The rumours circulated around the city for months. They spit-roast bloggers. If they see you taking photos, they’ll force you to eat a burger that’s not even pink in the middle. Urgh. Ultimate man vs foodshame. The men who run it? They’re Daft Punk. We saw one take his helmet off to wipe filthy evil ketchup off his visor.
Oh yes. The rumours did what the rumours were employed to do.
But make no mistake. Despite their earlier ‘no press, no bloggers, no instagram’ schtick – these people want you to like them. They’re desperate to be our friends. Heck, at the opening party (which we didn’t go to. We have a similar rule to live by: No Opening Parties) the crowd was snapping away as much as they were munching, and Twitter was dripping in meat juices and well stacked buns.
Look! They’re serving food on frisbees! Look! There’s a sign that says (snigger) Meat Whore! Meat Slut! That’s so naughty it gives me the Meat Sweats. God this is just so Welbeck Street.
Listen! They’re playing Michael Jackson so loudly the PR girls on the other table are standing up and dancin’ their little tushes off. But they’re not meat whores, or meat sluts – none of the girls here (or boys) are, because Almost Famous doesn’t mean it, not in that way. No, it’s just dirty food fun.
Yes, Almost Famous has played a blinder. They’re bringing the messy meat of the moment to us with a co-ordinated plan of attack so orchestrated and contrived we temporarily forget there’s nothing new here. It’s just a rearrangement of all those things you’ve ticked that you like on Facebook. Served on a FRISBEE!! Yay. Have we mentioned the frisbee? Oh my god. That’s so funny.
And the oddest thing? They really didn’t need to try so hard. The food’s great.
Their menu offers nothing new, but it offers few disappointments either: their crack wings were gooey, spicily moreish, plump and moist too.
The Fairground Burger – double cheese, fried onions, chipotle relish and jalapenos – came with a pair of pink (very pink, actually) burgers and a mush of innards squished between a buttery brioche. If I’m pushed, I prefer one fat one to two slim ones. Y’know, so they’re juicier, like. But there was so much going on here, I kind of made enough slutty juices of my own. I know, what an immoral and promiscuous woman I must be.
Almost Famous is the sort of place where, if you see a waiter at a table with an armful of plates, you can never be too sure whether he’s taking them away, of delivering them fresh from the kitchen. Food just sort of finds its level, oozes out, constituent part melding into constituent part.
But, hey, this is dirty. And, yep, it’s really quite tasty too. Take Sloppy Juan, a double cheeseburger with lashings of hot chilli and onions. If this beast doesn’t melt your whorey heart, consider a trip to Broadgreen.
Fries and sides-wise we’d opt for the Chilli cheese fries: a whopping plateful of gooey, festive-looking stringy fries, with a riot of, well, let’s just say stuff. Like Timmy Mallet was back doing Saturdays at Maccie D’s (maybe he is).
You can skip the I Scream Sundaes (oh GOD. That’s funny, I’ve just seen what they did there). These were the evening’s let down. They’re like, you know when there’s always a whacky one on Come Dine With Me? Someone who thinks they’re being creative with the fancy cake toppings and Angel Delight, only to produce a fucking sight in a trifle dish? They’re like that.
There is nothing more disconcerting than necking a nice spoonful of ice-cream, only to discover a crouching tiger, hidden gummy bear. Disconcerting and border-line dangerous. So, yeah, stick to the meat, bitches (sorry, readers), it is all that.
We leave, sated, happy and dazed. In years to come, we’ll look back at all this and wonder. Just like we did with fun pubs, strip joints and Crocs. But, for now, Almost Famous is exactly what we want. Probably best we don’t try to work out why.
(Their website’s as MESSY as their food, and THEY DON’T CARE!!!)