Saturday, 21 April 2012

Friday at Johnny Fontanes

On Friday evening we went to the soft launch of Johnny Fontanes, a new American-style diner in the Great George Street area of the city.  The official opening date hasn't been set yet as, rather sensibly, they want to iron out all the glitches before opening to the masses.

We were invited to try some of the food and drinks on offer.  The food is freshly made every morning and sticks to the American classics of burgers, pulled pork, chicken, wings and fries.  The drinks menu has a good range of American beers and bourbons and offers ciders, milkshakes and fresh lemonade.

The premise is a bit a-la-Nandos.  You order food and drinks at the bar and are given an electronic alert, which flashes when the food is ready.  You then collect it from the order point near the kitchen.  As long as this is explained clearly by the waiting staff on arrival, this should work in theory.

Given they are still in the trial stage, I expect things will change before the opening, but I hope they keep doing the burgers as they did last night because both Joe's and mine were very good.  I had the classic cheese burger with fries, which came in a tasty bun and the burger was obviously home made (in a good way), served with some salad.  Joe had the bacon double cheese with spiced fries, which as you would expect was similar to mine, but man-sized!  Being honest, the fries could do with a little work but that's one of the creases that will be ironed out before opening.  I also had a little preview of the chicken burger, courtesy of Rebecca (@reallygoodfood) and hope that when they open, they put the same salad in the chicken burger as in the beef. 

The drinks were a definite plus point - both beers were tasty and unusual.  I also love the branding which is hyper-50s style.  They are obviously very keen to make sure everything is running as well as possible on opening, and took on board the little issues that we raised.  Once open properly, we probably will give them another go and hope everyone else does the same.

bacon double cheese with spiced fries
That good branding
And our beers


@cparkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@cparkie said...

That burger looks very tasty indeed! I miss the "Rock Island diner" experience that was all the rage in the 90's. Thanks for letting me know about this latest retro experience. I don't get to Leeds very often but this will be a reason to visit soon!