This place is a real mash up of styles - an almost Parisienne cafe vibe at the front with striped wicker chairs, gold and red (cafe rouge) lettering on the doors and round tables under chandeliers. Further in you’ll find mirrors and tiles reminiscent of a 1960’s butchers and then along the wall facing the bar, industrial high tables and stools against a brick wall, feeling more like the American diner decor you’ll find in places like Grillstock. I’m not saying its a bad mix, I’m just saying - its a mix. Bear in mind that this place is owned by Brown and Brown industries, the same people as The Parlour, and things start to click into place. Eclectic to the max.
The staff were incredibly friendly and quickly brought us our drinks (Brooklyn lager - fyi - their craft offering is strong). The prize was a platter of their hot dogs and a humoungous bowl of fries. There are four hot dogs on the menu, priced between £6.99 and £7.50. The dogs were not as ‘luxe’ as we’d hoped. Relatively cheap white sub rolls filled with tasty but definitely 'fun fair’ frankfurters were covered with a variety of toppings. Classic american cheese and crispy fried onions, pulled pork, stilton and onions (probably my favourite) and chorizo and crispy fried onions. The chorizo was crumbled on top of the frankfurter and looked pretty appetising but sadly it didn’t hit the meaty spot I’d hoped for. It was faintly reminiscent of the bottom of a two day old post- bacon griddle pan.
That said, as a concept it works well - hot dogs, chips and beer. It had the makings of greatness. I would say the combinations were spot on, there just needed to be a closer eye on quality control of the ingredients. The rest of the menu also features burgers which sounded great on paper. Again, nice combos and perfect with the craft beers they have both on tap and in the fridges.
My verdict - a great little bar for a drink and a natter but possibly not so much for food (aside from watching Dave trying to stuff an entire hot dog in his mouth). Although saying that, I’d be interested to sample their breakfast offering. After all, when I’m hung over, anyone serving Eggs Benedict within walking distance gets my vote.
*I won the meal on a twitter competition but did not tell them that I was a food blogger and they did not know I was reviewing the experience. All opinions are my own and the photos were taken by the rather fabulous Dave Parry (that's him demonstrating his hot-dog eating skills)*