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Grand Central

Enjoy the tastes and sounds of the American Diner

If your idea of American food is something in a cardboard box from a fast-food place adorned with golden arches or pictures of a white-bearded colonel from Kentucky, then it’s time to think again.

American Diners USA is big. In fact, you’ll find American Diners in UK, with street food trucks and authentic barbecue restaurants popping up in hip city centres everywhere. Now with three popular American-themed restaurants already open in Colchester, Basildon and Ely, TLC Inns have made Ipswich’s Waterfront the home of their latest restaurant, appropriately named Grand Central Ipswich.

The restaurant is managed and staffed by enthusiastic foodies who have left no stone unturned in their quest to create authentic USA-inspired dishes that fans of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives will be mad for. For example Grand Central import a Southern fried seasoning that no other UK restaurant uses, and even the flours used for the breads are imported from the US for a true authentic taste.

Nothing tells you more about the restaurant’s approach to food than their starter the Bloomingdale Onion – a massive sweet onion cut into a huge flower shape with a special cutter, dusted with their special spice mix, deep fried and served with a dipping sauce. Delicious and absolutely unique to the restaurant.

And no American restaurants in Ipswich would be complete without stand-out burgers. Sourced from a quality local butcher, the beef patties at Grand Central are hand pressed at the restaurant to create the open texture that is the basis of a great burger.

The American Diner Restaurant

The ambience at Grand Central is funky and friendly. The huge open interior is split into different sections – downstairs is the Worldwide Shipping area with large tables and booths perfect for families and small groups. The booths even have sockets to keep the kids’ tablets and gadgets going so they stay happily entertained, plus you can ask the staff for a box of Jenga, or even Scrabble if you’re feeling magniloquent (that’s 100 points right there).

Upstairs the Broadway section consists mostly of tables for two, illuminated by stage lighting and with views over the bar. The Brooklyn and Brooklyn Bridge areas are ideal for larger groups and parties, whilst Hell’s Kitchen is a separate room with its own bar available for functions and corporate hire.

And the food? Let’s look at the American Diner menus in more detail:

Breakfast at Grand Central

Breakfast ranges from the relatively light Hippie Chow (home-made granola with blossom honey, forest berries and frozen yoghurt) to The Trans-Atlantic (steak and eggs, the breakfast of champions, or at least astronauts – it’s what the Apollo astronauts would eat before missions). Of course there are also old favourites like waffles, pancakes, bagels and the more familiar English breakfast, all served from 8.30am to 11.30am.

Mains at Grand Central

The main menu encompasses all the dishes you’d expect from an American and Tex-Mex restaurant, just done with rather more style and attention to detail than most, such as:

  • The Platform Pre-App – a starter of warm corn bread, mixed olives and root vegetable crisps, served with chilli and garlic oil
  • Coco Shrimp – Shrimp rolled in coconut and dusted with icing sugar, deep fried and served with a sweet mango salsa
  • The Superbowl – a massive sharing platter of Southern fried chicken tenders, garlic bread slices, bacon & cheese and cheese & chive potato skins, BBQ wings, onion rings, celery and a bowl of cheesy nachos topped with chilli
  • South Street Smokehouse Burger – splashed with special smoky BBQ sauce, layered with cheese, onions and peppers
  • 10oz Rump Steak – 28-day-aged rump steak, chargrilled to your liking and served with seasoned fries, portabello mushroom, grilled tomato and a salad garnish
  • Fajitas – Choose your favourite filling from steak slices, chicken, pulled pork, shrimp or vegetarian, all with sizzling onions and peppers, served with flour tortillas, grated cheese, lettuce and classic mexican sauces
  • Soho Cheese Steak Sub – Tender pieces of beef steak, sautéed mushrooms, peppers and onions, seasoned and topped with melted cheese, stuffed into a philly roll, served with seasoned fries
  • Virginia Shrimp Salad – A traditional mixed salad topped with avocado and coconut rolled shrimp, served with a sweet chilli sauce
  • Creole Jambalaya – chicken or shrimp with Mexican rice, mushrooms, peppers, jalapeños and spinach, all tossed with a marinara sauce

Desserts are not for the faint-hearted either – many involve ice cream, or cake, or both, although a piece of fruit does make an appearance in the Classic American Banana Split. But you didn’t go out to a restaurant to eat fruit, right?!

“Fantastic friendly service, which even before the food made us feel it was a great place to visit. Then had nachos, and fillet steak. The steak was cooked amazingly!! Also tried the milkshakes, couldn’t decide on flavour so had a mix and oh my they are the best I’ve ever had!! Can’t wait to return!” – Kelly Woods

There is an admirably wide-ranging kids’ menu to cater for both adventurous and not-so-adventurous youngsters, and there are even Toddler Tapas for the youngest diners for just 50p. So if you’re looking for family restaurants in Ipswich, there’s also a weekly changing specials menu with lighter bites so there will always be something new to try as the team seeks out new dishes which the UK has been missing out on.

If you’re looking for a Man-v-Food-style challenge then the Dude Food section of the menu can oblige with its meat feast platter, mountainous burger, 15-inch hot dog topped with fiery chilli, or 32oz steak.

Everything (apart from the puddings) is made on the premises with plenty of choice for those with allergies; much of the menu can be prepared gluten-free, for example.

Drinks at Grand Central

Cocktails are a particular feature at Grand Central, where the bar staff can rustle up favourites like Pina Coladas and Mojitos as well as some specials invented by the restaurant – the Rufus (invented by the assistant manager and made up of cranberry juice, raspberry vodka and Midori) sounds very tempting.

Restaurants in Ipswich sell a great range of beer, and Grand Central is no excpetion. Beers on draught include Peroni, Budweiser, Pilsner Urquell and local brew Green Kings East Coast IPA, whilst there are dozens of craft bottled beers and guest ales such as Brooklyn Lager, Goose Island Honkers, Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Porter.

For drivers and younger diners there’s freshly squeezed lemonade, iced tea, thick ice cream milkshakes and several mocktails.

Following the successful formula of TLC Inns’ other American Diners Grand Central Ipswichdeserves to become a hugely-popular venue a one of the great restaurants in Ipswich. If you are looking for an restaurants in Ipswich Grand Central is just the place for couples, for parties and is sure to become established as one of a number of great family restaurants in Ipswich.

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Regatta Quay Key Street Ipswich, England IP4 1FF, United Kingdom

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  • Regatta Quay
    Key Street
    Ipswich, England IP4 1FF
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Ipswich Grand Central in Ipswich England

Grand Central

  • Regatta Quay
    Key Street
    Ipswich, England
    IP4 1FF,
    United Kingdom

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