After our afternoon at Jade Spa (See our review here), we had a small wander around Manchester itself. Small is a pretty accurate term as I had blisters on my ankles. This was from where my beautiful Converse decided to rub me. I ended up having to wear Myke’s socks, despite my cons being open toed. Tres chic.
After walking up to our usual haunt of Forbidden Planet (we just missed it by 5 minutes), we had a quick look in the super cool Richard Goodall Gallery. Here they have some amazing geeky artwork and prints – we are currently totally in love with a limited edition print collection by Nicolas Bannister called Banncars, which you should totally check out. We’re going to buy one when we have the money
(and can decide on which to get).
As we wandered down Thomas St. towards the car, we smelled lots of lovely smells from various cafe’s and restaurants and realised we were hungry. However, typically, we had walked past everywhere and was now getting ready to cross over by The Printworks, but was not going to be looking at one of those restaurants. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Infamous Diner on the corner (TripAdvisor reviews here).
We decided pretty instantly that it looked our sort of place, and with Slimming World out of the window for the day, what better way of ruining a week’s worth of diet!
Infamous Diner is a 50’s style, American Diner pretty centrally located in Manchester being between the Arndale Shopping Centre and The Printworks. It would be very easily overlooked, but is central enough to get passing trade like us, and also not too far out of the way for anyone intending to eat here.
When we first went in, we had a moment where we were unsure if they were open, as we were the only people in there, with no staff around either. We realised it was open, and so waited to be seated, as we figured that was the set up here (it was). A couple of minutes later, we were seated close to the bar in a booth, given menu’s, and left for a few moments to decide on drinks.
The bar was pretty extensive, the decor all very authentic diner-esque with so many American registration plates on the walls it took me a while to figure out that that’s what they were! There was a large TV playing E.T – The Extra Terrestrial, although there was no sound due to the classic rock music playing. All the staff wore themed uniforms, and the place had a charming feel to it.
Within half an hour of us arriving, there were at least six other tables in use. The restaurant could hold quite a lot of people, and I’m sure that when it’s busy, it adds to the atmosphere. Me being my crowd-hating self, I found the quietness quite refreshing particularly for 17.30 in Central Manchester.
Food and Drinks
Menu’s available here – be warned, it’s mouthwateringly good.
We were pretty unadventurous with our choices of drinks – 2 Diet Pepsi’s. This was not due to lack of choice – there are shakes, floats and cocktails galore. I would love to go back and try some of these, but since we were a little cost conscious we wanted something simple. £2.00 for a Diet Pepsi was reasonable particularly given the diner’s location. There was a little too much ice, but sadly that is par for the course with draught drinks – still disappointing though.
Food wise was a different story. I wanted so many things off the menu. For the first time in my life, when our waiter came over to take our order, I genuinely had to just panic-order one of my choices! In the end, Myke decided on Bacon French Toast (£4.95) for a starter, and Bones and Fries (£15.95) for a main. I chose Corn Dogs (£5.95) and NFC with curly fries (£10.95) for my main. My choice of corn dogs was unsurprising. This is the ultimate Disney food for me, and I’m desperate to find somewhere in the UK that makes them taste remotely similar. However, I surprised even myself ordering NFC! When eating out, I never, ever eat a meat-centric meal, and almost never had fries as a side. But I was throwing caution to the wind!
When our starters arrived, I was surprised to find my corn dogs were “full size” given that the description said bite size. I am fully aware that this is an odd quibble to have. They were not Disney, but they were the closest the U.K. has come to them yet, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Myke loved his french toast, to the point where he is still talking about it now. Personally, I wasn’t a fan, but it was coated in a cinnamon sugar similar to churro’s (yuck!) which is probably equally why Myke loved it.
The bones and fries were excellent and came with three sauces, two of which I stole for my food (the blue cheese sauce was amazing). My NFC was average I think. Certainly not bad, but it was nothing that made it a meal that will stand out in my head. The chicken was cooked perfectly and tasted lovely. The gravy was nice and the curly fries – well, they tasted liked curly fries (I’m a pretty big fan). I was pleasantly surprised to find that my chicken was boneless. I ended up not eating it all due to being a little too full after my corn dogs (extremely first-world problem there from me). There was nothing wrong with my dish, but next time I would probably order something different. With the extensive menu and the number of choices I had, this wouldn’t be too difficult!
I cannot fault the service at all. Except maybe for the empty restaurant at the beginning, but I imagine this is an infrequent occurrence. Our meals were well presented, brought out fast by friendly and attentive staff. What more could you ask for?
Two drinks each, a starter and a main set us back £45.80. Although it is more than I would have liked to have spent on an unplanned meal, I felt this was reasonable. Particularly given the location, the quantity and quality of the food we had. A similar meal has cost us well over £60 before now and was nowhere near as good as this. The price would not make me hesitate at returning
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Infamous Diner, and will definitely eat here again on future trips to Manchester. With such high competition in the area, we felt that the diner really stepped up and beyond. Similar places have higher prices for much poorer quality food.
Have you ever been to Infamous Diner? What would you order? Let me know in the comments below.