“What do you mean ‘at last?’” you may well be asking. In which case, you’re more than likely a southerner unconvinced by half the country’s admiration for thickened meat juices.
If the stereotypes are to be believed, no one loves gravy as much as us lot brought up north of Watford and now, as if to prove our oft-derided affection for the savoury pouring sauce, Britain’s first eaterie dedicated entirely to gravy is set to open in Manchester.
"Gravy is sexy" is the bold, if somewhat hopeful, declaration made by the mysterious Gravy Bar, which claims it will begin smothering pie and chips in the finest of condiments from its base in the Northern Quarter this week.
Aside from a menu on its website and an active Twitter feed, little is known about the enterprise. There is no firm address, contact number, or any pictures of the premises online, leading to a report on its ‘apparent’ opening from the Manchester Evening News that announced the launch with a cautionary: “If you believe everything you see on social media.”
Yet, as every gravy-loving northerner living in the capital knows, there’s a dearth of outlets willing to supply our favourite meaty liquid as a standard accompaniment to chips – never mind serve more than a tablespoon-full with Sunday dinners.
We’re far more likely to be faced with the option of a hummus wrap than a gravy-drizzled toad in the hole and when did you last see gravy choices listed on a menu? Onion, cider, mushroom, red wine … the options are endless, but rarely do we get to choose them when we eat out.
The Gravy Bar wants to right these wrongs with vegetarian and vegan options, served alongside flavours including:
- The Classic – the one your mum used to make back in the ‘90s
- Our Beasto – filled with the “thickest, filthiest, darkest meat”
- Lost Incan – an onion base made from an “ancient and secretive” recipe
- Hot Chilli – a tangy Korean spice flavour it warns is “strictly for the bravest”
After selecting a gravy, customers choose a main from options including pie, mash of the day, a giant Yorkshire pudding, chips (obvs) and, unusually, a BYO Pie option, “for when no-one else’s pie is good enough.”
Plus, the Gravy Bar’s owners are not daft when it comes to pricing. Dubbing itself a “deluxe cuisinery,” the gravy options cost between £3 and £4 a serving. That’s more expensive than a flat white at an artisanal coffee house in Shoreditch.
Mega-fans can even take their own flask to fill up on the good stuff to take home.
It sounds too good to be true. Let’s hope it’s not.
Images: iStock, thegravybar.uk