If you are into meat, beer and sticky fingers then you should look no further than Thomas Street institution, Cane & Grain.
It is one of those places you can go back to again and again and never get bored. You will find the Finest team down there at least once a month, (unashamedly, sometimes twice) and we all agree that nothing tightens up morale more than some communal bone-gnawing.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get much better they make some additions, changes and swaps to the menu and man, are they worth getting excited about.
Starting small and leading up to the big stuff we can begin with the bar bites. Don’t fret, the burnt ends (crispy chunks of beef short rib) have made the cut, but new additions include the mixed smoked sausages and cheese hushpuppies- deep-fried cheese with chipotle mayo-, and the beer battered onion rings I would happily accept on my engagement.
Jumping on the gravy train to Rib Town, you will find baby-back, St Louis (belly pork ribs) and beef short ribs. These all come cooked to perfection and are so tender they precariously cling to the bone for dear life. You can smother them in your choice of six sauces –Memphis mop, sticky barbeque, signature, hot as f*ck and bourbon gravy. Watch this space for a full sauce review in the next few weeks.
You can also order a roast chicken which is perfectly paired with some cheesy mash, bourbon gravy and collard greens for a right proper American soul-food experience.
Moving on to stuff in bread, the stars of the show would have to be the fried shrimp po-boy and the brisket beef sub. The latter is the kind of thing that makes you want to wear a Micky Mouse t-shirt and a fanny pack while screaming ‘MERICA’ out of a moving Cadillac. Slow cooked brisket is loaded into a soft sub roll with bacon and glazed onion… I’m drooling just thinking about it.
You can also get involved in their feasting trays if you can’t choose what you want. The House Tray consists of a bacon chop, 1 St. Louis rib, ½ a rack of baby back ribs, smoked sausage, fries, pickles and slaw (£18) or upgrade to the Boneyard Feast for £40 and share.
I didn’t try the desserts as I was suffering from both a food coma and the meat sweats, but they look amazing. Choose from a brownie sundae, chocolate fudge cake, cookies and milk or pecan pie which I can only imagine was made by some 85-year-old southern belle. Naturally, I imagine you will be stuffed to the gunnels so maybe make a trip back the next day for dessert.
Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
0161 839 7033