One of the NQ’s big hitters, Cane & Grain is a bar and rib joint with three floors of boozy possibilities. Wondering how it fares on the food and drink scale? We headed down for a night of unrivaled, Americana revelry.
Cane & Grain stands out on Thomas Street with its weather-beaten Deep South exterior. On entry, you come into the colourful Rib Joint and Tap Room. Although it had a quiet buzz, if felt like an urban, Caribbean oasis. We were quickly ushered upstairs to the more high-end space: the Science and Industry cocktail bar. The door to upstairs was expertly hidden; you’d never know there was more to Cane and Grain unless, well, you knew. Lined with tan leather booths and worn copper tables – and bizarrely – faux taxidermy squirrels hugging the lights on the walls, this space is cosier and quieter, making for a great date night or catch-up dinner with friends. We didn’t get the chance to see The Liars Lounge with its infamous tiki interiors, but we’ll certainly jump at the chance come the weekend.
The Food and Drink
We actually happened to visit Cane & Grain on National Burger Day, so it would have been heathen to have anything other than burgers. What with the mouth-watering burger offering available, we went all out and had two, splitting both between us with the venue's trusty French fries on the side along with sautéed kale, green beans and an extra side of onion rings (all classic but well-made and rich accompaniments to a hardy meal). We had the Deep South Burger (£9), which came with southern fried chicken and slaw, and the Mexican Bean Burger (£9), which had salsa and nachos on it for an extra, South American crunch. Both were a testament to the Americana stance that the menu promotes at Cane & Grain with clearly moist patties, amazing and every so slightly spiced sauces that work to the handmade draw of the food and that true, filling feeling from burgers that really work.
More to the point though, the drinks; we absolutely need to talk about the drinks. We’d heard Cane & Grain has the best bar-tending talent around and it turns out that the rumours are true. The manager asked us what our favourite spirits are and then recommended a cocktail between us based on our tastes: the City of Gold, one of their most popular rum-based cocktails. Not overtly sweet, but partially rustic and raw in flavour, the cocktail was heart-warming, and brimming with hand-crafted flair that's well worth the money. Scour the rest of the menu though, you won't be disappointed by their spirit friendly cocktails and bubbling concoctions as Cane & Grain know only flair in the drinks department.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
The bar was filled with couples and small groups out for a bite to eat and some stellar cocktails. One group were given long drinks with a gorgeous slice of watermelon and there was even a bit of fire showmanship going on. Even though this speakeasy bar had a touch of refinery, there was not a hint of snobbishness to be found; all tables were quietly enjoying their meals and each other’s company. We’d definitely go back for another bite to eat and see what the weekend brings to the atmosphere.
A versatile bar with lots of top class cocktails and soul food to offer, we’ll be back at Cane & Grain in a jiffy. Who wouldn't be? You need only look at their image gallery to see why we liked it so much, the sexy, Southern siren.