January – the month for making promises, getting healthier and generally hitting the reset button.
You might have been hitting the gym, not hitting the bottle or going meat-free for the month during Veganuary.
Thankfully the city’s plant-based offerings are better than they’ve ever been to help in this endeavour – from amazing pizzas and Indian food to posher nosh.
Now there’s a new kid on the vegan block – Frost Burgers – and (whisper it) they’ve come over from Liverpool.
And, packed with impressive-looking towering burgers and inviting ice cream shakes (dairy-free naturally), they’re aiming to prove vegan food is just as enticing once January is over with.
For a quick glance at Frost’s Instagram snaps is enough to get even the most dedicated carnivore’s mouth watering.
Stepping into their new Manchester home on Portland Street, there’s an 80s vibe thanks to the graffiti artwork on the walls and industrial lighting. Think The Terminator meets Top of the Pops.
My visit was around tea time on a weekday – and we were the only people in the joint. I hope this was just a one-off because it really does serve up some delicious offerings.
I went for the Double Trouble (£8.75) – two beef-free patties, two slices of cheez, special sauce, gherkins, onions and lettuce on a triple bun.
The patties were very tasty and the ultimate compliment I can pay is that they tasted just like meat.
Because the burgers are quite thin, they were a little dryer than I’d like but the sauce and cheez add the required moistness and the bun just about held together for the duration.
And obviously if you’re going to have a burger you might as well go the whole hog and order the fries too – and these chips don’t disappoint.
Just the right amount of salt and not greasy – plus they still have the skin on so that makes them healthy, right?
There’s also a choice of seven sauces to go with them. The sweet and smokey BBQ was the perfect accompaniment.
Frost has also nailed the cheese on their burgers.
Vegan cheese can be very hit and miss (I still have nightmares of a dairy-free Christmas cheese selection a couple of years ago) but this was excellent fake fromage – no hint of that coconut oil flavour and it melted just like the real thing.
Across the table, my dining partner ordered the Scorpion (£8.75). This spicy stack is made up of two beef-free patties, spicy cheez, mustard, ketchup, jalapeños, sriracha mayo, chipotle paste, red onion, tomato and lettuce.
And it certainly went down well – “One of the best burgers I’ve had,” she exclaimed – fresh, tasty with just enough lip-tingling heat.
Frost also has an impressive selection of dairy-free ice cream shakes.
You can choose between their Ultimate Shakes or build your own.
I selected the Ultimate Biscoff (£6.95) – and it’s a mouth-watering mess of ice cream, sweet sauce and broken biscuits with the delicious zing of ginger and cinnamon.
My wife ‘built’ her own shake (£6.45) – a mango base with pineapple slices.
Tropical flavours whizzed up with ice cream… always a winner and a nice break from all the stodge.
Frost Burgers, 48 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 4QU; W: frostburgers.com