Wednesday, 3 February 2010

American food in London

The Diner Soho, originally uploaded by Big Marvin.
I went out to dinner the other night with Matthew and a few of our friends. They all wanted to eat at the Diner, which is a chain over here that tries to be like a 1950's style American diner.

I'd have to say that I think it does a pretty good job. It's got the vibe of diner mixed with retro cocktail bar and the food is good. They also play some great tunes, so I can't complain.

They also have corn dogs on the menu. Now, I've lived here long enough to know not to get my hopes up when I see something American on a menu. It might be ok, but it's not going to be the same. So to avoid disappointment I generally tend to stick to English fare.

One of our friends, Bru (born in Italy, but has lived in the UK for the majority of her life) was curious about the corn dog and asked me what they were like. I explained to her that a corn dog was a hot dog or frankfurter that's been lovingly coated in a corn bread like batter and then fried. I didn't get into the differences between pronto pups and corn dogs; English people think American food is weird enough.

I didn't have high hopes for the corn dogs that would be served at the Diner and warned her not to order it, but it was too late. Bru was intrigued and there was no turning back.

The corn dog turned up and the look on Bru's face was priceless. She looked both confused and horrified. There were two corn dogs on the plate, both on sticks. More like skewers than proper sticks. They were of course small and they looked like battered sausages.

Instead of eating them off the stick, Bru struggled to get the corn dogs off the skewer and proceeded to cut them up with a knife. It was revealed that the hot dogs were savaloy sausages and not "hot dogs" and after tasting them it was confirmed that they were just dipped in regular old batter.

They weren't very nice, which I fully expected. The thing that gets me about when I am out with a British person and they want to eat something American, even after I promise them it will be nothing like what it would be like in America, they insist that American food is rubbish.

I would agree that what they just had was rubbish, but that's because it's an English interpretation! I don't argue anymore. I just sit there and politely smile, knowing my heart that if she had a corn dog in Minnesota (preferable at the State Fair) she would love it!


  1. What I don't understand is why they keep trying. I have had the most bizarre concoctions, listed in the menu as something sensible ("burrito") but then completely unrecognizable when they arrive.

  2. A sausage inside! Ewwwww. I would have been so disappointed.

  3. My goal in life now is to try a proper corn dog. Meatloaf too is on the hit list along with a twinky!!


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