I'm a big movie guy and so thought it would be interesting to list some of the most famous foods and drinks featured in the flicks and where you can get your own version here in Manchester....
Cheese Pizza from Home Alone
“Mmmm! A nice cheese pizza just for me” proclaims Kevin McCallister shortly after ruining a pizza delivery boy’s life with some firecrackers and a VHS of Angles with Filthy. Having a big massive pizza all to yourself is one of life’s greatest pleasures and definitely something that will help take your mind off your idiot mum, slimy dad and flat-topped dick head of a brother, not to forget the two complete arseholes who are trying to rob your house and bite off your fingers. The closest you’re going to get in Manchester to an authentic American pizza of Home Alone proportions is Crazy Pedro’s – even without any of their notoriously mental toppings – their cheese pizza is fantastic.
55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
Short St, Manchester M1 1JG
Ratatouille from Ratatouille
Whoever came up with Ratatouille at Pixar is either a complete genius or a massive idiot. I like to think that the story of the film’s inception started with someone thinking how fun it would be to have a rat, a kitchen’s worst enemy being a chef – and a brilliant one at that. But I suspect that someone was just looking at a menu in a French restaurant and noticed that Ratatouille starts with the word ‘Rat’ and ran with it. I’ve found it pretty difficult getting some Ratatouille in Manchester to be fair, but Pie & Ale offer a Ratatouille Pie, which is excellent, and perfect when paired with a lovely bit of craft fizz.
Pie & Ale, 1 & 2, The Hive, 47 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FN
Tomato Sauce with Meatballs from Goodfellas & Lady and the Tramp
Surprisingly I found it difficult to find an authentic Italian meatball and pasta dish in the city – well, one that isn’t cooked in a microwave. Luckily for us, we have Don Giovanni who have their Pappardelle Polpette dish featuring lavish strands of pappardelle pasta topped with tomato sauce and meatballs, perfect for transporting you to pretty much every gangster film ever – including that brilliant bit in Goodfellas where they make it in prison. Oh and Lady & the Tramp, when they’re eating the pasta in the alleyway out back and they end up dog snogging. Or Dogging. No – I can’t use that. Just call it dog snogging.
Don Giovanni, Peter House, 1-2 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN
$5 Shake from Pulp Fiction
Right, I’ve done the maths for you. In 1994, a $5 shake would be the equivalent of a £6.58 shake right now, so guess what – you’re saving money. What you want to spend your extra money on is entirely up to you obviously – be it a bit of manky heroin, a gimp ball-gag or a suitcase with a light in it. The iconic dance scene in Pulp Fiction is only ruined by the fact that we discover that John Travolta has aged worse than a manky pair and actually can’t act at all. It’s all about Black Milk for the best ‘$5 shake’ in the city – and I can wholeheartedly recommend the Biscoff & Salted Caramel number. It’s the greatest thing ever.
Black Milk, 88 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LF
A White Russian from The Big Lebowski
For a film that’s packed full of piss-stained rugs, cardigans, bowling and nihilists – it’s surprising that one of the biggest things everyone remembers about The Dude is his preference for a White Russian wherever he goes in The Big Lebowski. To be perfectly honest, the classic cocktail is available in pretty much every bar in the city that just happens to stock booze, but I’d say one of the best is from Trof, who serve up a fantastic Salted Caramel White Russian. Have one and tell me I’m wrong. Am I wrong?
Trof, 8 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU
Shrimp from Forrest Gump
It’s a good job Benjamin Blue became best buddies with Forrest ‘dumb as a bag of hammers’ Gump during Army training for Vietnam because his relentless conversations about shrimp would have been enough to anger even the most patient of listeners. Luckily for him, Forrest was someone who took things a little too literally, so once back from Vietnam (via a bullet in his arse and a visit to that knob head Jenny), he made the Bubba Gump Shrimp company, bought shares in Apple and became a kazillionaire. Best American South shrimp in the city? It has to be Bunny Jackson’s Shrimp featuring half a pint of Cajun goodness, Old Bay mayo and hot sauce.
