Revolution is a revelation [Liverpool Echo (England)]
(Liverpool Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) I REMEMBER Revolution. Actually, in truth, I don't.
The Wood Street bar was a firm fixture on many a university night out, offering a range of vodkas at prices which suited my student budget, if not my ability to retain basic information.
In recent years, being older and duller and less able to justify staying out till 3am on a Tuesday, Revolution hasn't figured much in my night out plans. So the chain's expansion in Liverpool had pretty much passed me by.
Whereas in my head Revolution meant a smallish vodka bar on the way to the Krazyhouse nightclub, the brand actually has a foothold in pretty much every part of the city centre.
From the Albert Dock to Mathew Street, with a split-level affair in St Peter's Square to complete the set, the chain is now well- established in Liverpool.
To me, though, Revolution remained synonymous with late nights, my sadly not misspent youth and, of course, vodka.
So when we arrive at the Cavern Quarter branch for lunch I'm intrigued as to how the venue's new food menu will stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Along with the relaunched menu the bar itself has been given a makeover, with a pleasing combination of exposed wood, subtle lighting and a few US diner-style decorative trappings creating a comfortable, unhurried feel.
In many bars which open late but also have a go at doing lunch, the daytime can feel like a bit of an afterthought. A hint of bleach in the air can be quite off-putting when you're trying to have a high-powered business conversation. I'd imagine.
There are no such problems here, with the decor working wonders and fitting in nicely with the general mid-Atlantic drift of the menu.
It's a well-worn path already, this trend for burgers and hot dogs and pork which is pulled, but there is also the option of pizza or tapas.
It would be hard to find something you didn't at least fancy trying here.
Because Neil, John and I are all busy men of commerce, and also because we were late arriving, we're going straight in to main courses and skipping the sharing platter-style starters on offer. Not to worry though, as John has decided he's going to eat pretty much everything in sight.
While Neil is content with a pulled pork burrito and I opt for lunchtime classic the steak sandwich, John orders - no, demands - three sizeable tapas dishes.
"Small plates" may be on-trend at the moment, but nobody's told Revolution. John's meatballs, flatbread and shrimp would all pretty much constitute meals in themselves. At Pounds 13 for three, it's good value, and the flatbread in particular draws envious glances from at least one of our party (me).
My jealousy doesn't last for long, as my sandwich is excellent. While normally I'd prefer steak rare, in a sandwich a touch more colour to the meat tends to help the overall consistency. Revolution have got it spot on, with the meat just firm enough but still some way short of well-done.
As someone who douses almost every dish in loads of red sauce, perhaps the best thing I can say about my lunch is that I didn't even reach for the Heinz till I was on to my chips, which were crisp and well-seasoned.
With these things there always has to be a loser, and much of my life is dedicated to making sure it's not me. Today it's Neil, whose burrito is let down slightly by having, in his words, "too much rice" in it.
This lead to a hot debate over whether rice has a place inside a burrito at all (I'm strongly against), but Neil insisted it has a place, though in a smaller quantity.
In truth, that was a minor quibble - the rest of the burrito was, I was assured, very good and came accompanied by a spicy dip and coleslaw. Despite John's gluttony (he had an extra orange juice as well), our entire lunch came in at just over Pounds 40. This puts Revolution firmly in the reasonable bracket, notwithstanding a couple of dining offers which could have pushed the total even lower.
Staff were attentive throughout without being overbearing, letting us get on with talking rubbish but making sure we were happy. And happy we were.
Bar facts? Where shall we meet? Revolution, Temple Court (off Mathew Street), Liverpool L2 6PY ? What's your number? 0151 236 0905 ? Pint pullers? Attentive and friendly ? Powder rooms? Clean and bright ? Entertainment? Can be booked for parties.
World Cup events are planned. ? On the pull? It's not just vodka these days.
Decent range of draft lagers including Estrella Damm.
Range of bottled world beers. ? Time please? Monday to Wednesday: noon-11pm; Thursday: noon-midnight; Friday-Saturday: noon-2am; Sunday: noon-midnight.
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