Sunday, 9 March 2014

Beat Street Manchester "Season 1 Episode 1"

Since moving to Manchester I've found the 'street food' scene slightly lacking - the range and quality of the food out there is genuinely impressive but as they appear at venues far and wide, there's a real lack of cohesion, well up until now as Beat Street seems a real game changer.

I'd been to a couple of the Guerilla Eats nights last year and whilst decent, neither the food or atmosphere ever left me particularly wowed. The good news is that the Beat Street team have put together an extremely impressive event. Using Camp Street Market as the venue was a great choice and mixing established well loved Manchester restaurants (Solita, Lucha Libre) with the most impressive local(ish) street food vendors (Honest Crust, Arepa Arepa Arepa) created a buzz and atmosphere reminiscent of Street Feast in London.

I went with a group of friends and didn't eat all of the options below but I captured some photos of the menus along with food to give a broad overview of the various options. Every stall had a range of food to try and were all extremely reasonably priced - I challenge anyone not to be absolutely stuffed for £20. 

The only thing lacking for me was the bar - cocktails were pricey at £7 and the beer selection was particularly dull, mainly made up of the Kona and Red Hook beers which are being pushed in several places around Manchester at the moment and are particularly bland, definitely not justifying the inflated prices. The bar did seem particularly quiet whilst I was in there and i've seen a few people complaining about the choice so hopefully this will be improved in future weeks. It seems a real missed opportunity to support local restaurants so impressively but then totally overlook all of our great local breweries. I did ask them about this on twitter only to be told "we have something VERY special coming", very non-committal.

Hopefully word of mouth after such a positive first week will add to the continual hype on twitter and ensure that Beat Street is busy enough for these initial 12 weeks so they plan further events into the future, I will definitely be back as often as I can make during this run. The Beat Street team deserve a huge amount of praise and as much support as possible to encourage them to continue with these events long after 'Season 1' ends. Best of luck guys.

Arepa Arepa Arepa! My first time with one and I went for the SobreBarriga. I couldn't get enough of the Arepa itself and the steak filling was so tender and succulent.
 Diamond Dogs - The Boss Dog was absolutely heaving with toppings, it felt like it weighed about a kilo.
Honest Crust - The Atomica pizza was stunning, the n'duja worked absolutely perfectly. I'll be tracking down the van for another pizza as soon as possible.
 Lucha Libre - tacos were just as impressive as they are in the restaurant itself.
Nutters - I'd heard of the 'world famous' black pudding wontons before but they were definitely more fritter than what i'd seen pictured before. Slightly disappointed by these.
 Big Manc Jr was just as brilliant as it's bigger brother
The BBQ chicken street box portion size was so generous it barely fit into the box

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