Excuse the rubbish photos once again. The light was atrociously fluorescent!
When you live in rural, suburban London finding a good cheap eat isn't the easiest task. Our friends have been bigging up the Cadillac Diner in Shirley for quite some time now and all of you know how much we love a burger 'n' chips. So on a rainy Friday night we ventured to Shirley to check out this diner.

First impression, yep it looked like an American Diner. Bright red leather seats, chrome, a jukebox and loads of display cabinets with figurines of the Godfather and Elvis.
The staff were super, super friendly and attentive and, first thing, we were enthusiastically informed that they had a singer coming that evening.

I wanted the whole diner experience and decided my drink of choice for that night was going to be milkshakes. We went for banana and chocolate. Now, these were no milkshakes of genius - only ice cream with a squidge of flavoured sauce, but they were so fake they were absolutely delicious.

For mains we ordered a Classic Cheeseburger with Fries, a Bacon Chilli Cheese Dog and Onion Rings. I was pleased they asked me how I wanted my burger cooked (which means their burgers aren't frozen). The portions were absolutely humongous, there was fresh lettuce and tomatoes and lovely gooey swiss cheese and the meat had been cooked as requested. Mat's Chilli Dog tasted much better than it looked but could have been a little spicier.

This is no Byron-standard American food experience, the meat doesn't come from a small boutique farm in the mountains of Scotland, the fries are tasty but a little dry and a lot of the ingredients are bought-in and frozen. Part of me would have liked to have homemade, crispy and chunky Onion Rings and a rustic Coleslaw that wasn't oozing with runny mayo on the side, but hey-ho. Over all everything was well cooked and tasty and at £7.75 for a huge cheese burger, chips and coleslaw you really cannot complain.

The entertainment was really nice and the place was pleasantly buzzing with just the right amount of customers. Also the owner was so lovely, offering us an extra cup of espresso on the house so we could stay for a couple more songs and enjoy the music.

If you're looking for a culinary experience of genuine American nosh, don't bother. However, if you're after an affordable, pleasant meal and live in the Croydon/Bromley area, give the Cadillac Diner a try.  Rating: 6/10


Dinner for two, including two main courses, one side, drinks and coffee £23.70.


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