Some say that hidden beneath the mound of chili were two hot dogs…
Last week, while I was travelling up the A1, I stopped off for lunch at the OK Diner just north of Stamford, not too far from Grantham (my review of the place is here). While I was there I went for the stupidly big BBQ burger, so it seemed silly, when the opportunity presented itself on the southbound journey, not to go for the equally stupidly big hot dog. Double hot dog, to be precise.
The OK Diner is an English company serving American classics by the roadside, in a building stuffed full with Americana. The menu certainly reflects the ideology, and the picture above is of the All the Way Dog . Two quarterpounder hot dogs topped with bacon and (apparently) spicy beef chili, avec cheese sauce and chopped onions. I say “apparently” because while the chili was perfectly satisfying, there was no heat to it. It was beef and beans, that’s all. Personally, I would have liked the onions fried and on the dog itself, but at least the raw onion was red, which was a nice touch. I think the enjoyment of a meal like this really boils down to the size of it, and the event itself. Would I have had so much fun if it had been just one hot dog? If it hadn’t been smothered in chili and bacon? Probably not. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the food, but the size is what brings the wow factor. (P.S. I coupled it with a root beer again, which, as ever, was money)
For pud I went the full Belgian – hot waffle smothered in chocolate sauce, with ice cream on the top. Very little to say about this, it was as delicious as it looks. The waffle was just on the sticky side, so it stuck to your teeth a bit, but I think that’s the sign of a good waffle. I’m not sure, I’ll have to ask my Belgian friends. It was sprinkled with sugary chocolate powder, which was beneficial to my tastebuds, if not my teeth.
As for the OK Diner itself, well, the southbound A1 one (11 miles beyond Grantham) looks like it used to be a Little Chef. For those that have had the good fortune never to hear of Little Chefs, they are/were a brand of small motorway rest stops that served reheated frozen food in brick buildings all made to the same dimensions. When you’re in this particular Diner you can’t help but feel that you should be eating a toasted tea cake or the Olympic breakfast, rather than a Pastrami Melt. Also, it’s hard to take a place seriously that has both Chicago White Sox AND Cubs banners up next to each other. You have to choose!
The menu is the same as all the other OK Diners (there are only 8 of them) so if you fancy big, brash American classix, this is certainly the place to go.