AFB is secretly stunning, says Manchester Confidential


2nd of May, 2012 Bookmark and Share

Manchester Confidential editor-in-chief Jonathan Schofield has been extolling the virtues of new eatery Almost Famous Burgers (AFB), which opened as a temporary venue in Manchester's Northern Quarter for just under six weeks.

AFB was open on Fridays and Saturdays, between 5pm and 1am. It is not yet known whether the company will seek a more permanent home, but Schofield notes that the concept has been "carefully planned" and proved a hit with the public, indicating that its temporary status was a trial rather than a one-off project. His food score of 8/10 places it firmly in the vicinity of top Manchester restaurants, despite its rustic style.

The straightforward menu listed the Double Burger (£5.50), the Famous Burger (£6.50), the Animal Burger (£6), the Triple Nom Burger (£6.50), the Rib Roll (£6.50), the Chilli Dog (£6.50) and Crack Wings (£3.25), alongside a few specials. Schofield chose the Triple Nom, which comprised a pink 100 per cent ground steak burger, a semi-brioche bun, slow-cooked rib meat, cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles and a 'secret sauce'.

AFB is the brainchild of Beau Myers, whose other projects include nearby cocktail venue Socio Rehab – often named as one of the best Manchester bars. Known for its unique concoctions and lack of signage, the older venue's creative notions were very much present in this new development.

In a move unusual among new Manchester restaurants, upon launch, the official AFB website declared: "No press, no photography, no bloggers, no blaggers, no ketchup. Everything else goes." Meanwhile, the venue was purposefully difficult to find, accessed through an unmarked door and what Schofield describes as "a spooky staircase".

Myers, of Californian parentage, wished to create a venue selling authentically-styled American burgers. In Schofield's view, he succeeded.

"The Triple Nom was the best burger I've had in ages, makes GBK's [Gourmet Burger Kitchen's] versions look boring and last year's news," said the food critic. "There is nothing as good in any chain or independent in the city I know of."

He added: "The whole AFB experience was excellent, the clever novelty thrilling. From the anonymous entry, to the location in the rafters of an Edwardian market building with exposed brick and cheeky airbrushed posters of naked girls riding cigars, to the glorious burgers, this is a winner."

Almost Famous Burgers is now closed; it has not been revealed where or when the restaurant will return.

Rachel Hand
Confidential Publishing was set up in 2003 and its flagship site, ManchesterConfidential.com, has over 100,000 readers and more than 75,000 subscribers. It covers food and drink, news, arts, entertainment, health and beauty, property and business and is aimed at the city region’s intelligent and educated readership. In March 2012, nearly half a million pages were viewed on the site. The company has won several awards including Top North West Brand in 2008 and One To Watch in 2007 at the How-Do Awards, which recognises local media in the North West. The firm employs almost 30 people across its head office in Manchester, and offices in Leeds and Liverpool.