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Food & Drink

Manchester restaurateur Gary Usher responds perfectly to negative TripAdvisor reviewer

‘For goodness sake Robert. I’m supposed to be in TwitAdvisor retirement so let’s not waste any time.’

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Natural Selection Design & Sticky Walnut / Facebook & TripAdvisor

Manchester chef and restaurateur Gary Usher wrote a scathing reply to a negative reviewer on TripAdvisor.

Usher – who owns Elite Bistros which operates a number of restaurants across the North West such as the city centre’s Kala, Didsbury’s Hispi and Liverpool’s Wreckfish – replied to the review, which was written by a disgruntled diner from his Chester establishment, Sticky Walnut last month.

The review, which described the experience as ‘Excellent food let down by Ryanair style management,’ read: “The good news is that the food here is very, very tasty and deserves a high rating. The bad news is that the restaurant management doesn’t give a toss about customer experience.

“I ate here on July 9th, had a complaint that was dealt with badly enough by the manager that I wrote to the owner. A restaurant that aspires to offer fine dining experience but has lost the ability to empathise with customers and ignores them when they complain? That really is a shame.”

@phil4104 / TripAdvisor

Well, this scathing review didn’t sit too well with Usher, who wasted no time in replying and pointing out a few information errors. 

Clearly not in the mood for whining customers, Usher wrote: “For goodness sake Robert. I’m supposed to be in TwitAdvisor retirement so let’s not waste any time. After all, you’ve waited 11 years since joining Twitadvisor to write your first review. Rob you reserved a table on a Friday evening and agreed to a 1 hour 45 minute time slot. A standard practice, particularly on busy periods, that guests and restaurants worldwide agree to.

“After your dessert course the Manager, who you said ‘doesn’t give a toss’, gently reminded you that we would need the table back shortly. You ignored the Manager and proceeded to order another round of drinks. Perhaps if your party had arrived on time for your reservation this could have been avoided.”

Usher went on to detail that when the manager ‘politely’ informed him that the table needed to be cleared, the customer got out of his seat and ‘towered over the manager’ before pointing a finger in his face.

“The Manager’s response was ‘Sir, please can you stop pointing in my face.’ You proceeded to tell the Manager that they didn’t deserve to be a Manager and weren’t qualified to be in the position. Your Mother then joined in by adding to the vitriol being directed towards the Manager.

“That’s when both you and your Mother showed your true colours with the classic ‘We’ve both worked in restaurants so we know how it works. We should be getting these drinks for free.’

“You, Rob, then threatened the Manager by telling them that you would be contacting the owner because you know him and that Gary (me) would be appalled to know how you, ‘my friend,’ had been treated. The Manager politely pleaded with your whole table to just listen whilst they explained. No one did.”

And, in a shock twist of events, it turns out that the customer wasn’t actually friends with Usher after all – in fact, he doesn’t even know him.

Natural Selection Design

“In a strange turn of events you emailed me, your ‘friend’, at Sticky Walnut’s email address. You must have lost my number Rob! Not surprisingly, to either me or the Manager, you and I don’t know each other Rob. Every few months in a restaurant a rude guest will use the ‘I know the owner!’ line to try and intimidate team members and bully them into thinking that they will get into trouble because they didn’t look after the owner’s ‘friends’ well enough.

“I did read your email. I did ‘give a toss,’ but not about you Rob, but about the way you treated the team. So instead of replying to you we chose to block your number, and your Mum’s, and put a note on our booking system to not accept any future bookings from you.

“With regards to the Manager who ‘doesn’t give a toss’ they have managed Sticky Walnut for the last 8 years. Coincidentally the same length of time that Sticky Walnut has achieved a top 100 position in the National Restaurant Awards in the UK. I think that makes them both extremely deserving to be the Manager and absolutely qualified to hold that position.

“Regards. Not your mate. Gary.”

That customer won’t be venting on TripAdvisor in a hurry, will he? 

Food & Drink

There’s a restaurant in Manchester dedicated entirely to toasties

There’s also a new menu of loaded jacket potatoes and shakes…

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Manchester's Finest Group

Manchester’s very own toasty restaurant has launched a brand new menu with loaded fries, jacket potatoes and shakes.

Frankie’s Toasties found life back in 2018 when a ‘typical born ‘n’ bred Manc lad’ decided to share his love of the humble toasty with the good people of Manchester.

Frankie’s was quick to earn a name for itself among foodies across the city, mainly thanks to its eclectic menu of toasties, all costing just £3.25 a piece.

Fillings include Supernoodles, ‘builder’s breakfast’ and cheese, mac and cheese, pulled pork and hot ramen with cheese, as well as some classics such as ham and cheese and tuna melt.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

Frankie’s also boasts a selection of ‘sweet’ toasties, with fillings such as Nutella, Lotus Biscoff and S’Mores with chocolate and marshmallow.

