Black Dog Ballroom is ever famous with students and those that want a chilled out drink, alongside some potential pool playing and decent music. They have two ballroom venues and another one solely for bowling (Black Dog Bowl) but they offer more than just drinks and amenities though and that is what attracted me here. Pizza, burgers and plentiful sharers adorn the menu, alongside some tempting yet healthy salads.
I usually find myself in the Northern Quarter Black dog late at night to end a fun night out or the New Wakefield Street Black Dog to play some pool (that is when we are lucky enough to get an early finish on Friday). Little did I realise, the NWS venue had a fabulously bright rooftop terrace upstairs that contrasted the dark stereotypical bar area as you walk in.
Onto the food; we decided to start with the sharing platter, which encompassed deep fried chicken wings, chicken skewers, dough balls with a garlic butter dipping sauce (calorific heaven), nachos covered in guac, sour cream, cheese sauce and salsa, mixed sweet potato and normal fries, onion rings, BBQ sauce and sweet chilli sauce. There would have also been pigs in pretzels but we subbed these for tatter tots to be a bit more brace friendly (yes, I took the plunge and got braces again at 23…). Anyway, for £12 we were expecting a fair sized portion but when it arrived we were flabbergasted by the sheer size! Everything was tasty and this platter would have made for a perfect picky dinner for 2 alongside a few beers whilst you watched the football (yes they had it on discretely in the background for all the guys that wanted to take a sneaky look) and followed by a game of pool downstairs. The char-grilled chicken skewers were slightly dry for my taste but everything else was pretty tasty bar food (the dough balls were incredibly good).
Being the naive females we are and having eyes way bigger than our bellies, we decided to order a pizza, mac and cheese and super food salad with chicken to share for our main. Pizza and anything bread related I tend to avoid but when I decide to treat myself to one I expect it to be good (no one wants to regret calories now do they?!). So, we went for the nice and spicy (£12) (with hot sauce on the side, as I am such a spice wimp) and it was really nice!! This pizza encompassed a balanced mix of firmness and soft cheese and the toppings worked really well together. We got the 14″ and that was more than enough but luckily they let us take a doggy bag to avoid food waste! (my kind of place). They do offer a 20″ version if you are feeling brave…
We also had the mac and cheese which was as expected, tasty but very filling for a reasonable £5 – this could easy have done as a main with fries (double carbs and all that). We shared the super food salad which I must admit did not live up to the expectations conjured by the name. It was more of a large side salad which for £11 (including the chicken), seemed a bit steep but it was edible nonetheless and its refreshing to actually have healthy options on relatively heavy menus.
To finish we shared the oreo cookie cake (£5). As you all know I have a real sweet tooth so this was nice but more cheesecake than cake so I was slightly disappointed. The ice cream was on point though.
Overall, Black Dog is a well known Manchester establishment, it doesn’t try to be a gourmet food experience but what it does do is provide decent bar food, a good atmosphere, cheap pool and a great yappy hour midweek for 4pm-7pm. FYI they also do 50% off food Mondays, 2-4-1 Pizza on Tuesday and 25% off food for students at all times!
Website – https://blackdogballroom.co.uk/nws/
Location – 11-13 New Wakefield St, Manchester M1 5NP