Almost Famous in Manchester's Great Northern is a juicy burger restaurant and bar with a US-style and influenced menu, with options including the River Phoenix, Triple Nom and of course, the resident This Is Manchester.
Not content with being a one-trick pony, the venue's menu now extends to a whole new Christmas menu (because yes, it's that time of year already and yes, it is still TOO EARLY) and cocktails - which we here at Lovin believe it is never too early for.
So what's the vibe?
Step into Famous at the weekend with a raging hangover and you'll end up leaving feeling amazing after a good feed.
Come here on a weekday feeling up-to-your-eyeballs-with-work misery and you'll end up leaving feeling like there is, alas, some good in the world.
So that's exactly what we did one Wednesday lunchtime.
Its whole ethos lies in the winning combination of relaxed staff, huge menu with something for everybody including the veggies and beautiful cocktails and non-alco drinks to wash everything down with.
Everywhere you look when you arrive here you see big happy faces piling into huge portions of comfort food. Food that is unapologetically big, tasty and probably not very good for you — but once in a while oh-so-good.
They've got a big deal on at the moment too offering half price burgers when you show your student card so I expect the place is going to be crawling with hungry burger-seeking future millenials every Tuesday from now until 2034.
I chose the seasonal special which was the Lucky Mi - featuring the famous double cheeseburger, buttermilk fried salt and pepper chicken, salt and pepper chips, katsu curry sauce, onions and peppers, pho-king sauce, peppered mayo - and a fortune cookie. Because why the fuck not, eh?
A complete sucker for anything katsu, it was a natural choice for me and it gave as good as it promised on the menu. The flavours all enhanced one another and while I thought it was an odd combo of ingredients to chuck on a double patty of all things - it worked very well in reality and made for an exhaustingly delicious lunch.
The mix of sweet potato and crispy skin-on fries were by far my favourite side. Simple, perfectly cooked, salty and moreish - the way all excellent fries should be. Although the loaded fries look amazing (we got the beef option with aaaallllll the sauce) - I find them a bit too much with all the fairground ride of the burger, but they'd make a pretty awesome bar snack if you were coming for just a few bevvies.
On which note...
In all honesty, Almost Famous was never on my radar for a place to go and enjoy cocktails - but since the introduction of their sister restaurant Home Sweet Home's mulled apple pie cider stack and based on the evidence at Almost Famous on the day - I am quickly changing my mind.
We tried the gaff's famous Bitch Juice, the Fit A.F. Martini and the Cherry Bomb.
All enjoyed under the watchful glare of the resident friendly ape, naturally...
The Cherry Bomb was surprisingly rich and the Bitch Juice very refreshing and actually the polar opposite of what I was expecting considering the food is so heavy and sinful...
The martini though, was hands down my favourite.
If you'd told me last week I would honestly consider ordering a martini from anywhere other than my two city favourites - Trof and Dusk Til Pawn - I'd have told you you were delusional, but I will definitely be dragging the boyfriend back for a round (or three) of these.
Great portions, good atmosphere and decent value for money. And if you're lucky enough to be of the student age (god damn the youthful lot of you) and get one of those burgers for a fiver, it's a no-brainer.