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Tuesday 9 October 2012

Hot Dogs and Hard Shakes at The Diner

Last month when Rich and I went to London for the John Foxx and The Maths gig we reviewed Taqueria, an awesome authentic taco cafe in Notting Hill. Right before the gig though we stumbled upon The Diner, an American themed restaurant.  What swung it for me was the prospect of an alcoholic milkshake so we walked on in.
The Diner London
The Diner in Shoreditch
Very friendly staff greeted us and due to the time of day (around 5.30pm) the restaurant was pretty empty. American diner style restaurants have slowly been cropping up through out the towns and cities for quite a number of years. Bristol has Rocatillos, The Lanes, and more recently Atomic Burger, but it is quite a hard thing to do well because it is very easy to cut corners with this type of food, the quality of ingredients will vary wildly from place to place. 

The Diner definitely feels very Americana in it's decor, like you seen in any classic films from the 1970s onwards with film posters, booths and neon signs. There are 6 of these restaurants located across London , we were at the Shoreditch one, and the menu is enormous, ranging from burgers to giant breakfasts to corn dogs and dessert pies to top it all off. 
The Diner London
Just a small section of the menu
Keen to get my hands on one of their alcoholic shakes I pawed at the menu eagerly to see what was on offer. There are 9 hard shakes, as they are known, on the menu and it was difficult to choose just the one but as I didn't want anything too full on I decided on True Blue; vanilla ice cream, amaretto and blueberries, whist Rich went for a Hollows alcoholic ginger beer, one of the best ginger beers out there, in my opinion. Food wise we picked the Yankee Pig Dog, the Cuban and the Chilli Cheese Fries, that's some real health food right there. 
The Diner London
True Blue
The Diner London
Yankee Pig Dog
The Diner London Review
The Cuban
The Diner London Review
Chilli Cheese Fries
First off the True Blue was immense. Almost the best shake ever, if they could some how make it taste the same without the alcohol I would be drinking one of these every week. Amaretto is my easily one of my favourite spirits and it complimented the blueberries beautifully, I almost want to try recreating this myself in my kitchen but without a proper blender this will have to be added to my list of things to make when I finally get one. 

My Yankee Pig Dog, a 100% beef frank topped with pulled pork, mustard, pickles and I added some swiss cheese, came in a brioche style bun and it was big. The dog itself was excellent quality and really tasty I wasn't expecting to be that impressed with a hot dog to be honest but was pleasantly surprised. The Cuban was maple roast pork, ham, monterey jack, sliced dill pickles and mustard in a cuban roll. This came with a jug of thin gravy to dip your sandwich into. This is definitely something I have seen on Man Vs Food, they submerge the whole roll in the gravy and serve it up, to me that sounds odd, who wants wet bread?  However the roll held up to any dipping Rich did to test this theory and proclaimed it was rather tasty but on the whole a rather unnecessary addition to the sandwich. 

The Diner London Review
Yankee Pig Dog Close Up
The Diner London Review
Inside the Cuban
The bread got too much for me by the end and I had to admit defeat. I was pretty impressed with the fries at The Diner, nice and crisp and mine came with a slight Cajun rub on them but do not make the mistake we did and order two lots, one will be more than enough to share, unless you are Godzilla. I ordered diner fries and Rich went for the chilli cheese ones, but there about 4-5 different types you can order and the portions are enormous.  

For American diner style food this is pretty good and I am keen to return, if only to try their burgers which sound so delicious, but they also do a good range of pancakes for brunch which would more than set you up for the day. Check out their menu and events on their website. Plus where else can you dine next to such 'quality' film posters such as the one below?
The Diner London
Knievel Dines!

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