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19 June 2017


on a hot and steamy afternoon in june, the diner in camden reopened its doors to the public. there were street dancers, prop tattoos, and loads of frozen cocktails. it was a real joy to be on the new roof terrace that afternoon, with people laughing and dancing, and the sun shining down on them all... or so i'm told. i wasn't able to make it. i went down to check it out a week later, when it was pissing it down outside and blowing a gale. because i have great timing like that.

did i care? did i fuck! i had plans to meet sam (in real life, for the first time) for dinner, and together, we had plans to eat some of the chain's newest, perhaps tastiest additions. since the girls all managed to attend the event the week before, all i'd heard about was how *great* it was that the diner had taken our suggestion of "putting everything on fries" and really ran with it (whether or not that's how it happened has yet to be proven), and how they had a new all-day breakfast stack that needed to be eaten to be believed. i do love me a challenge, so let me tell you aaaaaall about a few of the newest additions.

death row bbq box £24.95 

this was the biggest surprise for me to see on the menu - so much so that i had to do a double take, and then get sam to check to make sure i wasn't making it up. this platter for two is choc-full of some of my favourite things: half a rack of baby back ribs (perfectly cooked and falling off the bone, and doused in a rich and thick bbq sauce), two pieces of (totally crispy and satisfying) fried chicken, a giant portion of sweet pulled pork (maybe a bit too wet for my liking, but nice on a forkful of coleslaw), two corn on the cob (on sticks, and not cooked well enough)(or seasoned, to be fair), two portions of fries (though, looking back, we didn't actually get served these...), a side of mac & cheese (which was well cooked but verrrrrry bland. unless you like the taste of generic cheese, then you'll probably like this), and some pretty purple coleslaw. 

it was excellent value for two people, and would be a great option to share on date night, or if you want a mega variety of things for not a great deal of money. it's sorta kinda maybe a bit like american tapas. i mean, it was a lot of food. and yet, we ordered more.

wtf fries £5.95

these are classified as "super sides" and the reason for that is because they're super bloody big. for less than six quid, you get a giant bowl of fries loaded with shredded bbq pork, grated cheddar cheese, crispy bacon bits, two fried eggs, meat gravy, and chilli flakes for good measure. yes, you read that right: mega-loaded fries. and we had these alongside the death row box, and side of wings (£5.95), and a corn dog (£4.95) to share.

the dish was suuuuperb. it was probably my favourite dish of the night, and the one that was devoured the quickest, with both of us chowing down on it at the same time. the hot meat and gravy melted the cheese into the fries, and the weird addition of egg and chilli was bewildering until you tried it. i know egg and chips is a british classic, but: it's not for me. well, it bloody is now, but only with all the extra trimmings. it was a taste sensation! if you try one thing, make it this.

red velvet pancakes £7.50

orrrrrr, these. these were what the girls had been bragging about since the launch party, and despite being so utterly, disgustingly full, we ordered a short stack to share. because a) it would have been rude not to have even looked at the dessert menu, and b) they're red velvet pancakes. call me basic, whatever. if red velvet is an option, i will choose it. especially because cream cheese frosting is basically the nectar of the gods, and savoury pancakes are for breakfast and sweet pancakes are for dessert. it really does sound like i'm trying to convince myself, doesn't it, but hey.

the short stack came out loaded with blueberries and icing sugar, with a side of whipped butter and maple syrup. probably didn't need those, but probably could have done with more cream cheese frosting. though the pancakes were totally moist, and the airiest and sweetest tasting pancakes i'd every tasted, there could never be enough cream cheese. and, if we weren't already so tooootally stuffed, we may have actually gone back for more. so, if i can edit my previous statement and add that these were my favourite dessert option, and the wtf fries were my favourite super starter.

we were sat in the booth in the restaurant for just over three hours, and not once did it ever feel "busy". the new layout is quite spread out, and the roof terrace is a really nice touch. it thiiiiink it's the only diner with a roof terrace? don't quote me on that, but it's got a really pretty view, especially when the sun is setting and you get those nice, colourful camden street lights brightening up the high street. so, i've said it before and i'll say it again: i'm a big fan of the diner. it's consistent, cheerful, and excellent value for money. you can always rely on them to update their menu to include new and wacky bbq items (and i can't quite dispute the fact i love me a bbq, when there's this sort of evidence to the contrary, right?!), which always makes for a fun outing!

find your local here.

*many thanks to the diner team for having us in to try the new menu items. while the meals were complimentary, all thoughts are mine.

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