Tuesday 14 August 2012

Home Sweet Home, Manchester

Home Sweet Home is a charming ‘gourmet bake house & coffee bar in Manchester's independently spirited Northern Quarter’ which specialises in “home comforts” – brekkie, cookies, cakes, coffee, tea, toasties, sandwiches, salads, sides and shares… that kind of thing.

They also seemingly specialise in good cheer and great service. Home Sweet Home is not intended as a ‘foodist heaven’ or ‘gastronomic experience’ and as such, on food alone, it left me a little disappointed - they do however serve a decent coffee and (a particular favourite) Ting!

My Salt Beef Bagel had ‘stacks of salt beef’ (as described) although I found it sadly dry and leathery. The topping of ‘crispy tortilla strips and zesty mayo’ was a good touch and the bagel itself was fresh with a toasted crisp shell... just how I like them.

The ‘signature dish’ Pulled Pork Roll did, as described, feature ‘juicy slow cooked shoulder of pork’ and a generous amount of it too – meaty and not too fatty. On the downside, I found it a little too ‘juicy’ - the moistness resulting in a ‘soggy bottom’ (which is unpleasant at the best of times); it was also barely warm and the ‘lashings of smokey BBQ sauce’ was a little sweet for my taste.

The fries were good. Being critical though, I’d have liked some dressing on my salad leaves and the slaw lacked a little flavour and interest for my taste – a bit of kosher salt, vinegar, mustard or some such ingredient would lift it sufficiently; maybe even a caraway seed or two.

The homemade cakes all looked fab - I’ll definitely be returning for coffee and some cake.

I’d recommend Home Sweet Home to people who want a lovely place to sit and have a gossip with homely food served by friendly and attentive staff… just what it says on the tin, really!

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,

Is surely home, and home sweet home

For there the heart can rest.

~ Henry Van Dyke

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