Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Diner - Spitalfields Market

The US of A – Where everything is bigger, better, faster and longer. That motto probably applies to American food as much as anything in culture of the country. And it seems to apply to the breakfast menu at The Diner too. There all-day breakfast menu is sizeable, with all the classic brunch menu items as well as (what sounded like) an extremely large fry-up. What do you mean ‘sounded like’ I here you cry?! Normally ‘The Hungry man’ breakfast would be my go-to dish, but the World Cup Challenge is about the traditional breakfasts of the participating nations and this is really just a full English in an American Diner. There are more traditional items in the list though, I almost went for the biscuits and gravy which originates from the southern states but decided in the end to go for the dish that screams the over-the-top food culture many in Britain think of the US diet: Steak and eggs.

We arrived at about 8pm on a Tuesday evening (what else is an all-day breakfast menu for!) and were surprised to find the place completely full. We waited at the bar and got seated at a booth within about 10 minutes. The décor is everything you expect of an All-American diner, with neon signs and booth-style seating.

Steak and eggs: The lavishness of steak for breakfast (even if it was in the evening) feels like a real glutinous luxury, but what do you actually get? Well, it’s a flank steak served with roasted tomatoes, smoky onions and 2 ‘overeasy’ eggs. The waitress made it clear that the best way to have this cut of steak was medium and that proved to be sound advice. Flank is a cut with lots of flavour and a bit of bite, it was nicely cooked and was complimented by a chutney-like serving of onions, very sweet and sticky. The tomatoes were sun-blushed and full of flavour. The eggs however, were a bit of a let-down. For a start, they weren’t ‘overeasy’ they were sunnyside up, that is fine by me, but why specify it on the menu and then not cook them like that?! They were also slightly overcooked – no running yolk for me.
If there is one thing longer than the breakfast menu here it is definitely the craft beer list. The craft beer revolution has taken the US by storm over the past 5 years and the Diner seems to have embraced it too with over 20 (mainly American) bottled beers and 5 on tap. I chose the Dogfish Head DNA (an Anglo-US collaboration) which was a dark American style IPA with a slightly nutty flavour.

The verdict
A well-cooked flank steak is a luxurious breakfast but the craft beer is the real winner here.


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