It’s Friday afternoon and you NEED a “working lunch”…what do you do? Pub!
In a conscious effort to try to keep things more business than booze we opt for a slightly more modern, up market take on the great British pub – The Abel Heywood. Found over in Manchester’s Northern Quarter it does good grub and has hotel rooms so we figure it beats a spit-and-sawdust alternative hands down.
Abel Heywood for those who don’t know was, amongst other things, the mayor of Manchester. We wonder where and when we can purchase a pint in The Andy Burnham. Anyway, this is something a little different for the NQ, Hydes Brewery of Salford are the landlord but it definitely doesn’t feel like a chain pub.
Anyone who is prone to thirst, or is a student, or likes a quiz or all three of these will have probably ventured to The Abel Heywood and know it’s nice and spacious with a good ratio of seating:standing room, a well stocked bar with guest ales and nice friendly staff. Even though it’s a decent sized space inside with a bunch of bedrooms above it still feels cosy and it gets good and busy so is ideal for warmth this time of year.
Back to our Friday afternoon, we got us a nice booth by the window and a pint of ‘Lowry’ & ‘1863’ in hand – pleasantly surprised by the scope of the food menu the staff talk us through some of their recommendations and what’s good here. Lots of small plates are mentioned: Manchester Eggs, pies, all that good stuff so a quick glance at ‘The Smithfield Board’ and that’s a must…£19.95 and it’s pretty much one of everything…perfect to share amongst two or three people as a snack or sort of starter.
We were dead impressed with The Smithfield, good breads and nice warm pastry on the likes of the pork pie – personal favourite however goes to the Lamb and Mint Bon Bons!
Because we’re serious about getting some work done we must order mains as well to buy some more time away from the desk after wolfing the big board. ‘Pan Roasted Chicken Supreme’ £15.95 and a good old pub classic; beef burger aka ‘Abel’s Extra-Ordinary Burger’ £12.95 are our weapons of choice. The chicken was really succulent and a well-presented nice big portion, the potatoes were perhaps a little bland and the price could probably be a quid or two cheaper however this dish does go above and beyond what you’d expect from run of the mill pub grub!
Everyone loves a nice juicy burger and a beer. No complaints here. We tried a great porter along with some of the pale ales and as you might expect everything went down a treat with the beef…good seasoning and posher burger sauce esque condiments too.
If you haven’t already, go check the place out! There’s pretty much something for everyone – they’ve even got a new terrace on the opposite corner of the street so if the sun decides to come out again next year you’re all set. Quiz nights with the Quizzly Bears are something to keep an eye out for; XMEN, Peep Show and Lord of the Rings are just some of their sell out themed evenings. www.abelheywood.co.uk