A cheesy BBQ feast at Cane & Grain
Claiming to be Manchester's best bar and rib joint is a pretty big statement to make but when it's owned by the liars group who also run Crazy Pedro's and The Bay Horse Tavern you know they have what it takes to back their claim up. Set over three floors Cane and Grain is a weird and wonderful place home to a hip-casual skateboarders bar on the bottom floor, a dark and traditional speakeasy on the first floor and a tiki club on the top, each having their own distinct vibe and personality.
We recently stopped by to try out their new menu and left feeling extremely full, pigging out on far more than we should of done because everything was just too damn good. We ate in the very secretive Science & Industry bar (you open one part of the wall in Cane and Grain which is actually a hidden door to access it!) where it's much quieter than the bustling bar downstairs (even on a week day) and there's plenty of big booths to stretch out in. As you can expect the menu is heavily focussed around meat, meat and more meat, all barbecued to perfection and drenched in sticky rich sauces. There's bar snacks, ribs, burgers and feastin' trays trays to choose from so we opted for a couple of bars snacks as starters and a couple of mains. The stand out of the night was the hush puppies, a deep fried mix of cheese served up with a spicy chipotle mayo - as soon as we'd had one bite we felt like we'd died and gone to cheese heaven, unbelievably cheesy and extremely moreish. The wings are pretty epic too, extremely crunchy (how do they do it?!) and drenched in BBQ with a blue cheese dip.
For mains we went for the beef short rib in their signature sauce which is a sticky sweet rum concoction and as for the ribs they fall off the bone and melt-in-your-mouth so there's not much more you can ask for there right? We also had our first shrimp po boy and was not disappointed! A soft sub roll stuffed full of deep fried shrimp, pickles, mustard and chipotle mayo. Now it's time to talk about the fries.... a huge tin of skinny fries, doused in truffle oil, smothered in cheese sauce and then grilled until crispy - hands down the best truffle fries we've had. So good that although we couldn't finish them with our food we hung around picking at them for a further hour whilst nursing their Negroni Ristretto, a magical cocktail served in a moka pot, made of mr blacks cold brew coffee liqueur, star of Bombay dry gin, Campari, cocchi teatro and orange mist.
Next time we go back we'd probably just order a handful of bar snacks because they're pretty sizeable and almost like a devilishly good American take on tapas where you can order and try lots of different dishes*.
*lol jk, we're definitely just going to order 5 plates of the hush puppies, oh and a side of those fries.