After a busy Saturday of decorating, eating out was called for, especially as the kitchen at home was inaccessible.
So me and fellow decorators, Stu and Kieran, headed to satisfy our hungry bellies at a place we know would do the trick . . . Buddies USA. This American chain of diners, which has places across Northamptonshire, is guaranteed to serve up large, American-size portions and that’s exactly what we needed.
As it was a Saturday night, I rang and booked in case it was busy as past visits to the Daventry High Street branch have seen the place jammed. But we were in luck and, after being advised a couple of large parties were in early doors, we held off for another hour when the restaurant had quietened down.
Our window table was large and comfortable and what I particularly liked was not being crammed next to the other diners, as some restaurants have a tendency to do when they want to keep you all together. It meant the three of us could enjoy our meal in peace and without feeling like we were listening into other people’s conversations.
The decor at Buddies is similar wherever you go and they have a television playing the same shows on a loop. The walls are full of comic phrases and photos, while a model electric train running around the top of the restaurant is an entertaining feature.
Soft drinks of blackcurrant and lemonade for Stu, Coca Cola for Kieran and an orange, banana and forest fruit smoothie for me ordered, and we perused the rest of the laminated fold-out menu, which contains pages of burgers, steaks and healthier salads.
If you are going for a burger, the price rises depending on how many ounces you have and there is an excellent choice of combinations. I love guacamole and Buddies does a great Santa Fe burger, which for the smallest 4oz one is £9.70 with beef burger in a bap with guacamole and cheese. It comes with French fries and a choice of a side like coleslaw and salad or the small piece of corn-on-the-cob, which I chose. The burger was delicious, as was the piping hot corn-on-the-cob, but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the flavourless chips, which swamped my plate. It looked more like a plate of chips than a meal and I couldn’t eat them all.
Meanwhile, Stu and Kieran both chose the infamous Buddies all-day fry-up (£9 each), which was a whopping selection of bacon, sausage, mushrooms, diced potato, beans, tomatoes and egg, plus a plate of toast and butter on the side. They wolfed down the lot and said both meals were delicious, even though I find it hard to eat a fry-up (like cereals) at any other time than breakfast.
Desserts were a little limited as we were told the cream machine had broken that day and that fresh fruit salad was off the menu, as our waiter informed us no-one asks for it any more so they end up throwing the fruit away.
Kieran ordered the Mars in the Stars sundae, £5.50, which was vanilla ice-cream with hot chocolate fudge sauce, Mars bar and a sweet wafer. They substituted marshmallows for the missing cream and I helped him out with them.
Stu, meanwhile, chose the chocolate sundae of chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce, a sweet wafer and, no cream, for £5.
The dessert options all seemed a bit heavy and, after a carb-heavy main meal, I didn’t fancy any of the options so decided to skip afters and have a bottomless mug of tea instead, where free refills are included for £2. As an avid tea drinker, who has a teapot full before leaving for work every morning, I was surprised it wasn’t what the menu described but a small cup with a small teapot beside it. Stu and Kieran thought there would be fireworks, but I stayed calm and asked for the pot to be refilled a couple of times. Well, it’s not gin. . .yet.
Buddies New York Cafe
2-6 The High Street
Telephone: 01327 700187
Value: Reasonable as the portions are American-sized
Service: Friendly but flitted between servers
Parking: Large free car park available nearby