Sunday, 2 December 2012

Southern Eleven, Manchester

It's a funny part of town, Spinningfields. The place definitely has more character and interest than most newly built developments, in both its architecture and drinking and dining options, but there's still something lacking that I can't quite put my finger on.

I ate at one of those dining options last week, Southern Eleven, an on-with-recent-trends American BBQ restaurant. We shared chicken wings and deep fried pickles to start, the first time I've tried these fabled spears of joy. They were as fantastic as I'd hoped, the crunchy batter and sudden hit of vinegar is more than a little addictive.

The wings were just ok, the hickory sauce wasn't overly sweet but the skin was a bit wan and flabby.

All four of us ended up ordering the same main, a southern tasting platter of pork belly ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket with fries. Good things first: the slabs of pork belly were ace, with loads of sweet juicy flesh under a quivering, charred at the edges fat layer. The pulled pork was similarly flavoured and also enjoyable.

I'm not sure what was wrong with the brisket though, it just didn't taste like brisket to me. Eighteen hours in the smoker had somehow rendered it tender but virtually tasteless.

Fries weren't as much fun as the advertised parmesan truffle coating suggested they might be, being slightly underfried run of the mill catering pack jobs with not much in the way of anything truffley in evidence. They weren't short of parmesan though, so still got scarfed in short order.

A side order of BBQ beans were pleasant, but not so pleasant they didn't get forgotten about and left to go cold. Cold beer was the sensible booze option, Brooklyn lager is the best one on the list.

Service was good throughout the meal, and prices are reasonable. We paid about 23 quid each including two beers apiece. The food was great in parts, but like the surrounding area, slightly lacking in others. Worth a visit to satisfy that meat craving.


Unit 26
3 Hardman Street
M3 3EB

Southern 11 on Urbanspoon

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