If there’s one thing that my strict diet of kitsch Americana and trips across the pond have instilled in my soul, it’s a deep love of themed restaurants. And my favourite type of themed eatery of them all? It’s gotta be a 1950’s diner!
Think about it: in the movies, the trusty diner is where you’ll find Danny Zucko hanging out with his gang, girls giggling over soda pops (and their latest crushes) and love’s young dream sharing a basket of fries. Swoon-o-rama!
So when the fabulously retro-themed Ed’s Easy Diner invited us along to their latest Glasgow branch to give their famous menu a try, you can bet I was there quicker than you could say awopbopaloobop alopbamboom!
Ed’s is new to Glasgow but the brand has actually been rocking, rolling and bringing awesome eats to cool cats and kittens for more than 25 years – originally opening in London’s Soho. Since then, their reputation has grown along with the number of restaurants in the chain. I’d previously been to Ed’s Easy Diner at Euston (just outside the train station) for a milkshake last year and loved their mixture of energy and vintage cool – I couldn’t wait to live out my Happy Days dreams a little closer to home this time…
With it’s striking neon signs and 1950s styling, this diner is easy to spot in the crowd! Walking in, the cheery decor is clearly reflected in the fun atmosphere and our friendly waitress seated us in a spacious fire-engine red booth. The restaurant is decked out in chrome, checkerboard motifs and custom fittings – and one of the first things I noticed was how immaculate it was (listen, daddy-o, I know talking about cleanliness is pretty square – but when my food is involved, it’s important! Dig?).
We browsed the extensive menu and decided to try the two veggie burgers. I went for the chickpea and quinoa burger, while Gary decided to order the Cajun vegetable burger. The burgers can be served on their own or as a ‘plate’ – meaning they’ll come with fries, onion rings and slaw. So we could try a few sides, we took the burgers on their own and ordered sweet potato fries, onion rings and Ed’s famous cheese fries.
While we waited, I was dying to use the jukebox! Each booth comes with its own vintage-style jukebox and they are FILLED with classic hits from a bygone era. I opened my purse and it appeared that the jukebox gods were smiling on me – I had enough change to keep picking out tunes until we were well into our meals!
Using authentic to the era music is such a simple, yet effective element. I must admit I would have been a little disappointed if the place looked as good as it does and played the latest chart hits. Luckily, we had The Big Bopper, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis to keep us entertained!
Our food arrived in no time at all and while we were waiting our two lovely waitresses – Shelby and Ashleigh – made sure we were well looked after. The laid-back, enjoyable feel is clearly maintained by the staff, who couldn’t have been more pleasant. Our burgers arrived as ordered, and came topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickle and Ed’s diner sauce. I really enjoyed mine and when I asked Gary how his Cajun burger was, he told me it was “strong” – he’s a man of little words, but boy, they’re all the right ones…
Let’s talk for a moment about those sides! The sweet potato fries and onion rings were crispy, light and delicious. But for me, the main event was the cheese fries. Oh. My. God. They were seriously addictive! I’ve been daydreaming about them ever since. The cheese sauce was super tangy and not greasy at all (which is always the worry with melted cheese!). I can now understand why Regina George in Mean Girls was so hell-bent on getting herself some cheese fries. That girl knew what was up!
After eating our meals we decided against a large dessert, but knew that it wouldn’t be a trip to a retro diner if we didn’t order some shakes for a super-sweet ending. I ordered a peanut butter shake in honour of the king (uh-huh-huh!), and Gary mixed it up with a coffee and banana number. We had the cheek to order ‘skinny shakes’ (made from frozen yoghurt) which considering the meal we just ate felt a little like locking the stable door and all that, but sometimes we like to kid ourselves.
“I’m surprised you didn’t ask if they could whip you up a cheese fries shake”, Gary laughed. He might be onto something! Maybe I could put a suggestion on a comment card or something…
We slurped our shakes, which for skinny shakes were still nice and thick. I couldn’t quite finish all of mine at the time, so we had it decanted into a to-go cup and headed back out into the world!
The stand-out thing that made my experience at Ed’s Easy Diner memorable was the atmosphere. There was a real feeling of a loving tribute to a bygone era, backed by simple, tasty food, cheerful staff and a great customer experience. I might not have seen The Fonz but there’s always next time!
You can shake, rattle and roll up to Ed’s Easy Diner at St Enoch Centre.
With jukebox dreams and hamburger heroes,
Miss West End Girl x
With a huge thanks to Roche Communications and all the cool cats at Ed’s for looking after us!