Hard Rock Cafe - 50th Anniversary Celebrations

in , , , by Tori Harrison, August 15, 2021


Earlier this week we attended our first PR trip with Baby Randell on board! We were kindly invited to Hard Rock Cafe at the Printworks in Manchester - admittedly one of my favourite Hard Rock Cafe locations and we've been to a few. It's an accidental tradition of mine to hunt a Hard Rock Cafe down whilst abroad, check out their menu and hunt for a hidden gem or difference to what the UK has to offer.
As many of you Hard Rock Cafe fans, or those of you who regularly check out my Instagram stories, will be aware is that Hard Rock Cafe is celebrating its 50th Birthday Anniversary. With all the strains that hospitality has faced over the last 50 years, reaching such a milestone is no mean feat and is certainly testimony to what an incredible restaurant Hard Rock Cafe is. 

I loved being in the City Centre again, seeing all the hustle and bustle and then being able to head into Hard Rock Cafe for a bit of tranquility. I always rave about the awesome atmosphere, the music, the decor and the hardworking staff. Every visit is always an absolute joy due to all of the above. 

You might be wondering how COVID has impacted upon the service and how things are done at Hard Rock Cafe. During our trip all staff were still wearing their masks to ensure our safety, regularly cleaning tables, disinfecting surfaces and keeping their distance to make sure we were as safe and comfortable as possible. I think this is a great attitude to have, especially with restrictions easing, and certainly made me feel at ease during our visit. 

Now moving on to your favourite bit, and certainly my favourite bit, the food! 

I was really impressed with the menu on offer during our visit, which wasn't too restricted compared to our pre-pandemic visits. All your traditional Hard Rock Cafe favourites were in there with the legendary burgers being the main star of the show (who can blame them!). 

To start we ordered our drinks and I was quite shocked to realise that whilst I had explored the alcoholic cocktails in some depth, I had never ventured to the sober side of the menu. Now in some places, you get soft drinks and that is it, but Hard Rock Cafe do have a non-alcoholic menu which I was very impressed with. 

My newfound love of sweet things led me straight to the Cookies & Cream mini-milkshake (£6.25), which was divine. I even said to Steve that it was the best milkshake I had ever tasted, which was really high praise considering I have been demolishing ferrero rocher milkshakes left, right and centre these days. The Cookies & Cream mini-milkshake is described an all natural Madagascar vanilla bean ice-cream, which is blended with white chocolate and Oreo cookies topped with whipped cream and a house-made brownie square. You can really taste the vanilla bean, which is wonderful when combined with the white chocolate and Oreo cookies. Steve opted for a Pale Ale, which I haven't included in depth as firstly I am very jealous and secondly, I'm not even sure I remember what beer tastes like anymore. 

Moving onto our Starters, I opted for the Southwest Chicken Flatbread (£10.50) and Steve chose the Wings in BBQ sauce (£9.75). Now the pictures showing our starters have not been exaggerated or clever camera angles used to make the portions seem larger, they really were that big! We could have easily shared one starter between the two of us.

Lets start by delving into the Wings, these were ridiculously good. The BBQ sauce was potent and the wings succulent (some places can make them a bit dry, but Hard Rock got these spot on). The blue cheese sauce worked really well with the BBQ sauce of the wings. For my own personal taste preferences, a little bit of the sauce went a long way and I think if you used too much you could accidentally overpower the BBQ sauce which in my opinion wouldn't be as tasty. Writing about these wings has made me crazy hungry!

Then we moved onto my Southwest Chicken Flatbread, which was delicious. I loved the guacamole chipotle ranch dressing and how this worked with the flavour of the sliced avocado and grilled chicken. The veggies of diced red peppers, scallions and then the fresh pico de gallo (which is a salsa and this was my favourite part and so tasty) all worked together and the flatbread was a brilliant starter. I personally would have loved a pot of the guacamole chipotle ranch dressing or a sauce to dip the ends of the flatbread into as I am a fan of dipping the crusts of anything I eat into a sauce of some kind. However, I know if I had actually asked Luis our incredible server for a sauce, he would have happily helped me out and recommended something delicious. 

All in all our starters were incredible and could have easily fed a small family! The price for such large portions of delicious food was also very reasonable and another reason why I love Hard Rock Cafe. 

Next we moved onto our mains - now I had a dilemma here as being pregnant means I fancy about five very different meals all at the same time so choosing what to have was a bit of a nightmare as I kept changing my mind. The Hard Rock Cafe staff are great at offering suggestions if you give them an idea of what kind of food or flavours you're fancying they can almost always point you in the direction of a menu selection close to what you're craving. 

As I was torn between the legendary burgers and my favourite classic of the Mac n Cheese I opted for the Big Cheese Burger (£14.50), which is three slices of cheddar cheese melted onto a black angus steak burger with lettuce, tomato and red onion. For my side I went for the cheese and bacon topped fries to try and imitate the Mac n Cheese I was so torn by. 

Steve is obsessed with BBQ sauce and wisely chose the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger (£15.50), which is the black angus steak burger, seasoned and seared with a signature spice blend (I would love to know what this is!), topped with house-made BBQ sauce, crispy onions, cheese, bacon, lettuce and a tomato. I am not going to lie, I did have major food envy when I saw Steve's burger even though mine was equally as appetising. I would love the option to be able to choose how you would like your burger cooked as I think with my hormones and pregnancy, I am loving medium-well burgers and this would have been the icing on an already delectable meal. 

After two incredible large courses, we were absolutely stuffed. But, as I always say dessert does not go to the stomach it goes to the heart and there is always room for dessert in our household. 

To avoid being wasteful, Steve and I shared the hot fudge brownie (£8.75) which again was massive and easily served two people. The large glass serving bowl is packed with warm chocolate brownies, topped with vanilla bean ice-cream, hot fudge sauce, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It was divine and ended our meal perfectly. I would certainly recommend this dish over the cheesecake, which I know is controversial but just my personal preference. 

Our experience at Hard Rock Cafe was just phenomenal as always! A huge thank you to Hard Rock Cafe and their amazing PR team for inviting us down to join in your 50th anniversary celebrations. Congratulations on reaching such a huge birthday and we cannot wait to visit you guys again when we're next in the City centre. 

If you would like to join in Hard Rock Cafe's 50th birthday celebrations head down to your nearest Hard Rock Cafe location for a celebratory meal or order a cheeky takeaway, you can also purchase limited edition T-Shirts online or during your visit and don't forget to share your celebrations on social media by tagging in your Hard Rock Cafe. 

I hope you have enjoyed our menu recommendations and a little insight into Hard Rock Cafe's 50th Birthday celebrations and as always please drop me a message or comment below to let me know how your trip was!

Until Next Time


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