|Sticky pork buns - excellent pic, no?|
The fit-out is nicely done, tongue-in-cheek Americana that reminded us of Red's True Barbecue in Leeds and plenty more besides. It's freezing cold - there are places in Manchester that no amount of CaliMex sun-soaked Golden State blather can reach unless you turn the heating on. We huddled round our blue cheese dip with bacon and a bucket of barbecue Popchips, then Frank's quesadilla, Deb's ragingly spicy lettuce cups filled with chicken, peanuts and pineapple and mango salsa, grilled halloumi with roasted tomato ketchup (not really a cockle-warmer, that one) and yum yum sticky pork buns. Probably the best bit, the 'buns' were slices of lovely light brioche topped with clumps of pulled pork, 'Hawaiian' barbecue sauce and more pineapple and mango salsa. Deb didn't think they were too sweet or too lumpen, but I did.
Pudding, a salted caramel brownie that turned out to be an Oreo brownie, had an air of Momofuku Milk Bar about it, with a liberal layer of multicoloured confetti crumb between the chew-crunch of the brownie and a ball of really good malted vanilla ice cream. Less chocolate, more biscuit, it would have gone well - granny alert - with a cup of Lancashire tea.
We got pretty much what we expected at Liquor & Burn; dirty food which, transplanted to the land that inspired it, would occupy the middle of the highway. What surprised me was the service. On Twitter, they create a certain mood (sample Tweet: "MEEEEOOOWWWW FUCK YEAH"), which doesn't necessarily suggest warmth and kindness, but they were professional, knowledgeable, and nice. Nothing helps an Alabama bone suckin slammer burrito go down like a bit of old-fashioned well-mannered waitering.