Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Longsight Meat Market

near greggs and 'uptown girl', a shop which sells a cool dress shaped like tutankhamun's death mask, no option similar for boys though, stockport rd, m13
one of the funniest things about south manchester is the really dumb affectation of 'victoria park' as an actually existing neighbourhood in which to live. its so so certainly the invention of cunning landlords appealing to a student populace wary about living somewhere that one feels potentially wary of, such as the recognised area of Longsight that it is so very geographically clearly a part of.
with a combined majority population of pakistani, bangladeshi and irish, it's a solid immigrant working class neighbourhood. having shown itself relatively resilient to the yuppification associated with more affluent districts of south manchester, north manchester and even parts of salford, it still drips of the past and the tradition of its locals; for example, by the main commercial area, the stockport rd/dickenson rd junction, by an old factory wall you can still faintly scope out a certainly-decades-old gigantic "VICTORY TO THE IRA" slogan painted on the wall. less explicitly, the market there is consistently fantastic every single day of the week, most so with its ‘market tuesdays’ that heave with bric-a-brac, snide "top brand" wears, self-help group activists and second-hand vhs stalls.
my favourite market is not this, however, but Longsight Meat Market, a tiny butchers on the stockport rd. hopefully the name for the place was borne of a desire to associate itself somehow with the apparent infamy of the market round the corner, because it's nothing spatially but a family butchers. having only glanced around the meat sections, it looks modestly priced, sure, but the real sweepstakes prize about the place is the stand at the front, cuz it's an utter gem.
the stand sells exactly what you'd expect: bacon butties, sausage butties (pork or beef), and some gorgeous hand-cut thick chips. all of these come within the range of £1 to £1.20, but for a small price extra you can also buy some potent scran that reflects longsight's diverse community, such as curries, irish stew and jerk chicken. i love using this place as a hangover cure or when im being utterly fucking pathetic and cant decide what to do with fridge contents, so have dabbled with all the choices, and can testify on their behalf.
owing to the places popularity, most of the grub seems to be gone by 14.30 at the very latest, so it's best to get there for lunch time on the dot. i went for some chips and gravy the other day, and had the lovely girl (presumably the daughter of the mild-mannered gent who runs the place) who works there ask me if i just wanted some gravy and bits-and-pieces from the stew chucked over my chips instead as the gravy was all sold-out. i wouldnt tell if she wouldnt, i told her, and while she was hooking the gravy out of the stew we were making fairly innocuous craic about how ridiculously balmy it was (22 degrees or something in late september!!), how market day isnt cut out for such sweat and irritating climes, and how she’d rather be sunbathing. anywho it tasted fantastic as usual, cost a quid (even though she gave me a decent amount of stew, beef and all, on the chips) and sorted me out til i got to my nan's hours later. recommended a million times over!!!!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


I work as a chef in the town centre, so I rarely have a break and the only food I get my hands on all day is a little taste of what ends up on your plate so that I can check if I need to load it up with more cooking salt. But every night I catch the 142/143/42/43/X57 bus home with the rest of Manchester's night people and look forward to jumping off the bus, crossing Wilmslow road and ordering a shawarma or falafel and shoving it down my mouth as quickly as possible on the five minute walk home.

Atlas Shawarma is a tiny takeaway with a kitchen that only serves falafel wraps, chicken shawarma, lamb shawarma and four naans. Despite this it is definitely one of the best shawarma haunts in south Manchester. The shawarma and falafel wraps come with fresh salad of raw white onion, tomato, iceberg lettuce and pickle. Along with the salad they come with hummus, garlic sauce, mint sauce and chilli sauce. The naan is made fresh in house. I usually pile it all on because I want to get every penny out of my £2/2.50 investment.

I was previously wary of the little bloke who works there as he tried scalping me out of a fiver by giving me £2.50 back out of £10 for my shawarma once, and was quite miserable and reluctant to return the proper change. But I rekindled some faith in him after a rude, overweight woman complained spitefully to him about how the shawarma was 'not for me' and it was 'minging' and 'too big'. After a spirited joust, she walked away from it all in a mood and he began joking to me about how gigantic the woman was and how 'many' kebabs would have been 'for her'.

My favourite shawarma takeaway in Manchester with everything on the menu perfected and quickly served to gorge yourself on sober or drunk. Don't be put off just because it is cramped inside because you will only be making a fool of yourself.