Coast to Coast, Broad Street, Birmingham City Centre
Why oh why did we go to Coast to Coast? Only in a spirit of duty to keep trying out new breakfast venues, and not from any great enthusiasm for eating out on Broad Street, infamous centre of low class, degenerate club nights out in Birmingham.
In a spirit of fairness, as a restaurant built to pack in as many dinner guests as possible and fill them up with American-style dinners (east Coast to west Coast if you will), it is a perfectly serviceable place to eat. It’s a big place, with high tables in front of the very well-stocked bar, and lower booth-style seating filling the main dining space behind. Big green leaves add a bit of life to the floor, which a has a casino feel to it, as though entertainment is about to appear for the circles of guests in the green leather booths. At 11am on a Sunday it was practically deserted, apart from a few couples sitting in the window. It was also, in a spirit of fairness, clean and neat.
The view from the front window is pretty grim, as Broad Street isn’t the nicest part of Birmingham, but the restaurant has been designed to draw the diner’s eye inwards, first to the towering bar, or by seating them behind the bar where you can look down towards the kitchen.
The waitress was friendly, and quickly brought our menus over. Service was brisk and the waitress remained chatty. Tea and soft drinks (pepsi, not coke) appeared, with the slightly out-of-context hipster touch of milk in a tiny milk bottle. The waitress herself seemed slightly bemused by the tea, commenting on the palaver of four different components to be delivered for a simple cuppa.
The full English got a very positive review.Plenty of food, beans included (which is apparently not always a given), and the potatoes were coated with a tasty cajun spice mix. The corn fritter also got two thumbs up, and was also a little bit spicy. Good quality sausages. Two thumbs up from two men with big appetites looking to recover from a Saturday of wall-to-wall sport and beer is always a good sign.
Unfortunately, the eggs Benedict were less successful. The sourdough toast was lovely, and the eggs nicely sized, but the major problem was the volume. Check out the ham and sauce in that second picture! Positively stingy. And sadly, the eggs were verging on overcooked.
The toilets were great, matching the cleanliness and space of the main restaurant. Immaculate and plenty of them, which is probably more useful at 8pm on a Saturday than 11am on a Sunday. A black and white theme is complemented by red flowers on the make-up shelf above the sinks.
A final treat: jelly beans in a paper cup when you pay your bill. Who doesn’t love a jelly bean? Despite the generic massiveness of Coast to Coast, the jelly beans at least left a smile on my face.
Price: £7.65 for a full English, £6.95 for eggs Benedict
Atmosphere and design: American themed, leather and dark wood, dark and pretty much like an American-styled Wetherspoons
Food: solid full English, especially the cajun spiced potatoes and the corn fritter, but a very disappointing eggs Benedict
Toilets: Plentiful and clean, black and white tiling themed, with red flowers to decorate
Enjoyment: If you are stood right outside and literally can’t spare five minutes to walk to Opus Cafe or Gas Street Social, the full English will get the job done.