In the whirlwind 10 hours that we had in Manchester, we stopped at so many places. In part one, I covered the morning and here's the afternoon! One of the places that I knew we had to visit, was The Alchemist. We went in 2012 and it left such a strong impression on me. Before then, I never had a craft cocktail or been to a fancy bar. The mixologists at this bar were really knowledgable and never knew that cocktails could be so complex and delicious. This time around, I didn't care where else we went, just as long as I was able to have one drink at The Alchemist. That's all I wanted to do to be honest.
There are two locations in Manchester and we decided to go to the same location in Spinningfields. It was great to see nothing had changed and the interior was still really impressive. I remember walking in the first time and loving the industrial and leather look. It's the perfect decor for this kind of bar. For our drinks, we ordered a Virgin Mojito with lime, apple and mint (£4.20); a Mango Shake with white chocolate cream foam, orange, apple, lemon, mango and passionfruit (£4.20); a Drug Rummer with Mount Gay black barrel rum, winter sugars, citrus and toasted sage (£8.95); and a Smokey Number 2 with Ron Zacapa 23yr rum, winter sugars, apple and smoke (£12.95). All of the drinks were delicious and really creative, even the non-alcoholic drinks had a lot of depth and flavors. Still to this day, The Alchemist is one of my top five bars in the world. One day, I'll write that blog post!
After The Alchemist, we walked around a bit, but quickly realized we were hungry and jet lag was starting to kick in for Markus and I. The drive back to Stokey Town was going an hour and half with holiday traffic, so we looked for a place to eat. We happened to be in a "hipstery" area of Manchester, so of course there was a fried chicken joint, the Yard & Coop. Our friends, James and Ari, don't eat fried chicken that often and definitely not American style. I know it was our first day in another country, but there's no way I'm going to say no to fried chicken, plus it was for our friends!
Yard & Coop actually wasn't that bad, but a little light on the portions. I was afraid of over ordering and in the end, I don't think we ordered enough. The vibe of the place is definitely similar to a lot of popular places in Chicago. It's bright with amazing typography and tons of options, mostly fried. They were running a £5 lunch special, so we ordered the Thai Thighter Burger with a buttermilk fried chicken thigh in a brioche bun, slaw, peppers, lettuce, tomato and a homemade Seoul sauce. To share, we got the Monkey Balls which were buttermilk fried chicken breast, served with a cayenne pepper, lime and honey sauce as well as Bourbon BBQ sauce. I also checked into Yelp while I was there and was given a complimentary order of Amaizeballs, sweet corn balls with fresh chili and coriander. All the food was good, but it wasn't amazing. Overall, I think it was a good experience for our friends and that's all that matters.