Food review: Coast to Coast

Occupying a prime location on Broad Street (once home to the belt-busting Around The World in 80 Dishes) this is the 10th restaurant in the Coast to Coast chain, a straightforward, no nonsense homage to food from the good ol’ US of A. We went on opening night so the place was packed and buzzing like a bee on speed. They’ve done a great job of kitting it out, creating somewhere that feels a little classier than the average joint. Our table for two was a touch ‘compact’. In the quest to maximise covers there’s been an inevitable compromise or two on space here and there, although the tables for four looked far more comfortable.

For starters we had a special version of the BBQ platter with wings, ribs, battered tiger prawns, deep fried seafood, sausage, chicken strips in breadcrumbs…enough to feed a small American town in fact. Everything was tasty enough whilst also clearly meeting the need for speed that an operation like this relies upon. Speaking of which, service was rapid. Again, being opening night I imagine things may be a little more chilled in future. A couple of cocktails went down a treat. The Zoom (inspired by the ice lolly), with ‘layers’ of Midori, orange juice, Eristoff vodka and cranberry juice was particularly fun.

For mains we plumped (a pretty good description following the mountain of food we’d already consumed) for the 8oz Casterbridge Steak and BBQ Pork Fajitas. The steak was cooked to perfection and as melt-in-the-mouth tender as the menu promised. The accompanying sweet potato chips, rocket, slow-roasted tomatoes and grated parmesan balanced out the star of the show perfectly. The pulled pork element of the fajita dish tasted, like the starters, perhaps a little ‘processed’, lacking the rich flavour and texture of a truly homemade version of the dish. The portion size was generous though, for once defeating the other half who has a pretty healthy appetite.

Pudding was always going to be a challenge but in the name of research the chocolate brownie with honeycomb ice cream went down a treat, even if a small crane would now be needed to extricate myself from the seat. Just call me Mr Creosote.

Overall, Coast to Coast has a lovely, fun feel, positioning itself as somewhere that’s perfect for a party, pre-night out scoff or just a quick bite. The bar area’s a class above most of the existing places on Broad Street too and it’s not hard to imagine it becoming a popular hangout for stressed workers drowning their sorrows after a day doing whatever people do to earn a crust these days.


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