BB

There are three in Liverpool as well

http://www.moosecoffee.co.uk