Wednesday, 8 June 2011

1847 Felix and Fanny's

I've been informed by everybody!  The sausages at 1847, Manchester's newest vegetarian restaurant, are not made from quorn.  I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.  Are you listening?  They may not be made from quorn but they sure as hell taste as though they are.  But what does it matter?  Quorn sausages are perfectly decent fayre.  I daresay I've enjoyed a quorn or two with my girlfriend.  And 1847 has so much more to offer.
Just off Mosley street, not a cat's throw from the metrolink track, 1847, The Vegetarian Bistro, is a classy looking joint.  In a former life it was called Detox Retox.  Thank god they changed the name huh?  But to what?  They've gone from cheesy to dull.  1847, you will surely know, is the year in which the vegetarian society was formed.  What else happened in 1847?  Samuel Colt sells his first pistol to the US government;  Charlotte Bronte publishes Jane Eyre; Jesse James is born; Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn die.  None of these events are related to vegetarianism but surely there is a better name to be had: Colts or Felix and Fanny's for example.
Digressions, digressions.  What is the point of a digression?  Food!  This is what we are talking about.  Food without meat.  How can that taste good?  Let me say it again.  Food without meat.  To all people who think vegetarian food is bland let me say a couple of words to you.  Chicken is bland; Lamb is bland; beef is bland.  Ignoring bacon, all food is bland unless you cook and season it properly; vegetables are no exception.
What can one eat at Felix and Fanny's (seriously, you've got to adopt that name)?  The menu is small but not without highlights.  Who can resist home-baked camembert? (vegans, put your hands down!  Nobody cares about the bloody vegans.)  Who can resist fake fish and chips?  Would you find a Gin and Tonic cake in any other restaurant?  Or an affogato.  What the fuck is an affogato?  Sounds Italian.  Coffee based perhaps?  With ice cream?  Who knows?  The point is, 1847's food is damn good; a lack of meat does not mean a lack of rich, beautiful flavours.
Now then!  Pay attention.  You at the back.  Shhh!  Many a time I go to restaurants.  I'm rich and I can afford it.  Often, I'll encounter people who cannot eat or talk quietly.  In fact, they are so caught up with the genius of their own rhetoric they fail to notice I have steam blasting from my nose like I'm some kind of angry cow.  The decor is to blame.  Shit wallpaper creates a shit atmosphere and, in turn, forces people to behave like shit.  In 1847 the decor is so calming and so mellow nobody talks loudly or invades any other's space.  People have a good time.  People laugh, sometimes boisterously.  People talk excessively, their mouths agape, their arms waving around so much they look like a group of Hindu gods.  Yet, here, in fabulous 1847, you can't hear them.  Something about the decor is magical. 
The waiters are magical too.  They walk around as if filmed at 1,000 frames per second.  You're given time to relax.  You're given time to appreciate your food.  You have the time to enjoy your company.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is a rare commodity in today's restaurant world.  And that is why 1847, the Vegetarian Bistro comes highly recommended.

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