Sunday, 17 February 2013

American style food...are we finally getting it?

Being married to an American has its downfalls. The homesickness, the whole “America is the greatest nation on earth!” stuff I hear a lot but mostly...mostly it makes you realise how badly the UK does when it comes to American food.

Take a trip to the States and you get get good, fresh food for very little money – say hello to Portland. Seriously, that place is the bees knees when it comes to good food. On my last trip there I was taken to a street full of food carts where you could find every type of food imaginable, all of it prepared in front of you before you take a few steps away from the cart and devour your food of choice on the sidewalk.

Breakfast. This makes me hungry just looking at it.
Portland is also home to the best damn chai tea latte I've ever had in the form of GrindHouse Coffee. No one here has ever come close to getting as good as the chai tea I had in Portland.

GrindHouse. Oh hi there knees!
But enough about Portland. What about Cardiff. Sure, in London you'll find some places that come close to proper American food but here in Cardiff I've found us to be somewhat lacking. Look at some of our choices:

Eddie's Diner down at Cardiff Bay, where I once ate literally the worst burger ever. Just because it looks like an American diner (apparently) it doesn't make it American.

TGI Friday, I will freely admit that this isn't the worst place ever. I hate the prices, serving sizes, the loud children, the birthday parties but some of their food isn't that bad. Having said that I've not been back since the wonderful experience in September.

However, there seems to be a revolution happening in Cardiff. Pulled pork, brisket, mac 'n' cheese and ribs are hitting town. BBQ is happening people. Rejoice! 

In November Fire Island opened on Westgate Street. I've not tried it yet. I'll admit to perhaps wrongly sticking my nose up at it after finding out that it's owned by the people that own Buffalo, where I once had the chef try and pass mayonnaise off as hollandaise sauce.  I was excited when it opened but after reading some reviews and finding out how limited the menu was I was put off from going but I've just discovered that they've updated their menu and they've added more food (and upped their prices but I'll overlook that) so a trip may be in order.

We're about to get another American BBQ restaurant in the form of The Smoke House which opens on 5 March in Pontcanna. Cue much excitement. I'm hoping to get a glimpse of their menu soon as I really want to book a table for Matt and I. It's been so long since we've gone out (that's what buying a house does, kids) so I want to break the dry spell in a good way.

Fingers crossed that The Smoke House blows Cardiff away (and serves biscuits).


  1. I've never been to America but I've heard that the food is generally amazing (and the portion sizes massive!) I love a good chai latte.

    Liz xx

  2. It's pretty much the main reason I'm so looking forward to our trip to Florida in!

  3. The food in Florida is just immense, you'll love it! Make sure you go to Perkins for breakfast... best omelette and pancakes I've ever had. I'm off to New York next week so am excited about the food there too :) x


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