I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published September 25th 2015
Enjoy diners, burgers, and BBQ in the English Midlands
The middle of England may seem like an unusual place to find authentic American cuisine. However, Nottingham offers a large selection of restaurants centred around traditional favourites from the United States. The theme of burgers, big breakfasts, barbecue, and the 1950s diner atmosphere feature strongly on this list, but rather than being merely a caricature of American food culture, the following selections deliver both authenticity and a delicious dining experience.
Every year the crew of Red's takes a road trip to different US states to experience true American barbecue, learn from the masters, and bring those authentic dishes back to the UK. Sauces inspired by the Carolinas, Kansas City, and Texas are available, as well as a full menu of barbecue plates, such as brisket, burnt ends, pulled pork, slow-cooked chicken, and ribs. All of these come with a selection of sides inspired by the American South, such as cornbread, collard greens, fried pickles, and Texas toast. Perhaps the most exciting part of the menu is the dessert section, which features items not commonly found on this side of the Atlantic, including sweet potato pie with marshmallows, chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, and the ultimate Southern creation, pecan and caramel peach cobbler.
American Breakfast is the specialty in this 1950s-style diner with selections such as the 'Lone Star' (pancakes or waffles with syrup and fruit) or the 'South Fork' (pancakes, bacon or sausage, eggs, and bottomless coffee). The portions are large and the prices are very reasonable (both of the above items are under £5). In the evening, the diner transforms into a Polish restaurant with a large menu of traditional cuisine (stuffed cabbage leaves, pierogi, borsch, Polish sausage) at the same reasonable prices.
Tues - Sun: 9am - 2pm Fri and Sat evenings: 5.30pm - 10pm
Offering the foods most associated with the US (burgers, fries, hot dogs, milkshakes, and even grilled cheese), Five Guys is a welcome American addition to Nottingham's Market Square. Originating on the east coast of the United States, Five Guys quickly spread across the nation and then to London in 2013. It is so much more than fast-food (though the service is fast and efficient). As the Londoner states, Five Guys is 'heaven in a brown paper bag.'
Like its competitor listed above (Red's), Rub Smokehouse specialises in American barbecue, but with a different style and experience. While Red's draws from a broad range of states (including northern states not typically associated with barbecue), Rub is firmly fixed in a southern American tradition with such selections as chicken and waffles, hot smoked salmon, burritos, tacos, and chilis, as well as platters of slow-smoked ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.
Mon - Fri: 12pm until late
Sat - Sun: 10am until late
Image courtesy of Annie's Burger Shack (user Thysstergram)
What distinguishes Annie's Burger Shack from the other restaurants offering American burgers (Five Guys, Red's, Rub), is the New England inspiration behind its thirty-two specially-crafted burgers. These feature ingredients like Vermont maple syrup, Maryland crabs, New York pastrami, and American cheese. All the burgers are mixed with paprika before grilling for an added flavour feature. These unique burgers pair perfectly with an Annie's milkshake for an authentic American experience.