The Breakfast Menu Breakfast reviews from the South Coast and beyond

15Jan/110

Woodies Diner, Hove

Woodies Diner [map]
366 Kingsway,
Hove,
East Sussex, BN3 4QT
Tel: 01273 430300
www.woodiesdiner.com

Opening Times: Only available on Saturday or Sunday from 9:00am to 12:30pm
Last Visited: December 2010

Located just past Hove lagoon on the Hove-Shoreham stretch of road, Woodies diner is styled to replicate a retro US beach-side diner and is a distinctive seafront landmark.  The quality of the interior is well done, without being too gaudy and the surfboards, jukebox and diner counter, bring a bit of the Beach Boys inspired US surf culture to Brighton. 

For me this was third time lucky when trying to dine at one of the South’s most distinctive restaurants.  Twice before I had been greeted by either the sight of closed doors as I had arrived too early, or a long queue as I had arrived just an hour after their opening time.  This time we were spot on and the first diners in to experience breakfast that day.  An early reminder for you and another reason why it's taken us so long to get here, is that the Breakfast menu is only available on a Saturday or Sunday from 09:30am to 12:30pm, so your opportunity to visit, as we have found, is limited.

The reason for our enthusiasm was that for a long time we had long been debating what to have if ever we were to make it into the diner, as the menu posted on their very good website promised to fulfil every breakfast fantasy we have ever had.  If fact it left us as baffled as to what to have, we could just not make up our minds.  Previously we had only ever experienced this with the menu’s at Bills and Billies and to be honest this is not a bad situation to be in.  A traditional fry-up, breakfast burritos, multiple pancake options, vegetarian offerings... the choice is enormous and despite all the months deliberating when the time came to order I still panicked.   But in hindsight my panic selection not only benefited you the reader, but myself as well as I ended up ordering both the two breakfasts I could not decide between!

With Brighton boasting already one great American Diner, Rock Ola, when both breakfasts arrived I was keen to see how they compared head to head. With my first choice I decided to play safe and ordered their traditional fry-up, the Ranch.  Though very good value for money and a good portion size, did not however really light up my visit.  With both chips and a hash brown provided the breakfast was very carb’ heavy and despite the effort of their good quality sausages, nothing was worthy of elevating the breakfast beyond the level of a standard restaurant fry-up.  Rock-Ola wins the battle of the fry-ups due to their home-made ingredients and despite not being as big as Woodies offering, the quality is miles ahead at the American café on Tidy Street.

My visit really came alive when I tucked into my breakfast ‘dessert’, a short stack of banana pancakes with walnuts and maple syrup.  Deciding on the short stack over the full stack was after the fry-up a good move for my cholesterol, as I was presented with two plate sized pancakes covered in sweet maple goodness that was accentuated by pecans sprinkled over.  I was in heaven and I didn’t want to leave!  In comparison to Rock Ola's small pancakes this equalizer for diner was exactly what I needed to finish off the breakfast and if I was to visit again a full stack would be more than enough for a main portion.  As well as banana pancakes, a sweet pack and a bacon and sausage US style version are also available, though the banana pancakes look so good I want to eat the photo!

With my friends agreeing to order non-duplicate breakfasts I was able to take in the full spectrum of the Woodies breakfast menu.  The Breakfast Burrito was a nice addition to the menu and adds a west-coast feel to the American theme, though TeaMilkOneSugar informs me that it was a little dry and could had done with some salsa inside and not just as a dipping sauce.  The veggie sausage bap, though adorned with a US flag, did not inspire in the same way the pancakes did.  Standard catering veggie sausages in a burger bap was far too easy solution to creating this item and especially with Brighton’s strong veggie community, a chance is currently being missed to entice in this demographic.

Aside from the breakfasts Woodies also can pride itself by offering a breakfasts that don’t break the bank. The Ranch fry up is a very competitive £5.50 and includes toast and tea or coffee, the Breakfast Burrito £4.75 and the short stack of Banana Pancakes £3.95 (with a full stack of 4 pancakes just £4.75). Other affordable options are beans on toast or fried egg on toast (both 3 slices) which come in at £2.95 and £3.50 respectively and with a kids menu on offer at under £3 this makes Woodies affordable for a family visit.

Woodies is a fine diner and its pancakes will ensure they see me as a regular visitor.  It’s accessible location with lots of free on street parking, welcoming staff, extensive breakfast menu and food at a very reasonable price are all tick boxes to make me a repeat customer. The little touches like the great paper place mats and free cafe sticker with every bill, make the experience enjoyable.  Though Rock Ola, with their homemade offerings, presents a more authentic version of an American diner and the small problems we had with a few of the many breakfasts we had, there is enough here to keep everyone happy.  In fact I might go for more pancakes now!

Mr NoEggs

Portion Size: ★★★★½
Value For Money: ★★★★½
Service: ★★★½☆
Ingredient Quality: ★★★½☆
Overall: ★★★★☆