Deopham: Nick’s Diner
It may be up for sale but SARAH HARDY discover what buyers are missing when she pays a visit to a great foodie institution – Nick's Diner in deepest south Norfolk.
You wouldn't imagine that this could be such a successful place – or for so long! But Nick's Diner – and I wish you enjoy in finding it – is so popular that it is ridiculous.
It's a very busy American diner in deepest Norfolk that has been attracting the crowds for more than a quarter of a century. Now the owners, Nick and Margaret Mitchell, are deciding to call it a day and the place is up for sale.
I've been going for more than 15 years but recently took my children, aged nine and 11, for the first time- and naturally they loved the loud music, chips and puddings like knickerbocker glories!
We were celebrating their dad's birthday (no ages, please as it would just be too unkind) and it's sometimes hard to find a family friendly restaurant that isn't Zaks or Pizza Express. And somewhere that isn't dead on a wet Monday evening in February.
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The diner resembles a trailer inside and is a fairly what you see is what you get kinda place. BB King was blaring out and although we were early at 6.30pm, it was starting to fill up.
The menu is classic Americana with burgers, chips, onion rings, coleslaws, and sundaes all on offer.
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Experience told us not to bother with starters if you wanted desserts, which we did, so we reluctantly dipped out of prawn cocktails, garlic mushrooms, soup and so on.
There are alternatives to burgers such as chicken stroganoff, chicken curry and prawn creole but, to be honest, I wouldn't bother. The burgers are great with meat coming from local superstar butcher DJ Barnard of Shropham! They come in three weights – 250g, 150g and 85g so you can really go for it if you feel up to it!
I had a chilli one, Mexican Nick at �9.25, while my husband had a Cheesy Nick at �8.25.They are served with masses of chips although I had a side order of coleslaw at just �1.50. I would have had the onion rings at �1.50 but that would have been greedy – don't want the children to think that their mum is a pig!
The 11-year-old had a children's plain burger with chips at �4.75 while the nine-year-old had various bits and pieces including tasty garlic bread and chips – but mainly chips!
Puddings are a real hit but very dangerous to the waistline! How does hot chocolate cake grab you? Esepcially with lashings of ice cream? Or bread and butter pudding? Or a choco mint sundae? Wow! I had a knickerbocker glory at �4.50 which was great fun with a bit of everything but especially ice cream. And others tried the famous pancakes with either lemon or chocolate or whatever the heck you like! A bit of everything is possible from Tia Maria to maple syrup!
We washed the whole lot down with a couple of beers for us and cokes for the children – you somehow feel this is more of a beer than wine place although there is a good wine list, with bottles of house wine at just �8.50.
The portions are hearty and the food isn't haute cuisine. But it is well cooked, well presented – and decently priced. Starters are from �3, burgers are from �7.75 and puddings are from �4.25 which are very accessible prices these days.
The staff are friendly and efficient and it certainly isn't an austere or formal place. You don't have to dress up.
I hope someone does take on this fabulous place.
It's great fun and a real part of many people's Norfolk dining habits! And if you haven't tried it yet, get there quick! You won't regret it.
l Open: Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm, Sun 6pm-9pm
l Prices: Starters from �1.95, burgers �7.95-�9.95, desserts from �3.50
l Vegetarian options: Limited but some choice.
l Wheelchair access: Yes