And now, Frankie’s has launched a brand new menu with some exciting new additions.

Joining its usual toasties is a new menu of loaded jacket potatoes, all of which can be customised with an array of tasty toppings and fillings for just £4.

Customers can choose from classic fillings such as tuna mayonnaise, chilli con carne and baked beans, as well as some more unusual choices including spicy ramen noodles, BBQ pulled pork, meatball marinara and creamy garlic mushrooms.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

Extra toppings include hash browns, fresh chillies, nacho cheese and jalapeños.

The new menu also boasts loaded ‘filthy’ fries and over thirty milkshake flavours, ranging from banoffee pie, Nutella, salted caramel, Snickers and Kinder Bueno, as well as a number of vegan options.

Frankies Toasties can be found at its original restaurant down Portland Street, and also at its new site in the Arndale food market.

For more information on the menu and where to find your closest Frankie’s, visit the Frankie’s Toasties website.

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Food & Drink

Manchester cocktail bar voted one of the best in the entire world

Another win for Manchester…

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Schofield's

A cocktail bar in Manchester has been voted as one of the best in the entire world. 

Each year, a panel of expert bartenders, drinks writers, cocktail specialists and educators select the very best cocktail bars the world has to offer for the World’s Best 50 Bars awards.

And for 2022, a cocktail bar situated right here in Manchester made the list for the top 100 establishments across the globe.

Joining bars from far-flung locations like Krakow, New York, Singapore, Cape Town and Sydney is Schofield’s, a new bar on the scene situated in Sunlight House down Little Quay Street.

@schofields.bar / Instagram

Schofield’s – owned and operated by Bury-born brothers Dan and Joe Schofield – has proved to be a huge hit among city centre punters thanks to its team of knowledgable cocktail connoisseurs, who put intricate mixes on both classics and their own unique signature drinks.

Drink highlights include the Guinness Punch – Bacardi Ocho, Guinness, condensed milk, nutmeg and vanilla – and the Lone Tree – Chase GB Gin, Schofield’s very own Dry Vermouth and orange bitters. 

Reacting to the news on Instagram, the Schofield brothers said: “We are a little lost for words upon hearing the news that we ranked as the 59th Best Bar in the World (The World’s 50 Best Bars List 2022) making us the only bar in England to place in the list outside of London since 2008.

“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it many more times but this is a true testament to the hard work put in by the team on a daily basis. We are proud to call you colleagues and proud to work alongside you.

@schofields.bar / Instagram

“After opening during the Global pandemic, we never imagined we would receive this sort of recognition and it drives us to be better and do better for you, our guest.

“We are proud to play a small part in the thriving food and drink community in Manchester. We look forward to seeing you at the bar soon!”

Schofields is open from 12pm – 1.30am Wednesday to Sunday, and accepts both walk-ins and bookings.

Book your table here.

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Food & Drink

Manchester Christmas Market’s legendary Yorkshire pudding wraps are BACK this year

The wraps can be filled with a selection of roasted meats, vegetables, potatoes and gravy

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@mcrchristmasmarkets & @poeticinspirationbyangel / Instagram

The Manchester Christmas Markets’s world-famous Yorkshire pudding wraps will officially be making a comeback for 2022.

Last week, Manchester City Council announced that the annual markets would be returning on November 10th, where they will operate across the city centre until December 22nd. 

And now, the undisputed highlight of the markets has also confirmed its return; the famous Yorkshire pudding wrap.

Porky Pig, the vendor behind the delicious invention, took to social media to announce it would once again be serving up its hearty wraps ‘bigger than ever’ throughout the duration of the markets.

They wrote: “Manchester Christmas Markets 2022 we are coming for you bigger than ever this year. We are excited to get back to what we do best.”

The Yorkshire pudding wraps – which catapult to viral fame every year – can be filled with a  selection of pork, gammon, beef, chicken and lamb, along with a selection of roasted vegetables, potatoes, stuffing and lashings of gravy.

This is all wrapped up in a giant Yorkshire pudding for guests to enjoy there and then.

And this year, market-goers will also be able to feast upon battered pigs in blankets, pigs in blanket barms, and even a giant pig in blanket wrapped up in a Yorkshire pudding. 

Porky Pig

The Manchester Christmas Markets will this year be returning to the ‘Winter Gardens’ at Piccadilly Gardens.

It is likely that stalls will also operate on Market Street, St Ann’s Square, King Street, Exchange Square and Cathedral Gardens, though this is yet to be confirmed by the council.

Manchester’s Christmas Market spokesperson, Councillor Pat Karney, said: “With Christmas Day a mere three months away, that can only mean one thing – Manchester Christmas Markets Day is even sooner!

“In fact, there’s only seven weeks left to go until you can grab a gluhwein and buddy up with a bratwurst whilst checking out the fantastic Christmas gifts and goodies on the best Christmas Market in the land. Mark it on your calendars – 10 November – they’re back!”

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