Manchester is a growing city. Working within it, I come across many a scaffold emblazoned building with the words ‘coming soon’, adding mystery to what could be being built or renovated. One street in particular that is taking full advantage of renovation is Whitworth Street West. A long viaduct of arches has over the past few years been fitted to house such names as Gorilla and The Whim Wham Cafe, but a new name has graced the bricks – Dog Bowl.
Browsing the cocktail menu, you’re treated to house creations as well as twists on the more well-known. The Tijuana Sling (£6.75) caught my eye, using El Jimador, cassis, Angostura Bitters, lime and ginger ale as well as The Chairman’s Punch (£35 sharer for 4-6 people) which involves a pineapple full of Chairman’s Reserve rum, lemon and lime juice, passion fruit, pineapple and grapefruit. The Martini and Mojito (both £7) also make the list, as do Singapore Sling (£6.50), Bramble and Pina Colada (both £6.75). I however opted for the bourbon based Black Dog Brown – blackberries, Jim Beam, Liquor 43, Peychauds Bitters, fresh lime juice and a rimmed Martini glass with sugar lime. Rich, slightly on the sweet side which was fantastic, and it went down way too easily. Just what your after in a cocktail sometimes.
The food menu covers your bite sizes, quesedillas, fajitas, tacos, burgers, salads, sandwiches and smoke & fire. With these kind of titles, you expect a good variety, and that’s what is offered. The Marinated Rump Steak Quesedilla (£4.50) caught my eye, as did the Sloppy Joe (£7.50) where you receive chucked beef, smoked brisket and beef gravy on Texas toast. The D.B’s burger (£15) stood out from the rest though. 1 lb beef patty, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce. Served piping hot, and stacked with a steak knife holding it all together, the surprise from the table behind instantly tells you your burger is on its way as it passes them. Juicy, hot, can’t get enough of it. Even the added tomato sauce (which I applaud them for making themselves – yes, real tomato sauce) just seemed to add a little bit more to the experience. And the best thing? I was full. The wooden board it came upon empty. What more could you ask for from a restaurant?
A cocktail to finish lunch came in the form of a Bourbon Cookie (£7.50). A blend of Makers Mark, Butterscotch Schnappes, passion fruit syrup and milk. Not too rich, and the Makers Mark came through after my initial fear of too much cream based ingredients. The dusting of chocolate added that little bit extra.
As for the game of bowling? I lost. Enough said.
Dog Bowl seems to have nailed itself pretty well here. The food was great, cocktails were spot on, the staff were chatty yet not overbearing. To be honest, couldn’t ask for anything more.
Dog Bowl is open 12pm – 3am Monday through Thursday, 12pm – 4am Fridays, 10am – 4am on Saturdays and from 10am – 3am on Sundays. One game of bowling costs £6 off peak (until 6pm Monday – Friday and after midnight every day) or £8 on peak (from 6pm Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday). £5 for children and students with an NUS card.
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