However I have recently been invited to look again at this denzian of cheap booze and even cheaper food - the people at Papa G's wanted to prove to me that just because something's in the Printworks, it doesn't mean you should instantly dismiss it. A bit of 'please don't judge this book by its cover' type of thing.
Papa G's is located right opposite the cinema; a Greek place with a menu that wanders across the Med rather than sitting in one place. The decor's not traditional - there's no white and blue walls, retsina in wicker bottles or smashed plates; rather there's trendy coloured lighting, a large expanse of expensive looking bar, a sensory children's library (I kid you not) and an open plan kitchen dominated by the wood fired oven. The only 'traditional' decor is in the conference/party/over spill area upstairs; a large white wall with a black and white collage of the family behind Papa G's.
Massive oven and a chef
We popped along on a weekday lunch and were surprsied by how busy Papa G's was - there was a varied mix of grannies with shopping, workers and parents with kids. There seems to be something for everyone on the menu, canny when you consider the location and who passes the front door.
Paps G's busy dining room
Being a hungry carnivore, t'boy opted for the lamb soulvaki; a massive portion arrived of sweet, charred lamb, cooked to pink perfection. Combined with the fattest, fluffiest chips, pitta and two different sauces it was a massive portion and t'boy won't like me to say this, but he was defeated!
This photo doesn't do justice to how big this is
I opted for the chicken soulvaki off the lunch menu, - a smaller portion, but still a pretty good size and a very shrwed option if you're watching the pennies; the portion is plenty big enough for lunch, top quality and for £8.95 also comes with a starter (it's only £6.95 for one course). As a lunch option it's very good quality, charred and smokey with a cooling tatziki and a roasted pepper salsa (made fresh every day on site). With my soulvaki I opted for the chicken wings, not the best I've had, but certainly juicy, large and covered in a lip-smacking sauce.
Chicken soulvaki with a brilliant fresh dressing on those leaves
Speaking to the staff at Papa G's, they're all pretty jenned up on where they get their produce - most of it is local, they use people like Smiths Agar and have their fish delivered fresh every day. Without making a massive song an dance about it they seem to committed to producing fresh, good tasting food, using fresh, good quality ingredants.
Papa G's is special; not because it blows you out of the water, not because the chefs are trained in the newest branch of molecular gastrononmy and not because you can eat things here you can't eat anywhere else. No, it's because of where it is and what it does there - Papa G's brings fresh, tasty, character full food to the masses of the Printworks. We'd been expecting the same disneyfied, plastic experience that is synonimous with that part of town - instead we got fresh food, good eats and a great lunch - so they were right, we really shouldn't have judged that book by its cover.
Price for one main, one lunch deal and two drinks - £27.60
Food - 8/10
Atmosphere - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Total - 32/40
Go again? Yes I would, it's a great place for an early evening bite to eat or a working lunch; especially if you have a few different tastes to feed or are with the family - it's inoffensive, fresh and friendly.
Papa G's Grill and Bar, The Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS - 0161 834 8668 - firstname.lastname@example.org - Twitter - Facebook
Please note I was asked to review this restaurant and they knew I was there - however all thoughts and views are my own and I was under no obligation to write anything nice.