Whenever anyone asks me what life in Manchester is like, my go to reply is "There's always something happening!". This weekend was no exception as Grillstock took over Albert Square for two days of meat , music and BBQ heaven. The lovely folks at Sailor Jerry invited me over for the day to sample their delicious food created especially by chef Danny Cheetham and rum filled cocktails. Known for serving up a storm at London's Psychic burger and Dalton's White Rabbit, Danny created the Sailor Jerry menu especially for Grillstock.
Inspired by the artwork of Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, Danny and his team offered up a mouth watering menu for the weekend. As we made our way to the Sailor Jerry section, I was really impressed by the effort they had put into their display. Cheery staff, dressed in vintage, victory rolls and bright lipstick handed out recipe booklets, happy to chat to passersby. For a brief moment we were transported back in time, to another era.
Eyeing up the menu, I chose the Burnt Ends Bap which contained pork shoulder, an array of spices and herbs including cumin, fennel and paprika. It also contained Sailor Jerry BBQ Sauce and Sailor Jerry Hot sauce topped with a fresh brioche burger bun. The boy went for the Rib O'Beef. Looking delicious it contained beef fore rib, Sailor Jerry BBQ Sauce, and came with a huge side of awesome coleslaw. As an extra treat, we also ordered some corn bread. I have never tried corn bread, so I was really looking forward to digging in.
Excited to try out our lunch, we found some seats. Despite the drizzly rain, it didn't dampen our spirits or that of others and we go stuck in. The pork in the Burnt Ends Bap was by far the nicest pork I had ever tasted. I commented that it surpassed the pulled pork I had at the Christmas markets in the very same location. As someone who can never handle hot food, the hot sauce inside was perfect - it complemented all the other ingredients. I enjoyed every mouthful especially the brioche bun, so much nicer than your regular supermarket bought burger bun.
The boy described the Rib O'Beef as "amazing, succulent, melt in the mouth delicious" and went on to say that the flavor combinations were incredible. The beef is smoked using soaked wood chips and he loved that these flavours came through in the meat. I would have loved to tried it myself, but he ate it so fast, I didn't have a look in! Our treat of corn bread was simply gorgeous. not expecting it to be sweet, I immediately flicked through the recipe book and proclaimed that I was going to make it at home. We shared a portion and it disappeared in minutes. As you can see, we gobbled everything up!
After the flavour packed lunch we thankfully had room to try some of the Sailor Jerry spiced rum cocktails. We made our way over to the long queue that was forming. Word had clearly gotten out that these were the cocktails to try. I selected the 'Old Ironside Sailor Jerry' which contained rum, pineapple and soda while the boy went for the 'Backyard Lemonade' which contained rum, fresh lemonade and sugar syrup. I love watching cocktails getting made and the guys behind the counter were confident and cool in dealing with a large crowd. Both cocktails tasted fresh and sweet with a clear taste of pineapple coming through my cocktail. Poured over ice, they were easy to drink and full of delicious rum too. Definitely cocktails, to enjoy on a summers evening.
With full bellies and feeling a little tipsy and happy after our scrummy cocktails, we settled into the atmosphere of grillstock, soaking up the music and enjoying the arm wrestling competition Sailor Jerry had put on. I tried to encourage the boy to take part, but there were a few, rather strong looking males that seemed to scare him off. Another time maybe!
With thanks to Sailor Jerry for inviting the two of us along for the day.