Bunny Jackson’s, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA
Pastrami Sandwich from When Harry Met Sally
Quite possibly one of the most famous scenes in movie history, Meg Ryan pretending to have an orgasm in Katz Deli must be one of the greatest examples of quality acting known to man. Not only did Meg Ryan have to ‘perform’ in front of the hideous face of Billy Crystal, she also presumably had to resist the temptation to stuff her face with pastrami every chance she could get. Newly opened on Oldham Street, Eat New York offer a rather spectacular Ruben Sandwich which could rival anything Katz Deli blast out in New York for sure. It’s stacked with half a pound (!) of hot pastrami, sauerkraut, cheese and Russian dressing and is truly orgasmic. Not one of those crappy Meg Ryan fake ones.
The Bagel Shop, 64 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LE
Liver & Chianti from The Silence of the Lambs
If there was one thing that made Silence of the Lambs frightening it was when Buffalo Bill popped his knob between his legs and pretended to be a girl. Another really scary bit is at the end when Clarice is in that dark house and he’s got the night vision goggles on. One thing that isn’t scary is Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal Lecter, who basically just chews most of the scenery – as well as a few plump humans. His preference for Flava Beans, Liver and a good Chianti has become legendary, and although you’re not going to find liver in many places in town, you can get a fantastic Chianti in the form of the 2012 ‘I Bastioni’ Chianti Classico at Hawksmoor. In addition – they sell a huge range of meat dishes, to satisfy your inner Lecter without getting arrested.
Hawksmoor, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
Chilled Monkey Brains from Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
Short Round might possibly be one of the most annoying sidekicks in movie history but he’s made to look like bloody Chewbacca compared to Willy Scott and her incessant screaming and whinging throughout the whole of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Probably the weakest of the original trilogy, it does feature some legendary scenes, most noticeably when our trio of heroes are dining at an Imperial Palace somewhere in India. They get served live baby snakes, eyeball soup and some rather big, juicy bugs, all topped off with some delicious looking chilled monkey brains. Of course, you’re not going to find any of these delicacies here in Manchester, which is of course a massive shame, but Zouk actually do a curry with sheep’s brain in it – the Magaz – so give that a try.
Zouk, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS
Apple Strudel from Inglourious Basterds
Between taking part in horrible atrocities and ending WW2 early, Colonel Hans Lander likes to play with people’s emotions for his own pleasure. Not only can he manipulate a lowly French farmer to give up his hidden Jewish stowaways under his floorboards, but he manages to completely destroy Mademoiselle Mimieux with just a plate of Apple Strudel and a glass of milk. The strudel he eats looks absolutely divine, and for such a German speciality there’s no better place to get one than at Albert’s Schloss on Peter Street. They may also be serving up their Caramel & Apple Strudel Cronut too which would be an extra special treat for anyone, German or not.
Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
Courtesan au Chocolat from The Grand Budapest Hotel
In typical Wes Anderson-ness, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a rather stylish, dainty and odd movie jam-packed full of as many famous faces as you can ever imagine, usually playing against type. It’s a great film, with one of the stand out (non-human) stars being a lovely looking bit of pastry that has some impact on the plot which I can’t for the life of me even remember now. Did it have something to do with a prison escape? I can’t remember. Ah well, I suppose I could refresh my memory by chomping down on some of the similar treats at Bisous Bisous, which are not only delicious – but they look like true works of art – much like Wes Anderson’s films.
Bisous-Bisous, 663 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester M20 6RA
Sweet Spaghetti from Elf
Eating a massive plate of spaghetti topped with a shit-ton of syrup, Smarties, Pop Tarts and whatever you can find in the pick n mix at Woolworths isn’t perhaps the best way to impress someone who you think might be your dad, but Buddy the Elf doesn’t care. All he cares about is Christmas, and he even manages to get everyone in New York to care about it too by the end of the film. I wouldn’t suggest eating spaghetti with all that sweet stuff on it, but you can get a Dessert Pizza from Dogs N Dough which is the next best thing. It’d probably be a good idea to arrange an appointment with the dentist while you’re at it too.
Dogs ‘n’ Dough, 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW
French 75 from Casablanca
One of the greatest ever love stories, behind that of Romeo & Juliet and Pat & Frank Butcher, Casablanca tells the story of Rick and his old flame Ilsa, trying to survive in North Africa during the Second World War. It’s a classic and if you’ve never seen it – get it from your local Blockbuster as soon as you can. It managed to bring to the forefront a rather special champagne cocktail too, the French 75 – named after the 75mm guns the French used during the Great War and featuring gin, lemon juice, ice and champers. They’re brilliant. As with most champagne related drinks and paraphernalia, Epernay is probably your best bet.
Épernay, 1a Watson St, Manchester M3 4EE