1950’s president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, once said “some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should of had beer and hotdogs.” A quote that sprung to mind when we fancied some crazy fun involving burgers and milkshakes.
a theatrical throwback
to a Manhattan diner
I want to do something fun and sociable that isn’t even remotely pompous. But still involving alcohol, of course. We headed to All Star Lanes for some nostalgic good times.
Cocktails, bowling, dinner – that’s the drill and you’re advised to stick to it.
Created by the knowledgable bar executive Alex McNeil (previously worked for Living Ventures), the cocktail menu is diverse and original. I had a ‘Tom Selleck Sour’ (£8) which is Gentlemen Jack whiskey & Amaretto, shaken with lemon and cranberry juice. A fruity take on a Whiskey Sour, man enough for Magnum P.I.
For the girls, I’d recommend an Aloha Jar (£6.50) which comprises of Finlandia vodka, pineapple juice, passion fruit, lime juices and orgeat… and an umbrella, of course.
OR indeed something for the big kid in you, an Elvis Shake; peanut butter and strawberry jelly topped with bacon (£5). Like the cocktails, it’s pretty original, presuming Elvis thought of it first. But it didn’t matter The King got fat.
One game of bowling lasts about 20 minutes and costs £8.95 per person at peak hours. The 8 lanes are shook with rock & roll and dance music while you bowl. It all helps with the embarrassing bowl straight down the gutter or when you hit a strike and feel you must perform one of those what-am-I-doing little dances on your walk back to high-five your cheering friends.
By the time you head for dinner, you’re flushed, mildly sloshed (one cocktail/ two beers) and very hilarious. And, well, ravenous.
The new menu is a theatrical throwback to a Manhattan diner in the 1950/60’s which will set you back, on average, about twenty quid with a drink.
The new King Pin Burger is the ultimate burger on the All Star Lanes menu. This is a 100% ground beef patty topped with melted monterey jack cheese, 2 slices of maple cured bacon, pickles, salad and relish in a brioche bun…crowned with deep fried mac & cheese . The Kingpin is on the menu in all venues now priced at £12, we highly recommend bowling BEFORE you try and tackle this beast.
Our favourite must-try from the burger menu has got to be the Nacho Cheeseburger (£9.50). Ground chuck & rib patty, taco shards, nacho cheese, guacamole & jalapeños – triumphant. The contrasting textures or tender beef, crunchy nachos and sauces are simply delightful. You can’t put it down.
Slightly maturing the menu, the 10oz Rib-Eye Steak (£22) with fries and cracked pepper & bourbon sauce is as good as any grill franchise. With that being said, Pan Fried Seabass (£14.50) with bell pepper and crayfish gumbo is delicious but not something you can exactly get stuck into. Just not sure it’s a fitting dish.
If you’ve got room for dessert, or frankly encouraged by charming staff, the Chocolate, Rum & Raisin Brownie (£5.50) is densely decadent. But then you might not want to continue drinking beer. Or if you’re with a sweet-toothed date, the Hot Fudge Sundae to share, presented in a plastic skull (which is a bit random) is a generous happy ending.
I just opted for a glass of Woodford Reserve (£4) on the rocks and continued to gloat about my victory. I don’t win much.
We left All Star Lanes determined to do it again.
Contact & Book
The Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
0161 871 3600