WestEndGirl Eats: TriBeCa
Recently I spent the day with a friend that didn't know the West End very well. On a quest to show her some of the best of what this side of the city has to offer, I took her on a 'West End Tour'. Although I couldn't cover absolutely everything in a day, we did manage to get a lot of excellent activities squeezed in - including a visit to Kelvingrove Park, Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, a stroll up Great Western Road, the Botanic Gardens, drinks at Hillhead Bookclub (including a rummage around Granny Would be Proud!), a trip to some of my favourite shops like La La Land, treasure hunting down Ruthven Lane and ended the day at Bar Gumbo for some dinner.
But let's start at the beginning of the day. For such an action-packed day we needed a kick-ass breakfast to set us up. As TriBeCa cafe on Dumbarton road had only just re-opened their doors the day before, we decided that should be the first stop on our tour. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have already posted about many of the places we visited that day, but I haven't blogged about this little gem before.
TriBeCa are a New York themed kitchen who (even before the refurbishment) were known far and wide for their awesome food. You can spot their location a mile off due to the authentic-looking NY taxi cab and NYPD police car parked outside (perfect for a post-pancake pose, how could you not?). But don't be fooled - TriBeCa aren't all talk and no walk. Priding themselves on bringing "a slice of the Big Apple in the heart of your neighbourhood" and serving up hearty portions of delicious Americana to happy customers day in day out, this place is serious about what they do. Unlike some themed restaurants that you come accross in the UK, TriBeCa are just as serious (in fact, I would say more serious) about the quality of their food. Yes, they are a themed cafe, but it doesn't start and end with a gimmick.
Unsurprisingly, TriBeCa has a loyal customer base and even though we arrived before 11am, the place was already busy with chattering girlfriends, families out for brunch and couples cosied up with coffee and French toast. I get the impression that some of them might even come every Sunday - now that's the kind of tradition I could get used to (I even had a quick daydream about being able to stroll in and say "the usual" with a wink and the waitress would know my order. Wait...since when did I turn into Fonzie from Happy Days in my daydreams?!). I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it was a busy but friendly atmosphere. People seemed comfortable and they weren't being rushed out after they finished their meals.
Which brings me onto the service. We were seated promptly and the staff could not have been more helpful or approachable. I guess happy staff and happy customers go hand in hand and our waitress was very friendly and polite. We were a little overwhelmed (in a good way) with the menu - I wanted to eat it ALL but eventually I picked The Brooklyn (a huge stack of buttermilk pancakes served with crispy bacon and Canadian Maple Syrup) and my friend chose one of TriBeCa's famous five egg omelettes, The Meatpacker (which had German Salami, Honey Roast Ham, Spanish Chorizo, Black Forest Ham and cheese) and was served with toast. I almost went with the French Toast but at least that gives me the perfect excuse to come back!
While waiting for our food we admired the HUGE mural of NYC on the wall and I noticed that even though TriBeCa isn't a massive space, it's clean white tiles on the other walls make it feel more spacious and bright. Also, it was a nice day so the glass doors at the front of the cafe were open, letting even more light in.
Our food arrived and it did not disappoint. The sheer size of my friend's omelette made me ooh and ahh and then when my massive stack of pancakes arrived it was her turn to admire my food! Of course this didn't last long and we both got stuck in. The food was wonderful, I really enjoyed my pancakes and I know that the omelette across the table went down a treat too - even the toast was super tasty (huge thick hunks of bread served with Lurpak butter). I've had pancakes in a lot of places on both sides of the Atlantic and I have to say these were some of the best I've tasted. I love thick pancakes, just as a personal preference, and TriBeCa's pancakes were perfect. The Maple syrup complimented the sweetness of the pancakes and salty bacon perfectly too.
Admittedly, we didn't quite finish our plates but it wasn't for lack of trying! I assured our waitress that we were really happy with the food and that we just couldn't manage it all. When our bill arrived (along with some Jelly Belly jelly beans - nice touch!) the total was totally reasonable (about a tenner each) considering the quality and portion size of food. When we left other customers were starting to arrive for lunch (TriBeCa's menu extends beyond breakfast to burgers, paninis, salads and soups).
I really enjoyed our trip to the newly-reopened TriBeCa - as a fan of themed restaurants, friendly service and excellent food I believe it ticks all of the boxes and will definitely be back again soon to take on that French toast!
Have you been to TriBeCa since they re-opened? Are you a fan of themed restaurants? In your daydreams do you act like The Fonz?