The success of American television show Man v. Food has helped spread the culture of US-style belly busting feasts.
Host Adam Richman became a household name for taking on mammoth challenges including burgers the size of his head and buckets of fries.
Whilst the focus was on size, the show also highlighted the variety and skill that goes into American cuisine, something that is often dismissed in Europe.
Following on from this, American BBQ shacks started to spring up in the UK, bringing with them the ethos that bigger is always better, especially when it comes to meat.
Now a taste of the free world has come to Scarborough with Hickory’s Road House in Newborough.
It is the sister restaurant of the popular venue on the A64 Malton Road and is aiming to expand waistlines in Scarborough with its massive, in every sense of the word, menu,
Alongside the extensive breakfast and lunch dinner list is a selection of challenges that, should it take your fancy, would see you attempt to eat a 2lb homemade prime beef burger in a 1lb bread roll along with 2lb skinny fries and 1lb beer battered onion rings.
If that does not take your fancy then you could try to consume a mouth burningly spicy rack of ribs in less than four minutes,
Wisely, my girlfriend and I decided to order off the menu. We went for the sharing starter (£9.95) to sample Hickory’s ribs, nachos with salsa and fried chicken. It was a mixed bag with the ribs delicious and falling off the bone, a nice salsa on the nachos which only lacked a bit of spice and a disappointing fried chicken which needed more flavour in the coating, without which left it tasting slightly bland and lacking in the promised ‘Cajun spice’.
For the main course the selection was daunting.
There were types of burgers, ranging from a double bacon cheeseburger to a pulled pork covered ‘Big Pig’ to chicken sandwiches, cheese steaks and even, to everyone’s surprise, a vegetarian option, a mushroom, goat’s cheese and tomato burger which sounds very tempting, even stuck amongst the impressive meat platter.
If a burger does not grab your fancy then there are footlong hotdogs, ribs, steak, chicken and surf and turf to indulge in.
I plumped for the Big Pig Burger (£11.95), a meaty burger covered in succulent pulled pork. It came with enough fries for three people and some crispy onion rings. It was hard to fault the meal and certainly brought to mind a dish worthy of being on any American diner menu. The pulled pork in particular melted in the mouth in a rich and sticky sauce which, decorum aside, I could happily have drank.
My partner opted for the Philly Steak (£9.95), a sub roll filled with tender steak, cheese and mushrooms, with the same sides as myself. She said the meat was tender and juicy and was well complemented by the cheese and earthy mushrooms. Sadly, we did not have any room left to sample one of the tempting desserts – brownies and pecan pie amongst them.
Hickory’s aims to bring a little piece of America to Yorkshire and based on this experience it certainly delivers .
Ratings out of 10: Food 9; menu choice 8; service 9; decor 7; ambience 7; overall 8.