Friday, 29 May 2015

#LFDF10 The Leodensian: Almost Famous Leeds

Every year Leeds celebrates it love for good grub with the annual Food and Drink Festival in Millieum Square. However this year for the first time as part of the 10th anniversary of the festival, my amazing hometown is throwing it's first ever 'month of food'. Between the 22nd of May and the 7th of June, there's countless foodie events on across the city. So if you want something to tickle your tastebuds then definitely check it out. For me there was one stand out, tasty treat I just had to get my hands on when I saw the line-up for this finger lickin' month. It was the commemorative burger created by the wonderful folk over at Almost Famous Leeds, The Leodensian. A burger that just screams all things... Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire.

Almost Famous originated in Manchester, but they clearly knew that Leeds is swiftly becoming the burger capital of the North and opened shop here earlier this year. This place is all about big, dirty food and when I say big, I mean burgers bigger than your head big. And like every good burger joint they know it's all about burgers and booze. Such a deadly but delicious duo. The decor inside this place is so quirky. With the mixture of poppers and neon lights it just screams New York dive bar meets 90's arcade. And the awesome decor doesn't stop at the signs, graffiti, or stained glass window. The tables are full of sweets... I mean come on they're full of sweets, how awesome? I was tempted to take them up on their 'in case of emergency brake glass' claim which it says upon the table but I thought against when realising having a sweet tooth doesn't really class as an emergency.

We thought it was only right in the name of blogging to sample some of the delicious cocktails on offer. My sister went for the Rye Tai,  a mixture of Rittenhouse rye, lemon, orgeat, pineapple, orange bitters and grenadine. My Mother opted for the Bitch Juice, a concoction of bombaby sapphire, blackberry, elderflower, lemon, passionfruit and finished off with some tonic. While I treated myself to the Wrigleys Juicy Fruit Sour which was delicious. A mixture of Finlandia vodka, passionfruit, lemon, ting and egg white, all topped piece of bubblegum for afters. These drinks were so delicious, we all kept swapping because we just couldn't get enough of them.

It was then time to work out what we wanted to sink our teeth into. There's so many options from steak sandwiches, to chicken wings, to loads fries with so many tasty combinations. But of course we had to go for the 'famous', sky high stacked burgers. My sister opted for the Johnny Mac, a double 100% freshly ground beef steak patty with applewood smoked and cheddar cheeses. Plus bacon, grilled onions, million island dressing, chipotle ketup and all finished off with a deep fried mac and cheese ball. You can start to see why these burgers are so big and so messy and oh so delicious. My Mother went for the Triple Nom, a BBQ rib meat burger with cheese, coleslaw. All coated in their special redneck sauce and their famous sauce. 

Fries wise, we decided to split two portions between the three of us, we wanted to leave room for some dessert after all. We opt for the Winning Fries, a combo of skin on and sweet potato fries. But also for the Love Hate Fries, which are just like the Winning Fries but covered in marmite butter. But unlike the name suggests, I'm a bit of a freak of nature because I don't love or hate marmite. I hate it on certain things and yet on other things I really like it... is this even allowed? But truth be told I loved it on these fries and could of happily eaten a whole bucket load of them.

But then there was what I had come for, the commemorative burger for #LFDF10... The Leodensian. Ok, so if you don't know what a 'Leodensian' is it's basically what people from Leeds are called. Geordies come from Newcastle, Scousers come from Liverpool, Brummies come from Birmingham and were Leodensians. Leeds born and bred. So for a festival celebrating all things Leeds a burger named as such and filled with huge load of ingredients, all of them Yorkshire based made perfect sense. It was filled with a double 100% beef steak patty and of cheese, smoked Yorkshire bacon, shoestring onions for a little crunch, some Yorkshire crips for a little more crunch, henderson's Yorkshire relish, baconnaise and blue cheese dressing. Then all topped off with a deep-fried bacon, macaroni and Wensleydale cheese ball. How much more Yorkshire can a burger be? Fair to say I was pretty excited for this Proud Leeds feast and it sure didn't disappoint.

Can we just take a minute to appreciate how big this burger is? And look at all that goodness its jammed packed with. It was the perfect balance of crunch, salt,  meaty,  sweet, sour and cheese.... my mouth is literally dripping thinking about this thing. The meat was so tender and all the sauces and crunchy elements just heightened everything about this feast. It certainly made my taste buds tingle. If this is what Leeds food is all about then I'm certainly proud to call it home! My only issue with this burger was that my mouth wasn't big enough to fit it all in at once. Definitely not the sort of thing you'd want to eat on a first date, but with family  it's the perfect time to pig out and come up for air covered in sauce. 

Well I've got to say Almost Famous have really out done themselves creating The Leodensian. It was one of the tastiest burgers I've ever had, and most likely the messiest. I think knowing all it's produce were all things from Yorkshire and Leeds made it taste even better. I guess I'm a little hometown proud, but I'm from Yorkshire after all that is expected. I haven't stopped thinking about this tasty treat since I ate it, definitely be going back before #LFDF10 is over.

I was sooo stuffed after this foodie feast but of course I somehow managed to find some room for dessert. Almost Famous love their indulgent treats, from milkshakes to sundaes. My sister went for a Yankee Candle milkshake, filled with morello cherry, all spice, vanilla, milk and ice cream. It actually  sounds like the type of candle I'd really like in my room, sweet but with a little spice. Me and my Mum went for a sundae between us and chose the American Teen Dream. This jar was filled with cinnamon apple pie filling, pie crumble, cherry pie filling, hot salted caramel sauce, whippy ice cream, squirtiy cream, more pie crumble, popcorn, camarmel drizzle and topped off with a pretzel. Now I'm a massive fan of combinging salty and sweet so this pudding was literally my idea of heaven!  
Fair to say that the food at Almost Famous is everything you'd ever want from an American style burger joint. Giant dirty burgers, extra boozy cocktails and decadent desserts, this place just screams food porn. But with all other things aside The Leodensian Burger from Almost Famous is something else. I'm as proud of this feast as I am of the city it represents. If you love all things Leeds or just all things meaty, juicy and delicious then this is the burger for you. The Leodensian is available until the end of #LFDF10 on the 7th of June, so make sure you don't miss out! And keep an eye out for lots of other Leeds Food Month related posts coming soon!

Are you checking out #LFDF10Have you tried Almost Famous?  Could you finish the Leodensian?
Let me know in the comments below.

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