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The vinyl records and photos of musicians of yesteryear hanging on the walls perfectly encapsulate Honky Tonk, a rock-and-roll-inspired American restaurant and bar with a funky New York vibe. The
shabby-chic dining room boasts mismatched Ercol tables and balloon-shaped lights ‘floating’ on the ceiling, while the warmly lit bar serves up some seriously satisfying cocktails (lap up a berry
and gin ‘shrub’ served in a Mason jar, or a standout marmalade margarita). A wide-ranging menu delivers tender BBQ-glazed ribs with crunchy apple slaw, crab cakes that would do New England proud,
and crispy potato skins crammed with sour cream. However, an overcomplicated mac ‘n’ cheese and a flavourless apple crumble lack punch. Nevertheless, the gussied-up servers clad in Daisy Dukes and
midriff-showing plaid button-ups complete the Yankee experience as they saunter from table to table of young American ex-pats and locals.
Last night was date night for Pascal and I - Chez Bruce has been top of my restaurant list for ages but it was full and so instead booked Koffman's at the Berkeley Hotel as well as Honky Tonk on the Hollywood road. I had never been to Koffman's before and while it looked elegant, romantic and had a great menu, we decided to go to Honky Tonk as it is more "fun".I had been here once before last year when it first opened with my friend Ceri and we had a cracking night. The bar was heaving, the atmosphere buzzy and the food was fab. The place was so busy we had to be enticed off our table with shots of tequila.Pascal and I had got carried away shopping at Spirit of Christmas at Olympia so had to delay our table by an hour, I was surprised but delighted they could easily accommodate us. We finally made it to the restaurant - very hungry and very thirsty! It certainly wasn't as busy as I was expecting as there was space at the bar and not all the tables were taken but it still had a fun atmosphere, lots of chatter and laughter and good music (although a little two loud for Pascal's old ears)!The waitresses are all dressed in denim shorts and lumberjack shirts - when I went last year they all looked like Abercrombie models which was a bit off putting when you are tucking into fat laden food - this time they were a lot more normal!The service was very attentive and we immediately ordered some dark and stormy cocktails while we perused the menu. They were delicious and really hit the spot.The menu is a dream come true for me - starters such as crab cakes, ribs, potato skins and chicken wings, and mains such as burgers, hot dogs, ribs, steaks and salads. MenuPascal and I ordered the nachos and quesadillas to start. I had my phone on the table ready to take pictures but we were so so hungry that we munched them down and totally forgot!!!....in true piglet style we then just ordered the nachos again as they were so good!They weren't like normal nachos and instead were formed more like the quesadillas but with crisps rather than tortillas. They were absolutely delicious - full of cheese and plenty of sour cream, salsa and guacamole. The quesadillas were also excellent and were filled with chicken, cheese, peppers and onions and served with plenty of guacamole but unfortunately no photo.For mains I was torn between a a hot dog or a burger or even mac and cheese - I wanted it all! I ended up choosing a hot dog covered with cheese and bacon - incredible!!It was fab - so much cheese (even enough for me), little bits of bacon, ketchup and American mustard - it had my name all over it (it kicked the sh*t out of Bubbledogs)! The fries were good but we ordered mac n cheese and onion rings as well that were even better.The mac n cheese actually comes with roasted wild mushrooms, porcini bechamel and truffle oil - omg, Pascal and I ended up scorching our mouths as we were trying to shovel it in. I would be very tempted to have this as a main (and then maybe another on the side)! The onion rings were also very good - they didn't taste deep fried and instead more bread-crumby - they must have been tasty as Pascal liked them and onion rings normally are not his thing!Pascal had the Honky Tonk Burger which is a 7oz patty topped with cheese, bacon, caramelised onion, guacamole, salsa, lettuce and tomato and a special burger sauce in a toasted burger bun served with rosemary fries.Unfortunately it didn't do it for him - the onions, guacamole, salsa and salad were all too cold and it ruined the burger. I have to say I had a burger the last time I came here and it wasn't memorable although I had considered having one today. However Pascal would still definitely come back as he loved the starters so much.We washed the meal down with a very good bottle of Malbec.Despite a great selection of puddings such as cheesecake and brownies American style, we made the terrible decision of of having the pickleback shot - I don't know what it was but it was revolting!!! Ugh!!!It was a fun night - easygoing, mostly fab food and lots of people enjoying themselves - I will definitely be back, I think it's a great place to come with a group as they cater well to big tables and there is something on the menu for everyone - unless you are vegan!HONKY TONK6 Hollywood Road,LondonSW10 9HYTel: 020 7627 6257Email: [email protected]
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