Jake Ogden carbs on about his favourite grab 'n dough dinners
You can’t beat a good butty. It's the ultimate moveable feast. Whether it’s made with ciabatta, tiger loaf or oven bottom muffin, baguette, bagel or barm. You can call it a sarnie, a sub or a sandwich but do us a favour and put something really good in the middle. Nobody likes a shit sandwich.
With most of us working from home, we've missed grabbing a great butty made by the experts on our lunch break. It's still worth treating yourself to one now and then - and it helps our local businesses to stay afloat too.
Read on as we toast the upper crust of Mancunian butties.
Who: A Taste of Honey
Where: 138 Burton Rd, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 1JQ
What: Come and Avo Go
The Withington Walls project has invited street artists to add some colour and character to walls and shop fronts around Withington village and is well worth a look - especially for the Marcus Rashford mural. While you’re in the area, take a stroll over to West Didsbury’s A Taste Of Honey. Purveyors of all manner of beautiful butties, our recommendation is the excellently named ‘Come and Avo Go’: toasted sourdough, guacamole, chilli jam, coconut bacon, sundried tomato and spinach. A substantial meal.
Who: Ate Days A Week
Where: 8 Vernon Street, Stockport, SK1 1TY
What: The Bartender & The Beef
Launching back in lockdown #1 as a delivery service for their homemade sandwiches and pies, it was such a hit that the team soon opened their own site in Stockport town centre, followed by a unit in Hatch later in the year. Specialising in British classics, most of the items on the menu are named after well-known rock and indie songs with a Northern theme. Think Not Naanteen Forever, I Ham the Walrus (groan) and Live Forcheddar. Our weapon (ok, sandwich) of choice is The Bartender And The Beef: braised beef shin, red wine sauteed onions and welsh rarebit, all served on rosemary focaccia bread with a tub of gravy.
Where: Unit 5, Kings Court, Railway St, Altrincham WA14 2RD
Sister venue to craft beer and booze shop Batch Bottlestore, the Batch boys have been slinging out sandwiches and other delicatessen delights from their corner of Altrincham’s Kings Court for nearly a year. We’ve not had a bad butty from this place yet but our pick of the batch is their alternative to the BLT, the VLT. Smokey tofu rashers, fried green tomato and basil cashew mayo, it’s a banger of a sanger and not just for vegans.
Where: 66 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LG
What: Ham and cheese baguette
There’s not much that beats a proper butty but a proper butcher comes close. When you combine the two, you know you are on to a winner. This lot don’t just do pork chops but also a bloody good line in sandwiches. In fact, there’s not much these guys don’t do: locally sourced meat and cheese, truffle oil, natural wine, free-range duck eggs, the lot. As for the sandwich – a humble ham and cheese baguette may not sound revolutionary, but sometimes the simple things are what works best. Freshly baked, crusty, French baguettes with ham, cheese, mustard and fresh pickles. Job done.
Who: The Goods In
Where: Stella House, unit 2a Infant St, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1SS
What: Chicken katsu sandwich
The Goods In opened in Prestwich last September. Housed in an old warehouse next to Heaton Park, the airy space has room for over a hundred covers and offers coffee, brunch, lunch and dinner along with a great craft beer selection. There are also plans for live DJs when that sort of mischief is allowed again. But what about the butties? We think the Chicken katsu sandwich rules the roost: fried chicken, iceberg lettuce, mayo, ponzu pickles and a pot of katsu curry sauce for dunking.
Who: Northern Soul
Where: Unit G20-21 Smithfield Building, Tib St, Manchester, M4 1LA
What: Breakfast Stax bun
The grilled cheese champs at Northern Soul have had a rough couple of months. As if dealing with the pandemic wasn’t hard enough, they had their Instagram account hacked in December, with the hackers attempting to blackmail them if they wanted their account and its 26k followers back. Thankfully they have managed to resolve the situation and can concentrate on doing what they do best. Our chosen butty doesn’t actually fall into the grilled cheese category. The Breakfast Stax Bun is stuffed with a fried egg, spiced sausage patty, streaky bacon, hash brown and homemade tomato relish. It’s oh so wrong but oh so right.
Where: Hatch, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
What: Chicken parmo
If you’ve got mates from the North East – in particular from around Middlesbrough – then you’ll have heard of a parmo. A parmo is to people from Middlesbrough what pies are to Wiganers or Vimto is to Mancunians and they never shut up about it. The parmo king of Manchester is Parmogeddon at Hatch on Oxford Road - it's currently closed but we're first in the queue when it reopens. For the uninitiated, a parmo is flattened chicken or pork coated in breadcrumbs, topped with white bechamel sauce, finished with melted cheddar cheese and stuffed into a sandwich. Heart attack on a plate? Possibly. Taste sensation? Absolutely.
Where: Cotton Field Wharf, 8 New Union St, Manchester M4 6FQ
What: Grilled cheese and kimchi sandwich
Over on Ancoats' Islington Marina, Pollen has built a reputation as one of Manchester’s premier artisan bakers – supplying many local restaurants too. You’ll find great coffee and all manner of cakes and bakes as well as arguably the best sourdough in all of Manchester. But we always make a bee-line for the grilled cheese and kimchi sandwich. That signature sourdough is layered up with three fantastic cheeses and a dollop of Plucky Pickle kimchi. It comes with bread and butter pickles on the side and has swarms of fans.
Where: 50 Greenwood St, Altrincham WA14 1RZ
What: BBQ Chorizo sandwich
The team behind Porta Tapas have quietly been building a mini Iberian empire in the North West with sites in Chester, Altrincham and Salford – as well as their sister restaurant Joseph Benjamin. This is unpretentious, laidback Spanish tapas to kick back and enjoy with an Estrella Galicia. To get in the lockdown spirit, they trialled a BBQ outside of their Altrincham restaurant in early November. Their Chorizo rolls grilled over a wood fire with piquillo peppers, alioli and rocket were such a hit they rolled (sorry) them out right up to Christmas. We’re keeping our fingers and toes firmly crossed that they’ll be back soon.
Who: Triple B Bagels
Where: 24 Bury New Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 0LD
What: The Reuben
The crew behind the Northern Quarter's Eat New York recently opened up a new place in Prestwich called Triple B Bagels. Having long been a fan of their bagel-based butties on Oldham Street, The Reuben at the new gaff did not disappoint. Mountains of pastrami, grilled cheese, sauerkraut and mustard all wedged between two perfectly toasted bagel halves, this is a real taste of New York on a wet January afternoon in North Manchester. Don’t think a bagel counts as a butty? Forget about it!
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