Archies (Liverpool) 8/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4.5/5
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 9/10
NOTE: ALL MEAT IS HALAL. ALCOHOL IS NOT SERVED ON THE PREMISES.
For a good while now, I’ve been hearing about Archie’s, which is famous for their milkshakes, hence why it’s been on our list to try. Since we live in London and Archie’s have branches across the North West, it’s always been one of them ones where eventually we’ll get round to it when we have no other options or any real plans for food. Plus, in my head, I’d imagined it would just be a run of the mill burger joint.
This time, Issa and I were up early for the lunchtime game at Anfield for the visit of Man United. The day was a laugh with clear roads, a Mcd’s egg McMuffin & hash brown breakfast to keep us going, and the prospect of football after a 2 week international break. I was soon disappointed, as for the second year in a row, there would be no actual football to witness..it dawned on me that the M6 was clear because all the HGV’s and double decker busses were parked in front of the Man United Goal at Anfield, (Note to self: Don’t ever go to a game in which Sh*tcoat Mourinho is involved in if you would actually like to see some football). On the bright side, I’m thankful I don’t need to watch a Mourinho team every week!
2 hours later, I begrudgingly accepted a point and turned my attention to the next chapter of the day – food. It was around 3.30pm, that awkward phase between lunch and dinner, and Issa and I assessed our options and decided to have such a heavy lunch that a dinner wouldn’t be required.
Everytime I heard about Archie’s, it was about the Manchester Oxford Road branch,(which would have been handy if I was still in Uni), but we found that they also have a branch basically in the town centre of Liverpool. We parked in St John’s centre and in our short walk up, we saw a number of people walking around with Archie’s milkshakes (which was a good sign). When we arrived, Archie’s looked like you would expect, a typical Tinstletown-ish style American Diner. The wall behind the till was adorned with millions of sweets and chocolates against the wall which instantly grabbed my attention. What we didn’t expect at 4pm, was a queue which stretched, quite literally, out of the door. Luckily, a lot of customers were taking food to go. When we went to the upstairs seating area, I was able to grab the last free table and then smugly watched as hoards of people climbed a full flight of stairs took a look around and left with a disappointed look on their faces.
Onto ordering, Issa really wasn’t joking when he decided to have a heavy lunch. To start, we ordered 5 Louisiana hot wings. Big tick, I know everyone gets wings everywhere they go and often it will feel like ‘same-same but different,’ but Archie’s did a good job with these. As much as I love Frank’s sauce, it’s always nice to taste something different. These wings had a buffalo type taste, spicy yet tangy, and the chicken was tender, at £2.99 for 5 you can’t go wrong (should of got 2 portions in hindsight).
For mains, I ordered the Superstar from the Star burger range which was made up of a beef patty with American melted cheese, tomato, lettuce and Archie’s special sauce on a brioche bun for £5.99. I added turkey bacon for fun, and curly fries as a side. The burger was nothing like you usually find in London burger joints. Normally, the thing with gourmet burger eateries, is that they pride themselves on incorporating massive, thick patties with large bits of mince. This burger was a lot flatter (more in line with a cheese burger) but still with the same quality of meat as a gourmet burger restaurant. I really enjoyed this, as you don’t feel like you’re shoving a goat in your gob with every bite. This also meant that I could eat neatly, without the bun corroding under my fingers and making a mess. The sauce in the burger was not dissimilar to peri mayo but tasted great. Overall, maybe it was because I didn’t expect much, or maybe it was because it was modestly priced, but to my surprise, I throughly enjoyed it.
Issa got the ‘you’ve pulled’ as a pre-cursor for how he wanted to end the day in Liverpool. Unfortunately, he didn’t, and that burger was the best part of his day. The burger was made up of a handmade Beef Burger topped with succulent pulled beef, Archie’s Slaw, melted American Cheese and mustard mayonnaise on a brioche bun- he also got cajun fries as his side. I cheekily took a strand of the pulled beef to try and it was a good choice. Again, the burger was flatter than your average Fat Joe (get it?) and he seemed happy with his decision.
Now for the naughty bit (blame Mourinho). We then ordered a Standard Hot Dog, (to share obvs), with grilled onions, grated cheese, jalapenos and mustard for £4.99. It was a decent size and the sausage was much like you would get as part of a full english. I enjoyed it and it was light enough to consume after burger wings and chips – worth a try for fun but wouldn’t choose it for my main meal.
Mr Issa then suggested it would be rude not to get a milkshake considering Archie’s is famous for their shakes, proven by the masses of people queuing up for one. ‘OK fine,’ (enter pretend eye roll and sigh), ‘I guess you’re right Issa’. Inside, I still felt like I needed to do more to make this trip to Liverpool worthwhile. Given that my standard milkshake order in Tinstletown, Shisha lounges, or anywhere that does milkshakes is Oreo flavoured, I thought it would be wise to go same again for comparison purposes, so I got the HOLLY-OAKS signature shake which consisted of Oreos, peanut butter, whipped cream & crushed Oreos. Issa got the Billionaire which made up of Ferrero Rocher, banana, whipped cream, nuts & Cadbury’s Flake. I tasted both, and to be fair, they were both excellent milkshakes: creamy and not too sweet. In fact, my HOLLY-OAKS kept me company in the car home whilst Issa fell asleep (because it’s a hard life consuming so much food).
After all of the above, you would have thought I would have felt sick as a parrot and full of guilt…this is the true test of the meal, as actually both Issa and I had ZERO regrets and felt openly satisfied with the amount of food we had consumed. My biggest challenge was staying awake on the drive home. As it was, I was home in time for Match of the Day, and I used the highlights to send me to sleep!
Address: Central Railway Station, Ranelagh St, Liverpool L1 1QE
Phone: 0161 235 0895