Welcome back to Mankind’s miniseries of big eats in the city. You’ve had adequate time to recover from last week’s gut busting menu (just about), so it’d be rude not to make a few extra notches on your belt and get stuck in to what Liverpool has to offer you (and your waistline).
1. Almost Famous (11-13 Parr Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN)
No, you haven’t died and gone to ‘bloke heaven’, you’ve more than likely just turned down an unassuming side street in Liverpool and found the most amazing man-cave ever. Epically camouflaged inside a steel warehouse, you’d be forgiven for just walking past and shunning it as a garage. But you wouldn’t be forgiven if you didn’t turn back immediately and shovel a load of dirty burgers into your face. No need to be eloquent here. Serving up the most incredible man-sized meats, mile high burger stacks and sauce slathered fries, Almost Famous are fully equipped for dealing with the consequences of your actions with a sea of kitchen rolls laid out for you to swipe and wipe.
No place for calorie counters, the American themed joint with quirky non-pc art work, cheeky film quotes on the walls and industrial scaffolding rails as their main décor make their burgers with 100% freshly ground steak, served pink and ‘juicy as hell’. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. Hey, any place that plates up a burger called the ‘TRIPLE THREAT’ is worth a go in our books; triple cheese, triple bacon and pulled pork. NOM. The ‘River Phoenix’ is worth a mention too. A double cheeseburger with bacon, BBQ fried onions, baconnaise AND frazzles. Yes, you heard right. The most amazingly salty, bacon-y maize snack ever – on a burger! Ooof. Not forgetting their crack wings, ‘Bacon Bacon Fries’, ‘Trailer Trash Fries’, ‘Chilli Cheese Fries’ and so much more. Carbicide anyone?
They even do ‘Not Burgers’, known to us common folk as hot dogs. Hot dogs smothered in chilli, slaw and slow cooked BBQ pork that is. They also serve up spontaneous cocktails and booze in cool glass jars to wash away your sins.
Bet you can’t wait to get stuck in now. Even the menus are smeared in BBQ sauce; so it’s just plain rude if you don’t follow suit.
2. Alma De Cuba (St Peters Church, Seel St, Liverpool, L1 4BH)
A world apart from the food shovelling etiquette of Almost Famous, Alma De Cuba is THE place to take that girl from work you’ve been trying to impress. Housed inside a 200 year old church, the atmosphere, ambience and pure class of the place make it the ultimate date night experience.
Filled with candle lit chandeliers (how romantic) and Brazilian dancers (not so romantic, but we’re not complaining), the restaurant bar is an eclectic mix of Cuba, Hispanic and Latin American influences with award winning menus to top it all off. Offering an ‘Early Bird’ and posh ‘A ’la carte’ menu, expect plates full of seared, hot smoked salmon, 28 day aged Welsh ribeye steak and marinated lamb mojito skewers. For those with a sweet tooth, fear not. How about dark chocolate and orange fudge spring rolls; baked New York style cheesecake; rhubarb and champagne strawberry crumble or rich chocolate brownie with salted peanut caramel and peanut brittle? And breathe. One spoon’s fine, no sharing here. They also do lunch menus for smaller bites and budgets.
Serving up a shed load of (somewhat lethal) cocktails (ahem, the ‘Zombie’) on a Saturday night, Alma De Cuba has the best of both worlds; it’s as much a bouncing club as it is a place to wine and dine your other half. Loud, brash and fun, you’ll be eating your steak and supping your espresso martini whilst a feather clad female shakes her tail in your face and offers you a dance on stage. With a huge dance floor downstairs, you’ll witness everyone gather like cattle and wait for the whistle – the whistle that signals the big confetti drop! Hair peppered with paper and cocktails in the air, it’ll be hard to resist joining the bouncing crowd. A second date will definitely be on the cards. You could even come back the next day (fresh as a daisy, obviously) to try their Sunday Gospel Brunch menu.
3. Viva Brazil (36 Castle St, Liverpool, L2 0NR)
Two words for you: Brazilian Barbeque. We could probably end this recommendation here really couldn’t we? Carnivores of the world rejoice. A short walk from Lime Street station, Viva Brazil present their award winning meat haven and simple concept: ‘Viva Brazil gives you more. More of everything…’
Ever heard of a steakhouse with a traffic light system? No? Well you have now. As soon as you sit down, a troop of Passadors (meat carvers to us) are on the case, offering over fifteen select cuts of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausages, all slowly roasted over a charcoal barbeque and carved in front of you. Cue uncontrollable salivation. So where does the traffic light system fit in? You’ll be given a cardboard disc; a very important cardboard disc that affords you with all the power. One side is green, which pleads: ‘Yes please, bring me ALL of the meats ever’ and the other side is red, which screams: ‘No thanks, you’ve already caused me to rupture my gut with an inhumane amount of meat (but I may have room for dessert so come back and check in five.)’
All you do is display the disc with the colour that best matches your hunger. We say keep it green and try all 15 meats. You won’t regret it. Okay, so you might regret it, but it’ll definitely be the tasty kind. They won’t stop serving you meat until you tell them to. Oh the power!
For when you fancy something light and a little less, well, meaty, there’s a salad island that boasts over 20 different types of fresh salad, veggies, fruits and breads (there’s cold meat too if you’re too much of a carnivore to resist) and 8 traditional hot Brazilian dishes to dig your spoon into. Just don’t stand over the bar and eat directly from the trays. NOT COOL.
And what meal would be complete without a little boozy treat? Viva Brazil has a mahoosive cocktail menu. You’ll be spoilt for choice with classic Capiprinhas (the national drink of Brazil, it’d be rude not to…) and indulgent dessert concoctions like the ‘Snickers’ with Bacardi superior rum, frangelico, baileys, peanut butter and ice cream. We feel sick. Sick with JOY. For those who’d rather skip the cocktails, there’s a wine list with over 100 varieties to choose from. Unlike the meats however, you aren’t recommended to sample all of these.
So what do you fancy first? Better make it quick, next week we’re sending you to the heart of England – Birmingham!
Watch this space for next week’s Top 3 Big Eats in the City: Birmingham