IT doesn’t seem five minutes since the kids went back to school after the summer break, and already the October half-term is upon us.
Parents will be crossing their fingers that the weather remains dry in the coming week. One option, if the heavens open, is a spot of family dining and a new restaurant, Coast to Coast, is jostling for the family market.
It opened just six weeks ago and it aims to replicate the authentic US dining experience.
The restaurant has leather banquettes trimmed in red, US memorabilia and a soundtrack of the likes of Motown and American rock.
There’s also non-stop sporting action on the four video screens dotted around the impressive bar area.
With the kids in tow we decided to try it. Once through the doors we were greeted, seated, introduced to our waiter and given a menu all within the first minute. Very efficient!
We ordered glasses of sauvignon blanc (£5.60 for 250ml) and Coke as we made our choices.
We discovered the team behind the menu at Coast to Coast have taste-tested their way through scores of dishes in America to come up with the extensive menu... around 50 main courses.
The menu is a tempting mix of all sorts of foods from across America, from East Coast to West Coast, hence the name.
And there’s plenty to choose from with starters such as chowder, nachos and garlic bread, as well as main meals including prime beef burgers, fajitas, wraps, steaks, seafood dishes, pasta, salads and pizzas.
There’s also a solid children’s menu, without a chicken nugget in sight. The children’s menu is £7.95 which offers great value and includes a main course and dessert.
The children and I decided to share garlic bread (£4.95) topped with rock salt and rosemary. A great start and very moreish.
My other half opted for slow-baked ribs (£7.45), a half-size portion of BBQ ribs, handcut and served with homemade coleslaw. And the sauce was excellent.
The ribs were succulent and tasty. Messy but delicious and you are issued with wipes.
As we tucked into our starters, the place was starting to fill up with lots of families and couples out for a bit of pre-film sustenance.
My partner, a pizza fanatic, was duly impressed with the huge choice and was tempted by the Cajun chicken melt (£12.95).
Paul’s pizza, called the Californian classic (£9.95) arrived steaming at the table and the toppings of creamy goat’s cheese, fresh tomato, mixed peppers, sautéed mushrooms, red onion and mozzarella were deemed delicious and worked well on the tomato and pine nut pesto base.
My main course was delicious, a spiced chicken breast topped with crispy bacon and melted Monterey Jack cheese. It was served with battered onion rings, corn on the cob, Cajun mayonnaise with either straw fries, sweet potato chips or a jacket potato.
The chicken was firm but moist and oozing with taste. The fries were a treat too.
Eldest child opted for burger, which like the adult version is freshly pressed, corn-fed, Aberdeen Angus beef.
It was served on a large toasted bun with straw fries. The meaty burger turned out to be a hearty affair and almost defeated the lad.
The youngest opted for a cheese and tomato pizza with chopped fresh tomatoes. The base was crisp with generous amounts of topping, the clean plate a tribute to the quality of the food.
Desserts are where so many restaurants run out of steam but not Coast to Coast. We adults shared a delicious vanilla cheesecake imported from Chicago. It was faultless (£5.95).
The children were delighted with their two large scoops of vanilla ice- cream, complete with wafers, which went southwards in record time.
Coast to Coast was good fun and the children really enjoyed the American diner experience. It’s well worth a visit.
It was served on a toasted bun. The meaty burger turned out to be a hearty affair and almost defeated the lad
Address: Coast to Coast Restaurant and Bar
Where: The Gate, Newgate Street, Newcastle, NE1 5TG
Tel: 0191 261 2730; email: firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/ coasttocoastrestaurants Twitter https://twitter.com/ C2C_Newcastle
Open: Mon to Sat, 9am-11pm, Sun, 9am-10.30pm
First impressions: Bright and cheery and a buzzy atmosphere. Army of staff to look after you. Ideal for the crayoning classes.
Welcome: Warmly greeted at door, led to a comfy booth.
Style, design and furnishings: Original US memorabilia showcased on the walls. The music is an eclectic mix of Motown and American Rock.
Cuisine: Extensive menu which caters for all tastes. Portions are generous. From chicken and ribs to fajitas and burgers.
Service: Staff could not have been more attentive.
Value: Children’s meals are excellent value. Wine prices at the higher end. Also, check out their special lunch prices.
Disabled facilities: There is disabled access.