My Food Place of the Week: Coast to Coast

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited along to Coast to Coast on Broad St as an VIP diner, I have visited the branch before when it first opened in 2013 and I can't say I was enthused with the experience. I remember having a veggie burger, that it was mediocre, that there were not many choices for me to choose from, due to the fact I can only have halal meat, I wasn't strict about my dairy intake back then, and I haven't been back since. So I went to the restaurant with a brand new set of dietary requirements, I am sure restaurants hate me for this, and an open mind. The restaurant is located on Broad St, it has been several different restaurants before but this one seems to have stuck. I arrived there and it was quite busy, the music was booming, I have to say I loved the soundtrack of American classics, and the atmosphere was live. Seeing all this at 6pm on a Wednesday was filling me with anticipation for the meal.
We decided to go for mocktails and both chose the New Yorker (in the image above), which is apple juice with fresh lime and mango puree. It was refreshingly citrusy, the mango really came through and it wasn't too sweet.

I was dining with my mother and whilst we were trying to decide on what to have for starters, we ordered the Sea Salt Pretzels and they differed to what I was expecting. I was expecting hard and super salty pieces of bread but these pretzels were soft, warm, presented well, a good portion for two people and tasted incredible with the garlic dip. (I didn't check the menu when ordering these, as the waiter asked if we wanted them whilst we were deciding, thus I didn't know if they were dairy free and I later found out that they are in fact dairy full, sorry stomach).

Whilst my mother had Hot Garlic Bread with cheese and Crab Cakes, yep she made sure to make the most of it, I had Spicy Calamari.

The Spicy Calamari wasn't quite spicy but I liked how they were presented and that they came with a wedge of lemon and a tomato sauce. The calamari tasted beautiful, they were warm and crispy, portion size was adequate and the newspaper was a cute touch.

Again, not dairy free but I found out the crab cakes, which I tried and found to be well spiced and a well sized portion, are. 

For the mains, we both decided on the Good Old Fish and Chips. I decided to go for the sweet potato fries with mine and my mother went for fries with hers. There was no option for chips but this is an American themed restaurant. I liked the look of the dish, as it was accompanied by mushy peas and tartare sauce but it was the most disappointing dish by far. The fish was haddock and was very oily. It can only to defined with the words of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, as having a soggy bottom. The fries were nice but were not the right fit with the fish and I just missed the my local chip shops version, it was all just very underwhelming after a plethora of great starters.

We also ordered some sides, which were Golden Corn on the Cob and Battered Onion Rings. The Golden Corn on the Cob, why it is called "golden" I do not know, was heated and presented well but I wish there would have been some paprika or lemon with it to give it the depth of flavour. The Onion Rings had a fantastic batter and I particularly loved the BBQ sauce that came with them.

As I couldn't have any of the dairy-rific desserts, I decided to have a Virgin Colada; which is coconut cream, pineapple juice and crushed ice. I wish there wasn't so much ice but it was the perfect taste of the tropics and the taste of the coconut cream came through beautifully.

Overall, I was very thoroughly satisfied by the end of this meal but saw that the options for someone who is lactose intolerant, vegan or someone who only has halal meat is pretty scarce. The reviews on TripAdvisor are of a mixed bag, with some stating they love it and some declaring it as the worst. I think it is one of those places that has a speciality and because of my dietary requirements I don't think that I will ever be able to see that. I think this place is one for the meat eaters but I will be back for the good quality mocktails.

Food - 3/5
Starters were amazing, as were sides but mains let it down.
Dairy-free options? - 1/5
They have an allergen menu that I had to prompt them for, which leaves me with 3 options for starters and 3 options for mains, with only one starter, Crab Cakes, being something of note.

Service - 5/5
Our server was Scott and he was attentive, friendly and humorous. He was from the Leicester store and we were both impressed with the service that was delivered. The only thing that irked me was that I had to prompt him for the allergen menu, surely they should bring it out as soon as someone mentions an allergy or intolerance but I guess it is a new concept so I would condemn him for this.

Cleanliness - 5/5
It still looked as clean and shiny as it did 2 years ago.
Location - 5/5
Great location in the heart of Broad St and the food reflects it. It is a great place to start your night with some food or drinks and the bar is a great place for people to have a drink.
Value for Money - 4/5
The quality could be better in the Good Old Fish and Chips but the rest was worth the price. Altogether, this would have cost £75.

Worth trying?
Yes for meat eaters and less picky people

Overall score - 3/5

*The meal was complimentary but my views are my own*

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