Posts Tagged ‘Campfield markets’

FOOD FIGHT!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

For the past few weeks, every Friday night the old Campfield Markets in central Manchester have come alive with food and drink stalls and general eating shenanigans. I had been watching the interest and excitement build up around the Friday Food Fight on Twitter – everyone who was ‘down with it’ in Manchester was talking it up. It is hip. It is cool. It is the place to be. So I wanted to go. I finally managed to venture here last Friday, taking my friend Jon as back up in the case of propelled edible goods.

EAT! EAT! EAT! EAT!

EAT! EAT! EAT! EAT!

The Campfield Market building is a beautiful space with high ceilings and a markety-vibe. We arrived at 7.15pm and had to queue for about five minutes before being let in. I was anxious to get inside – I didn’t want to miss the FOOD. Imagine that… the horror. Thankfully there was plenty left by the time we made our way through the doors. The place was buzzing with a lot of happy hipsters and foodies who were wandering around being seen.

We went and bought ourselves a drink first and were somewhat gobsmacked by the prices – £5 for a pint of beer. I felt like I was back in Perth. I guess the lack of competition meant that everything would be over priced – most of the stalls followed suit. As we wandered around looking at the eight or so options available, everything seemed bit… well… expensive. Perhaps the real fight was happening between the stall owners and the amount of profit they could make on their food.

There was an interesting mix of food with most stalls being run by some of Manchester’s most popular restaurants and pop up stalls. Red’s BBQ and Lucha Libre were consistently popular while Mumma Schnitzel‘s deep-fried halloumi created a long queue through the centre of the room. From looking around, the most popular items were probably Manchester’s latest food crazes – hot dogs. Fat, flavoured sausages in plastic bread buns coated in all sorts of sauces are what the hipster-kids are digging these days with places like Dogs ‘n’ DoughDiamond Dogs and now The Splendid Sausage Co popping up around town. It amazed me how many skinny, make-up encrusted, fancy females in stilettos I saw gnawing down on sausages. They were big hot dogs – perhaps the good value was what attracted them.

I went for a middle-eastern seven-spice lamb with pita and salad from Shake, Maroc & Roll. I asked for smokey aubergine sauce to go with it. It wasn’t there. I also spent a lot of time trying to find the seven spices – I’m not sure there were any spices at all, let alone seven. The pita was cold and soggy from diced tomatoes and the lamb was chewy. It wasn’t THAT bad and I somewhat enjoyed it but for £6 it was disappointing. That said, these guys were under pressure to produce a lot of food in a short space of time. I think they might need a bit more practise.

Lamb wrap

Lamb wrap

The lamb wrap was really small and I was still hungry so Jon went off in search of more food to fill our bellies – this time heading to the Lucha Libre stall. He returned with three pulled pork tacos for himself, cheese, mushroom and spinach quesadilla for me, and some guacamole to share. Now this was tasty – my quesadilla oozed cheese and the guacamole was tangy. We came away feeling far more satisfied with our food adventures but slightly ripped off.

Lucha Libre goodness

Lucha Libre goodness

As for the fight – we witnessed a very lacklustre hot dog eating competition with no cheering, no applause and no real effort from the competitors. There was no food being shovelled into mouths or any gagging. Again, a little disappointing. So overall I left the Friday Food Fight with a general air of dismay. It wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t the food-frenzy-fantasy that I had imagined it to be. I can’t decide if I will go back and try it again or just host a hot dog eating competition in my own house.