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Food and Drink Round-up 08/06/2011

Pollo Tropical, Borough Market and the Joy of Cow Heel Pie

Written by . Published on June 8th 2011.

Food and Drink Round-up 08/06/2011

Borough Market for Manchester?

Simon Binns got wind of some exciting ideas for a northern Borough Market facility on his visit to the Cooperative redevelopment site - NOMA - in the north of the city centre. Click here for the story.

Manchester to get exotic chickens

Pollo Tropical is looking to move into Britain. The ‘chicken on the grill’ chain began in Florida as far back as 1988. The American owners seem to think this makes it old. They are looking for sites in Manchester and for franchisees to run it.  Some people have compared the brand to the ‘Subway of the chicken world’. Pollo is Spanish for chicken and Pollo Tropical provides all manner of spicy and lively cluck-clucks, such as TropiChops - chicken, white rice and beans, ‘a casserole bowl of chopped chicken breast served atop white or brown rice, beans and topped with special fresh, homemade salsa’. Actually it looks pretty good. 

Matfin enters the Lion

IMG_0447.jpgAnd you thought chef Ian Matfin was of no fixed Abode? Our travel editor Neil Sowerby caught up with him at the stoves of the Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury, enjoying the limelight after so long in the shadow of his mentor, Michael Caines. Ian quit the Michael Caines at Abode restaurant before Christmas after a fall-out with the charismatic Caines, who he worked under for 11 years, first at the two-star Gidleigh Park, then running the Piccadilly operation. Sowerby, braving the haunted Lion for a travel piece, reports that the genial Geordie’s serving up the kind of quietly accomplished food that earned him a place on BBC’s Great British Menu (fennel pollen features in one dessert). To see what he’s cooking at the hotel’s Hayward restaurant visit http://www.thelionhotelshrewsbury.com/the-hayward 

Stanley House for ex-Manchester chef

Stanley House, the smart boutique hotel in Mellor, Preston, has closed its fine dining restaurant, Cassis, and reopened it as Grill on the Hill. They've also recruited a new chef, Andrew Parker, who joins from Harvey Nichols in Manchester. The restaurant's grill-led menu promises 'an eclectic mix of great British favourites alongside traditional French classics,' such as steaks, Lobster Thermidor and Tournedos Rossini.  

The Titchy Coffee Company breaks free

The Titchy Coffee Company which has been stranded in the beached whale of The Triangle for 40,000 years has now escaped and is moving to Newton Heath. Only joking, of course not. They’re moving to the epicentre of indie good taste, The Northern Quarter. They will have a prominent site too, the corner unit of Basil Chambers at the junction of Nicholas Croft and High Street. Good luck to them, after ploughing a lonely furrow in The Triangle, here they may fly. 

Pinewood Hotel, Wilmslow bought

Owners of the Best Western Castle Green Hotel in Kendal have bought the four-star Pinewood Hotel near Wilmslow from Menzies Hotels. The 58 bedroom Pinewood Hotel will be refurbished ‘up to Best Western standards’. The team behind the purchase want to grab the corporate and leisure trade locally. Bet they do, but that will take a good deal of work.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

Cow Heel pie.jpgLovely pie poem

by EJ Heifer (deceased)

‘Oh loveliest pie of all, the finest meal,

A pie of steak and cow heel. 

It’s not trying to be fad-dy

But with that thick, rich, gravy

It really is the daddy 

‘By the way,

You can get it from the Mark Addy.’

Cow Heel pie2.jpgConfidential correspondent Sleuth (click here) uncovered this moving poem in a newspaper of 15 March 1874 on the day of the Lancashire Cow Heel inaugural festival. Or so he says. 

The pie has appeared again at the Mark Addy courtesy of the ineffable chef Robert Owen Brown. It costs £8.50, and follows a recommendation from the editor of Confidential, Jonathan Schofield, whose mother used to make the little beauties.

Owen Brown sourced some cow heel from a supplier in Styal and has produced what is currently the best pie in the north west. Manchester writer Anthony Burgess (Clockwork Orange) frequently praised cow heel pie. Wikipedia calls it a Lancashire delicacy.

Dead right. 


Follow Sleuth on twitter @Sleuth


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