Yep, you read that right. South Shields. Home to award winning Colmans, which has graced the pages of this blog. You have wonderful Minchella’s on the seafront. There’s Ocean Road and its amazing curry house half mile. But other than those examples would you have considered South Shields for anything else? What if I told you I’d eaten the creamiest cheesecake from an eatery near Tyne Dock that had ever passed these lips? Read on.. 🙂
There’s a new kid on the meat block. Man vs Food Grill opened with some fanfare on Facebook, although they were noticeably cagey about properly announcing the date they started to take bookings. I think this was because they were trying to ‘perfect’ service, which is not a bad thing. I had to cancel two bookings thanks to the chicken pox my house was cursed with, and one night on a whim decided to chance a visit. The menu sounded impressive and Jnr was wowed with a picture of a cheesecake, which is his favourite dessert.
We were given a table but told we had to vacate it by a certain time. That always bugs me in restaurants. More often than not we’ll rattle through our food within an hour, unless we’re having multiple courses. It sets me on edge and makes me feel like I have to rush. Not conducive to a pleasant dining experience when you feel someone is tapping their watch while your eating your grub.
The interior is pleasant enough, and still clearly sparkling new. Give it a few months of patronage and harassed staff and I’m betting there’ll be squashed chips on the floor and a few rips in the upholstered booth seats. The staff, aside from our time constraint warning, were perky and friendly. The night we visited there was a table with small children beside us that were loudly demanding attention, and when they left the staff apologised for the noise they’d created. Not what I was expecting, but appreciated.
The menu, as you’d expect from the name of the restaurant, features ‘food challenges’ like the show it takes its name from. Although I hadn’t eaten all day and was hungry I wasn’t brave enough for anything like that. Jnr decided he wanted to try their Parmesan, which came with two sides. He chose double chips, but I suggested he tried their cornbread instead. We’d enjoyed this in Florida, and it was the first time it had registered with me on a menu in the NE.
I’ll run through his grub first before I move onto my menu selection. The Parmesan itself was bigger than his head. Even he was perturbed and said he’d not be able to manage it all. Good job they do doggy bags! The cornbread was ok but a bit lacking in any real flavour. His chunky chips were good, until he covered them in Heinz. I hate when he does that! The chicken was moist but I found the breading a little too crunchy. It was a reasonable attempt at a Parmo, but I’m sure we could find better from a takeaway in Middlesbrough. Jnr, as predicted, found it hard work. He said he found it too cheesy, so I tried to educate him on bechamel sauces. To me his main was exactly what I expected, and it reminded me of one I’d eaten in IHOP with the gargantuan portions.
So onto my main – brisket. I was eagerly anticipating this as I regularly order it when out and about. When it arrived it looked like kebab meat at first glance. After eating and examining the meat I then realised what its true likeness was – the beef you would find in the ‘boil in the bag’ ready meals of the 80’s! The only difference was this was fattier than anything Birds Eye produced. There was a slight heat to the meat, but nothing discernible. The sweet cornbread and the fries were a decent accompaniment, but I wasn’t overly impressed. Watching the burgers being placed in front of other diners I realised I’d made a big mistake with my choice that evening.
Jnr ordered his beloved Oreo milkshake, which was a good attempt. Probably could have used a scoop more ice cream to thicken it, but better than some we’ve sampled of late.
By this point we were stuffed. I knew we were also pushed for time, we got our plain cheesecake (Jnr doesn’t do coulis) to go. We ate it later that night and were unanimous in our verdict: it’s the best cheesecake we’ve ever eaten. Admittedly I’ve never sampled the delights New York has to offer, but we were both pretty enamoured by The Cheesecake Factory. In fact, I loved it so much I visited The Factory twice during my trip to Dubai. But even the cheesecake from there is not as light, creamy or as delicious as the one found at Man vs Food Grill. The way we were with it reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel & Chandler steal Mrs Braverman’s cheesecake. Yes, I remember these a bit too well after my double figure viewings of them all! My friend Steve has subsequently visited and corroborated my statement, so it must be true.
All in all, it was a decent visit. Our meal, with the takeaway cheesecake, came to £36. We certainly had full tummies and it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. The standard, in my opinion, is what you’d expect from a grill chain. I’m not sure if this is actually the case as Man vs Food don’t have a website as it stands to confirm this. We’ll certainly be back for the cheesecake & for me to give one of their mammoth burgers a go. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to revisit Tyne Dock until now!
Thanks for reading,