Manchester has been going wild over this no frills burger joint tucked away somewhere secret in the Northern Quarter. Behind a large brown wooden door next to Keko Moku lies Almost Famous; guarded by a fierce lady with a clipboard barking orders on a microphone and a bouncer you’d be forgiven you were going for a burger at the White House. But don’t be perturbed, you might have to wait for a table, but once you’re inside you’ll be glad you came.
Dodge the bouncer and you’re pointed up a rather grotty staircase; an abandoned office building springs to mind, but strangely, it just makes you all the more curious about what’s at the end of the trail. Another generic door eventually leads you to Almost Famous itself, the bar area is small and minimal, but to be honest with you, nobody comes to Almost Famous to stand at the bar all night. The dining area is a cornucopia of American relics, a SMEG fridge sits in one corner, neon signs and guitars hang from the walls, it’s the dive bar concept at its finest, minimal, quirky and charming.
Clientele and Atmosphere
I was expecting the crowd to be very artsy, trendy and maybe even a little pretentious, I pleasantly surprised. There were couples of various ages enjoying dinner and a cocktail and varying groups of friends sipping beers and tucking into some grub (more about that later). The music in the background combines with the audible buzz from the dining room to create a really cool dining experience – the waitresses also add to the vibe, by rushing around speaking frenetically into their headsets. A little OTT? Maybe, but it's kind of cool.
Food and Drink
Now for the reason we all came, the food and drink. We ordered three beers, Brooklyn Lager obviously, although there is a good selection and set about checking out the small but menu. We settled on three Suicide Burgers with baskets of Trailer Trash fries and Chilli Cheese fries; when they came up we were immediately pretty sure that we had selected wisely. The burgers were big, juicy, well cooked and flavourful, in a word, perfect. The Trailer Trash fries came smothered in caramelised onions and mustard, a great combo; the Chilli Cheese fries did exactly what they said on the tin, lots of tasty chilli, a bucket of melted cheese, on chips, stodgy perfection. Safe to say afterwards we were painfully full, but it was so worth it, another looked around the dining room confirmed this, a lot of contented faces and full stomachs. The jam jar cocktails also looked really authentic and seemed as if they’d been pulled straight off the bar of some quirky American diver-bar, well worth a taste.
Almost Famous lives off the buzz that is created by customers telling their friends; it may be a little pretentious to have a lady with a clipboard and a doorman, but it certainly works. People rave about this place and rightly so, the food is simple but done the right way; if you’re after a meal and drinks in the Northern Quarter then don’t miss out on Almost Famous.