Tag Archives: Burger

Too cool to give a sh*t – Almost Famous

14 May

In Dianne Jacob’s intensely informative book, Will Write For Food, she argues that – while book publishing takes months and months – the blog is a far more instantaneous method for writing about food. She also taps into the fact that a blogger may, with exhilaration, say ‘whatever they want, unfettered by editors’ and thus, unfettered by trends. With my liberty to go against a seemingly overwhelming grain of adoration in Manchester (and specks of worship being thrown slightly further afield) for this lot, I’m putting it out there. I really, really, really don’t like the vibe I get from Almost Famous.

Don’t get me wrong guys – your burgers are nice; not something I’d eat every day (it wouldn’t exactly be positive on the waistline) but… they’re good. I’ve been twice, both with friends, but I would not go back a third time – and that’s the lucky one, right? Apparently the ‘staff couldn’t be lovelier‘, but how this impression has been gauged by other reviewers I fail to understand as both times I’ve been we were subjected to the same member of staff and she was utterly foul. My hackles began to rise after we asked whether they took card and our waitress, without a hint of pleasantness turned on us to say – and I quote – ‘Duh, this is the twenty-first century…darling’ (forgive me for judging you by your bare interior, Almost, I’m just a noob on the block who knows nothing of your ultra-cool, hipster fabbo status) accompanied with a sneer and a raised eye-brow. Silly me.

That small, snide comment stunted any development of rapport and went totally against their promise of ‘specialising in giving people a good time’ (written in capitals on their website). My time spent at Almost Famous would have been better if I didn’t feel like everyone around me was attempting to mould themselves in with the strange theme of ‘ITS ALL VERY ALICE IN WONDERLAND SECRET HANDSHAKE STYLE AND YOU’LL LOVE IT’ (I didn’t love it); and obviously they were doing it the best, and anyone else was inferior. It’s this cooler than you (and they probably are) attitude that grinds – do they have to go on (and on and on…) about how witheringly trend-setting they are? I mean, at the end of the day, after all the pomp – it’s just burgers?! Christ Almighty, you serve your burgers pink, you say? My God! You ARE the best – why has no one thought of this before? Oh, wait… Ah yes, I remember now, pink cow is not quite original.

Why does it say ‘NO PRESS NO PHOTOGRAPHY NO BLOGGERS NO BLAGGERS NO KETCHUP’? Almost Famous – you have people in there every day who are taking pictures, blogging about it, talking about it… It’s all hype! What, exactly, is a blagger!? And personally, a bit of ketchup would be fantastic.

But it was none of this that has peaked my irritation. It’s the constant use of images like this of the ‘face of Almost Famous’, their own ‘dumb blonde’, captioned with ‘you want it in and around your face’…

And about their own waitresses, ‘Who wants dirty burgers? Served by 3 sluts in leather’. We all know sex sells, and it doesn’t differ in the food world, but is it okay to casually drop crap- and it is crap – like this in? It’s the constant use of ‘cheap’, ‘dirty’, ‘whore’, ‘slut’ all over their website, menu, twitter – even their facebook page calls itself a ‘meat whore’ – that I can’t stand. The Skinny, in Lauren Strain’s article ‘No Ketchup, Just Tits’ picked them up on it – asking whether we should have to bear comments like, ‘Oh baby fuckin’ fill me up with… oozing meaty pizza and sauce and and cheese make me squeal like I’m getting slammed in a car door’ plastered to even more pictures of the ‘dumb blonde’ or that their ‘trailer trash’ fries differ from normal fries because they have been ‘fingered by gypsies for half an hour’. I don’t think we should have to bear it.

It seems that it has become acceptable to sell deprecating and sexually provocative ideas in a casual and explicit manner, all in the name of a brand. And why? Why is it that scores of people buy into this imagery – imagery that is, without a doubt, overtly derogative and in my mind, sickening. This is the impression that Almost Famous have built up and they will carry on being ‘too cool for it to be discriminatory’; or is it too successful – in other words too rich, too ‘almost famous’ – to have to give a damn about the wider impact of degrading and malignant representation.

The more I delve into their philosophy, the more I dislike them. Almost Famous, it’s not your burgers but your attitude that stinks.

Yours,

Joss.

Almost Famous on Urbanspoon

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Tried and Tested – Salmon Burgers

15 Jan

In a panic after the inescapable Christmas weight gain, ‘healthy’ is the new tag word for my diet; or it should be, I am ever-tempted… So, last night we decided to try our hand at Good Food’s Superhealthy Salmon Burgers – salmon, thai red curry paste, ginger, loadsa chilli and garlic (we threw these in, ignoring the recipe – DON’T, the curry paste has more than enough as we found out) and a whole bunch of coriander.

Whizzing it all together with a hand blender, it was a peach coloured, sticky mess. I ummed and arred about this strange mix and began to wonder if it would be best to abandon ship, rather than to endure what was fast turning into a culinary disaster. When moulded into their prospective ‘burger shapes’ our salmon burgers seemed even more peach-like. I was concerned.

Into the pan! Finally a ray of hope as the strong Thai flavours hit the heat and began to smell amazing. Four minutes on either side – they really do need to be cooked through – and these little beauties (ugly duckling story, I tell you) were complete. Wrapped in a sheet of nori instead of a burger bun, a squeeze of wasabi  and a grilled, spiced salmon slice on Imagethe side. Definite success.

Yours,

Joss.

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