WE are all Irish now, as it seems. Taste of Manchester is sporting a perilously perched green topper and a jaunty ginger beard soon to be flecked with Guinness froth on St Patrick’s Day (Fri March 17). There’s a host of chances to fit in with the crowd across the city. It’s not quite Chicago where they dye the river green but it’s getting there.
Foodwise it seemed the the revamped O’Shea’s on Princess Street had cracked it with its Manc/Irish fusion menu created by Robert Owen Brown, including the ham and cabbage-filled O’Shea's Irish Egg (pictured on its recent debut).
Now comes word of a limited edition St Paddy’s Burger (£15.95), brought to you by those rockin’ leprechauns at the Hard Rock Cafe in The Printworks. A double stack burger with bacon, a bed of watercress with Guinness cheese sauce and thin sliced Irish potatoes in the middle. On St Patrick’s Day itself all folk called Patrick cab claim one for free between noon and 2pm. Oh and you get fries, too, if you’ve kissed the Blarney Stone (ToM joke).
The Printworks seems to be a hotbed of shamrockery, centred around genuine Irish bar, Waxy O’Connor’s. There’s music there and in the yard from 3pm, starting with two hour Waxy’s session from Quare Craic. Irish bands are also playing in The Bierkeller, who are selling Guinness in steins, while buying a pint of the dark stuff at Walkabout gets you a free hat.
Meanwhile, just across in the Northern Quarter Mad Men inspired bar and eaterie The Pen and Pencil on Hilton Street has a special Paddy’s Day offer of £3 for a pint of Guinness, while for just a fiver you can tackle its new Shamrock Shake, a frozen coffee with a shot of Cognac. Plus, the Dublin’ up burger (ouch, main picture) means you can double up on any burger on the menu for an additional £3.50.
St Patrick spreads his net pretty wide on the big day. We like the sound of West Didsbury bar Rustik’s Friday 17th menu, which features full Irish breakfasts, and bubble and squeak benedict with smoked bacon. Also Granny Tessie’s Irish stew with colcannon dumplings and homemade soda bread will be served until late. There are drinks deals on cocktails, whiskey and baby Guinness, and there will be live Irish music from 6pm at the Burton Road venue.
The Koffee Pot in the Northern Quarter is offering an authentic sopunding four course dinner, whiskey and live music for £20 a head, details here. Tickets must be bought in advance.
Epicentre of all things authentic Irish the Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill, which offers benchmark stout and panoramic views of the city centre from its Wild Geese Bar. It also a shop at IWHC serving the Irish equivalent of ‘Marmite nostalgia’, selling all the fave brands from home – Barry’s tea, Chef sauce, Connacht Gold butter, Erin soup, Galtee cheese and O’Hara’s Brack.
Other great places to drink Guinness (and possibly rival stouts Murphy’s and Beamish?
The Chorlton Irish Club, The Shamrock on Bengal Street Ancoats, Mulligan’s off Deansgate, The Farmers Arms, Burnage, St Kentigern’s Club, Fallowfield and Fred’s Ale House in Levenshulme, a centre of the Irish community.
In Levy you’ll find a unique combo of Thai and Irish food on the menu at theThairish Cafe. Plus on Paddy’s Day itself the acclaimed Levenshulme Market
is holding its first rish themed night market from 5pm to 9pm. The market will feature live music from the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and Irish Dancers plus a host of other entertainers and treats. Al this an a host of independent food and craft stall. It is situated on the former Palace nightclub car park, just behind Levenshulme Railway Station off Stockport Road.
For full details of St Patrick’s Day events visit the Manchester Irish Festival website.