Finally a meal I don’t have to cook….
I was kindly invited by the Hard Rock Cafe in The Printworks, Manchester.
Along with my foodie travel companion Bermused Backpacker, I was invited to sample their GF menu under the new safe + sound program implemented for their re-opening.
I’ve never eaten at the Hard Rock cafe, although I have been before for drinkies and all I could remember was the atmosphere, very rock star inspired, hence the name I suppose!
Any who, I’m not going to lie I was anxious.
Firstly, as always a new restaurant, a new menu, new staff and the worry of GF mishap and the risk of several days of best friend toilet mode being activated is always on my mind
and 2 Covid-19. I’m fully aware being a nurse (I’m also my units IPC lead) and submerged in the infection control minefield that a pandemic brings with it, add that to the worry of gluten cross contamination makes for one slightly anxious me
On arrival we were greeted by a lovely chap and he introduced us to their safe + sound program. There was a board outside ans inside the foyer outlining the guidelines including:
- Cleaning scheduled
- The introduction of the “clean team”
- Training, and
- Use of PPE
The program itself sounded great but how many times do you hear companies saying “oh we do this” and “oh we do that” and that really don’t do much at all
so I was happy to see that they had implemented several infection control measures before I had even entered the restaurant.
Before entering we were informed that we would be waited on so no need to come to the bar to order, which is nice. Our temperatures were checked with a no touch thermometer, all was good.
Sweet, because I was hungry!
Like anyone with food allergies I had been on to their website to see what was available for myself to eat.
And hear lies an issue, there wasn’t anything.
Don’t get me wrong the had a good amount of choice on their GF menu; a starter, entrées, salads, sides, mains and desserts.
If you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, everything was meat or fish.
Do I really want just chips and a side salad, erm…. nope.
When our server approached I asked whether they had any vegetarian/vegan option on their GF menu as there was none offered on their website menu or the menu in house.
I was informed, after they spoke to the chef, that there was a option the Moving Mountains burger. I have heard of this company before, never tried their burger though.
I will give it a try!
The burger came and was joined by its best friend chips (p.s their also my best friend!)
I was told by a staff member that the burger would be served on a GF bun which was very tasty.
Buns are my enemy at the moment, I can not get a good bun. And alas, this day was no different.
The bun was as I expected, a dry GF bun that broke into a thousand pieces. Don’t get me wrong it tasted nice, but why can’t some one please invent a bun that stays together and you don’t end up wearing its contents and a thigh accessory!
The patty itself was delicious, it had a meaty texture to it which isn’t always my favourite but the tasted delish. The burger came with the tradition fillings; lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. I opted for the vegan cheese which was lovely.
There was no sauce though, not on it nor accompanying it. Now I could have asked for it, but to be honest I was just living the patty party currently happening in my mouth but I feel some sauce may have helped with the dryness of the bun.
Blinkin buns, I will beat you one day!
For pud, the traditional chocolate brownie.
This however was like a chocolate brownie who had downed 60 protein shakes and was now bulking up with his mates in the chocolate gym! To put it simpler it was big.
Computer says no….
So, there’s a few issues I bumped into when snooping around the Hard Rocks information pages and menu’s online;
- They don’t advertise the Moving Mountains burger on their GF menus, why?
- They only have allergen breakdown information on their non allergen specific menus, why?
- The only vegan/vegetarian option available for those with GF issues is actually documented as containing gluten on the allergen information sheet, why?
The website does state:
“WE HOLD ALLERGY INFORMATION FOR ALL MENU ITEMS, PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR SERVER FOR FURTHER DETAILS. IF YOU SUFFER FROM A FOOD ALLERGY, PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR SERVER IS AWARE AT TIME OF ORDER.”
Which is fair, however how are we meant to know we can even eat here if the menu doesn’t list all the options.
Hard Rock, you guys offer a really nice GF vegan option for a main you should add this to you menu as others may not be aware of this option if just looking online.
Its a missed opportunity.
Overall the meal was a success and I was so happy to see the clean team working tirelessly throughout the day cleaning and sanitising.
I was even happier to see them using disposable wipes rather than reusable cloths that are never used correctly and the neat foot pully door system you have in your loos! Genius.
The Hard Rocks safe+sound program seems to be being applied effectively at the Manchester restaurant and I hope it shall continue to be.
The program will help others, who like me may be as anxious on venturing out for a meal mid pandemic, to re-joining the restaurants and start eating out again.