Category Archives: Bars

Twisted Burger Company at Aire Bar

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last couple of weeks, you’re probably aware of the Twisted Burger Company residency that’s just started at Aire Bar. TBC hail from Sheffield, where they’ve been churning out burgers at The Harley for over three years. It’s great to see a Yorkshire brand doing well, and as far as I can tell these guys deserve their success.

Although I couldn’t make the official launch, I decided to pop in on opening night to check things out the old-fashioned way. The sun was shining, we nabbed a seat on the deck, the burgers were half price – it seemed like everything was in our favour.

I’ve never been to Aire Bar, and although I knew where it was it’s not a place I’ve ever even thought about going. It’s a bit out of the way of my usual haunts and I’ve never really heard anyone say much about it. I’m glad I had a reason to go now! It’s got a great atmosphere and was full of professionals grabbing a post-work beverage. The deck was perfect for a sunny day, and even though the Leeds river bank isn’t always the prettiest place, it wasn’t a bad view at all and I enjoyed having five peaceful minutes before my date arrived.

I was a bit sceptical about how the service would be, after some recent poor experiences at hipster pop-ups, but these guys knew what they were doing. Despite the opening night crowds, there were no nerves and we got our grub in about fifteen minutes.

There’s plenty of choice in the menu, including a patty made from bacon, a fearsome looking triple burger, and some tempting sides such as jalapeno poppers, mac ‘n’ cheese or loaded fries.

I plumped for the Smokin’ Joe Frazier, boasting two chicken patties, bacon, cheese, homemade ranch dressing and relish. I asked for sauces on the side, as I’m picky about ranch and I thought the relish might be a bit too hot for me. I should have been more trusting of the chef, because I would do pretty much anything to get my hands on that ranch recipe. It was garlicky and tangy, with quite a thin consistency – not too oily or creamy. I seriously could not get enough of the stuff and whatever I ordered in the future, I’d have that on the side. I will not forget that ranch dressing!

The chicken patties – apparently made from 90% thigh meat and 10% chicken livers – were a bit new to me! They weren’t quite as nice as a really good chicken breast can be, but it made a nice change from the dry, overcooked chicken breasts that inferior places seem to think are worth charging a tenner for.

Overall it was a good burger, moist but not too sloppy, really filling, and served with wickedly moreish crispy French fries. The offbeat, casual vibe makes Twisted perfect for a post-work bite with friends and beers and sunshine.

If you’re following Twisted Burger on any of their social media (such as their twitter, which is here), your burger is half price until 20th April, so why not give it a try?

photo 1 (10) photo 2 (12) photo 3 (9) photo 4 (9) photo 3 (10) photo 2 (13) photo 5 (8)

In other news…

Here’s my other half’s review of the same meal over at The Indie Chef

This blog on The Culture Vulture about having fun with our city is a thought-provoking read

Some of these mini desserts look better than others, but on the whole the list makes me want to throw a dessert tapas party

DO NOT MISS Amazing Graze this weekend. See my review of the last Amazing Graze event here

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Filed under Bars, Food & Drink, Restaurants

Call Lane Social: Tiki Hideaway

You can’t really miss Call Lane Social: it’s the newest addition to the Call Lanebar scene and its name is literally in lights. Bright red lights. Thanks to The Culture Vulture, aka the best blog in the North, a few bloggers were invited down there recently (ish, my blogging hasn’t been especially timely of late) for a mysteriously titled ‘mixology event’ where we would check out the bar and have a go at mixing our own cocktails.

On arrival, after a quick catch up with a few awesome blogger folk, I got chance to check out my surroundings. The space was dark, the walls exposed brick, the seating and bar sleek and black. So far, so trendy Call Lane. The last thing I expected was what happened next, which was that we were whisked upstairs, up a narrow, dark staircase, and into a completely different world. The bamboo walls, the pufferfish lightbulbs, the treasure map of themed cocktails: it was like being transported to a beach bar in Hawaii.

After a few minutes to explore, we took our seats at the bar and began our cocktail lesson, led by Andy, the talented and incredibly knowledgeable barman, pictured below. We started off with one of their best sellers, the Amputated Zombie (so named because just two or three of them will reduce you to a similar state), and as one of the first ‘volunteers’ I took my place behind the bar, surrounded by fragile looking bottles and fruit displays, to shake, layer and pour my masterpiece.

A rather blurry picture of Andy, mixologist extraordinaire

Under Andy’s expert instruction, I combined no less than three increasingly potent varieties of rum with a blend of tropical fruit juices, ice, and the garnishes of my choice. The enormous, chunky Aztec style glasses are a nice touch; they add to the ambience whilst making sure you get great value for money. The final flair, though, was a slice of lime, topped with a rum soaked sugar cube. Suddenly, Andy produced, as if from nowhere, a vicious little blowtorch, and ignited the sugar cube. It was obviously a little more flammable than I expected, as instead of the gentle glow I anticipated, a billowing flame shot up, threatening to melt my straw.

Voila!

After the flames had subsided, I got to work tasting my work of art. The blend of sweet fruit juices was the perfect counterpoint to the spicy heat of the rum; the drink was obviously strong, but it tasted sweet, fruity and spicy, with just a kick of alcohol at the end.

I watched a few other people make their Amputated Zombies, but unfortunately I had to leave shortly after this to attend a birthday dinner. It was the perfect start to my evening out, even if I did feel a little deflated stepping out on to the grey, drizzly Call Lane after such an exotic experience.

Call Lane Social’s Tiki Hideaway is open from 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and if you fancy holding a private function there, you can book it up until 9pm on those nights.

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