Sunday, 23 September 2012

Dinner at the Diner, Nothing Could be Finer - a quick meal at Belle's Diner

Ok ... I remember the first time I had home made Southern Fried Chicken. An American couple moved into the house nextdoor to my neighbouhood playmate, and we sorta took their little son under our wing, despite the fact that he punched me once hard in the stomach and totally winded me. He was 7 and I was 14. Shame!

His dad had the cowboy belt buckle and the check shirt and was really fit. His mum had the blondest hair I had ever seen and a tired longsuffering look about her. I understood from my friend's mum that she didn't really cook and I don't think she was really coping with the heat ... but she made mighty fine fried chicken.

 Photo pilfered off Broadsheet

Belle's Diner on Gertrude (where Dante's used to be) makes mighty fine fried chicken. Although I would have preferred it on the bone. Still it was crunchy without being super oily, and full of flavour, served with a moutain of slaw that although fresh, needed a little pep which it found with a few generous dashes of salsa picante.

M enjoyed his 3 bean chilli, but the dish isn't really my kind of thing. He said that it took him back to Califon-aye-eh! So he was having a nostalgic trip with each mouthful. I did enjoy the corn cake on the side and the jalapenos did help to cut the tinned tomato sweetness.

The shoe string chips seasoned with Old Bay were amazingly moreish! And I could have had me 2 big bowls!!

We had our eye on the Peanut Butter Cheese Cake and the Cherry Pie that the couple next to us were ho-ing into, but sadly we couldn't really find the room. Still its an excuse to return ... and I'm thinking we will and pretty soon.

Belle's Diner also offers a Wagyu burger, ribs, pork loin and a clam chowder ... all of which I'm sure will not fail to entice and satisfy.

Besides which, the place has an amazingly convivial vibe, although the staff really have to stop asking how everything was incessantly ... I counted 4 times! But they're not averse to a little chayaking ... which is my mark of good service.

It has only just opened, but this eatery with its Hollywood lightbulb flecked sign is already pulling the crowds. So be prepared to wait. If its packed, leave your name at the door, then head across the street to The Wilde, for a vodka caramel shot to pass the time.

Its not super amazing food, but its certainly an amazing night out. So here's my tip when you go:

Sit at the bar in front of the kitchen and watch Catriona in her baseball top and cap man the pass, order a prosecco and stuff yourself silly with a plate of Southern Fried Chicken ... and don't forget to give Catriona the thumbs up when you leave!

And here's something to get you in the mood!

Belle's Diner on Urbanspoon


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