A couple of weeks ago we headed down Oxford Road in Manchester to try out the new menu at Dog Bowl. We went to the branch on Whitworth street and although I’d never been before, we are often in the area as we go to gigs at the O2 Ritz quite a lot. The Dog Bowl is an informal, light hearted and friendly place and has quite a cool, grungy vibe. In fact we’ve definitely discovered a brilliant restaurant for a pre-gig meal now. Dog Bowl isn’t just a restaurant and bar though, it has 5 full length ten pin bowling lanes so makes the perfect venue for a post-work hangout or a great spot for a catch up with some friends. The tex mex menu is bursting with dirty burgers, smokey ribs fresh from the grill and plenty more delicious and satisfying dishes.
We started with a drink. I’ve recently discovered I have a (dangerous) love for milkshakes so we both decided to try one of the boozy shakes. If you’re eating here, there’s no point in watching your calories; it is the kind of place you come for a cheat meal and indulge a little. I chose the Nuts & Berries shake which consisted of Chamboard, Frangelico, hazelnut and strawberry ice cream. Now I love my hazelnuts and this creamy concoction was delicious. The subtle hint of alcoholic gave it a great kick and the small pieces of hazelnut gave it as tasty consistency. Tom went for the Banana & Vanilla Smash which Jim Bean Honey Bourbon, banana and vanilla ice cream.
To eat… well we ordered a bit of a feast to say the least. I warn you, the portion sizes are huge and we fell into a bit of a ‘eyes are bigger than you stomach’ trap. We probably shouldn’t have filled up on milkshake in hindsight but I loved my shake so no regret. Anyway, if you are going to visit Dog Bowl for food come with an empty stomach! For a main, I chose the Veggie Burger. Now I must admit I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a veggie patty burger and instead got a mushroom in a bun… but the addition of the goats cheese and caramelised onion made up for this. Mmm, goats cheese and caramelised onion is always going to win me over. I ordered this with salad instead of chips though and ordered a side of chilli cheese fries (this was practically a meal in itself!).
The chilli cheese fries came to the table still bubbling and the amount of melted cheese I was presented with was a definite ‘heart eyed emoji moment’. I feel like I may be repeating myself a bit but present me with cheese and I will swoon. Anyway, enough about my cheese addiction. The fries was deliciously topped with ample chilli beef and cheese… I definitely made the right decision swapping the chips for salad!
Tom ordered the Dog Bowl Bad Boy… of course he did. The biggest, dirtiest burger on the menu bursting with all the trimmings was an obvious choice for him. It looked incredible when it arrived, especially as the bun was pierced by a huge knife, almost saying “I dare you to try finishing me”. He didn’t… but then again we had a feast in front of us and I think we both made an impressive dent into our food. Tom ordered onion rings on the side and they were absolutely delicious. The perfect combination of crispy and greasy and a great addition to our food.
We left satisfied and with very full bellies. The staff were really attentive to us all evening and ensured we had everything we needed. The venue was perhaps a little too noisy but that is the nature of the place what with the bowling lanes and the bar so this was to be expected. It is a great place to visit though if you want a relaxed evening with some hearty and comforting food and a spot of evening activity on the bowling lanes. I would suggest bowling before you eat though so you can make the most of the portion sizes and enjoy yourself.