Toppings Galore & Burgers The American Way.
Coast to Coast is a chain of American restaurants with branches all over the country and they started here in Brighton.
Their flagship outpost can be found on the Waterfront at the Brighton Marina, a good spot with views of the harbour, and perfect for a warm summer’s day.
It was a Thursday evening when we visited and the spacious restaurant area and bar wasn’t too busy so it meant we had quite a choice of seating – cocktail seating, banquet seating, booth’s..
From the moment we arrived, service was friendly and attentive – a good start.
We were seated in a circular booth with a front-on view of the kitchen and ordered a glass each of red wine to sip while looking through the vast menu.
There’s a lot of well-known dishes from across the USA to choose from;
chowder, chicken wings with a blue cheese dip, Boston prawns, ribs, Chicago pizzas, Mexican fajitas and of course burgers.
We ordered a bruschetta to kick-start our tastebuds – small toasts with a tomato and pesto mix on top, which were just a bit bigger than bite-sized, so good to nibble as we browsed the menu.
As with the restaurants entire selection of food, the burger variations were numerous. The menu describes that the burgers are “6oz freshly pressed corn-fed Aberdeen angus.”
Burgers that tempted me were the Black and Blue, a Cajun spiced burger glazed with melted blue cheese, rocket, fresh tomato, dill pickle, battered onion rings and blue cheese dressing; and the Philly Cheese, which is topped with Philadelphia cheese, crispy bacon, mayonnaise, rocket, tomato, red onion and dill pickle (both £12.95).
In the end I went for my trusty favourite, a bacon cheeseburger, whereas my dining companion prefers to live life on the edge so made a more daring choice; a burger topped with shredded pulled pork and barbecue sauce.
For sides there are lots of hearty choices, such as Mac ‘n’ Jack, mash, homemade slaw, onion rings and jacket potatoes loaded with sour cream and bacon. We hesitated between the skinny and sweet potato fries and were delighted that our indecision could be catered for with a combination of both, which was a nice touch.
In true American style there’s no scrimping on portions.
The burgers come served on an oblong ceramic plate with a small pot of dip or coleslaw, depending on the burger you’ve chosen. The fries are in a separate little metal pot lined with paper to absorb any excess oil.
On first inspection the burgers looked good; properly stacked with well-toasted buns that were of the traditional white variety rather than sesame or brioche. The burgers themselves looked different to the ones I had sampled to date. They were pretty huge – just what I was expecting from an American style diner.
I prefer my beef patties quite medium, however here they were more well done as I know most prefer burgers more well done don’t they? I liked the fact that the burger patties weren’t too thick, so there was a good balanced ratio of beef and toppings.
We tucked in hungrily. Picking my burger up it was easy to squish everything together for an easy mouthful and mine tasted pretty good; flavourful and satisfying.
If you were wandering the Marina Waterfront in search of a burger this would definitely hit the spot. I could detect the bacon and cheese in every bite and the burger stayed intact throughout our meal and didn’t disintegrate, which can happen so often.
My companion said his burger was very smoky and had a lovely taste, combined with quite a sweet barbecue sauce.
The side-order of skinny straw fries and sweet potato chips were really good – the fries light, thin and crispy and the sweet potato an interesting extra. They’d all been perfectly salted and all-in-all were a great testament to the USA’s claim to fame as the grand-daddy of decent fries.
When we reached the end of our main courses we really didn’t think we had space for much more, American portion-sizes being what they are.
A glimpse of the word ‘Brownies’ on the menu injected some extra verve and we were glad that it had, as they were a decent rendition of a much-loved dessert: nutty, sweet but not sickly and accompanied well with two elegant scoops of ice-cream and whipped cream.
All in all we had a great burger experience and I’d definitely return to try other dishes.
A special commendation should be given for the sheer variety of possible toppings, so if standard burger toppings are becoming boring then give Coast to Coast a good go.
Scores on the Doors – The Verdict
Presentation – visual appearance, structure/build, segmentation: 8/10
Toppings – flavours, uniqueness, chemistry with meat and bun: 8/10
Bun – toasting, density, freshness, durability: 8/10
Quality of meat – flavour, seasoning, juiciness, consistency, quality of meat used: 8/10
Accessories: presentation, taste, seasoning condiments: 8/10
TOTAL SCORE – 40/50
Make a Booking on 01273 626170