Coast to Coast is a chain of American themed restaurants that have just opened up a new branch on Broad Street in the heart of Birmingham. They have restaurants across the country and I was intrigued to try their latest opening. I’m generally not a fan of chain restaurants, but I’m always open to trying them and waiting to being nicely surprised….!
The Birmingham Coast to Coast opened just the week before Christmas and I headed for a visit just before the new year with one of my good friends, L. When we arrived at about 545pm I was happy to see it was already relatively busy. (We had just been to the cinema so were a little worried we would be a bit early to eat, but it seems Coast to Coast is open all day from breakfast to dinner, so we needn’t have worried)
All the staff were extremely friendly throughout, the doors were opened for us and our waitress went out of her way to help us and make sure we had everything we wanted. I hope this atmosphere and style of service continues past their opening month! The place is pretty huge, with a semi open kitchen, which we happened to sit very near to. The kitchen seemed loud but very organised from what I could see and hear, and there was a permanent member of front of house stationed in front of it making sure waiting staff were prompt, efficient and organised delivering the food. All things were thought out, finger bowls and wipes for those with messy dishes (ribs!), water was offered without needing to ask for it. Tick, tick, tick for service!
L and I both started off with a virgin cocktail – L’s was a Scarlett O’Hara – Ginger beer laced with raspberry purée and garnished with fresh lime, while I went for a New Yorker – Freshly pressed apple juice shaken with fresh lime and puréed mango. Both were great served in tall glasses and a good liquid to ice ratio. I like it when as much effort goes into making a fab Mocktail as well as the regular cocktails.
The menu itself was pretty extensive, a wide range of starters, burgers, pizza, pasta, grills and salads. For starters I went for what I like to think of as staple on an American menu – Chicago Chicken wings with Louisiana Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Dip, while L had the Slow Baked Ribs – a half portion of ribs with BBQ sauce and slaw. We both really enjoyed our starters. My wings were succulent and juicy, a decent amount of chicken on them and the Louisiana sauce was piquant and spicy, just the way I like it – not for those who aren’t fans of spice! The blue cheese dip was tangy and cooling and a perfect accompaniment. L’s ribs fell off the bone and the BBQ sauce coating was pretty good too. They also came with an extra dipping bowl of BBQ sauce – altogether probably a little too much sauce on the plate, but we weren’t complaining.
After a pretty large starter portion, I was slightly regretting my choice of the Roadside Sliders – 3 x 2oz burgers with sweet potato chips and slaw, but then large is the American way! The burgers were pretty good – Aberdeen Angus beef according to the menu and 2 out of 3 were served still marginally pink in the middle, a tribute to the freshness and quality of the meat. The 3 types of burger I got were the bacon cheese, pulled pork and black and blue. The pulled pork was delicious, as was the blue cheese dressing and dill pickle in the black and blue, but apart from this there wasn’t anything that made theses burgers stand out and they were a bit dry. The sweet potato chips were crispy fluffy and delicious and the slaw was ok but lacked seasoning and sharpness in my opinion. L went for the South Western Fajita Salad, essentially chicken fajitas, without the tortilla wraps and on top of salad leaves. Visually very colourful and I’m told pretty tasty with good individual components and tender chicken.
We passed on dessert but the options sounded pretty standard – cheesecake, ice cream, brownie etc. Overall the food we had was pretty decent and I’d go as far as to say very moreish in some parts. (I could have eaten a bucket of their chicago wings!) It’s maybe not so much of a destination restaurant, but for a spur of the moment meal, after the cinema or before a night out, I would definitely eat there again without hesitation, and it would be a great place for a larger group of family and friends with great friendly service and so much choice for everyone. Certainly one of the better chain restaurants I’ve eaten at in the past few years. And with a little tub of jelly beans with the final bill – how can they go wrong?!
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own