FOOD REVIEW: American dream tad deflated

Yankees on Ecclesall Road
Yankees on Ecclesall Road
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We all have our childhood favourites.

For those of use who grew up in Sheffield in the seventies and eighties most of those places we look back at so fondly have already gone.

Of course there’s the Hole in the Road and, no, we still don’t know what happened to those fish.

And yes we still call that big department store Coles, even though we know very well that it changed hands ages ago.

Yankees on Ecclesall Road falls into the ‘loved-to-go-there-as-a-child’ category for me.

So the idea of taking my own children there was bound to be a surefire hit – wasn’t it?

It started well.

They were really excited – after all everything American is still very cool when you’re a certain age.

They loved the posters on the walls (which I’m sure haven’t changed since I was a kid) and the whole concept of being in a US diner.

The waitresses were lovely.

They were quick to get a high-chair, friendly with the children and made us feel welcome.

I was surprised at how busy it was at 5.30pm on a mid-week night but then it is aiming at families who don’t want to eat too late.

Both of the older children, six and 13, commented on how the menu had too many delicious-sounding things. In fact, it was hard for them to pick.

We ordered drinks in the meantime and both went for the famous Yankees milkshake.

They aren’t cheap at £3.25 each but they are the ‘real deal’ as some would say.

There is so much ice-cream in them it seems strangely appropriate that what most of us would class as a drink is actually included under the puddings section of the menu.

Deliciously thick milkshakes at the start of a meal, the children were definitely impressed.

For the real starters we decided to share two –
nachos (£4.25) and buffalo wings (£4.50).

My daughter had wanted buffalo wings because they are one of those things that you hear about from the big, old US of A and just have to sample.

If they’d been called barbeque chicken wings she wouldn’t have been half as interested.

They arrived quickly and it was a generous helping –tasty although the kids weren’t too keen on so much barbecue-style sauce.

The nachos were smothered in chilli, cheese, guacamole, soured cream and some very hot jalapenos. They disappeared quickly – yum.

Yankees describes itself thus: “Our family owned restaurant has been serving the fine folk of Sheffield; traditional, home-cooked American and Mexican food for over 30 years. Our burgers are legendary within the city, as is our ‘family friendly’ atmosphere that’s as memorable as the food.”

It would have been rude not to try a burger after that build-up.

So I opted for the ranch burger (£9.25) which comes topped with just about everything you can imagine, including bacon, onion rings and Yankees’ special cheese sauce.

It looked impressive and tasted good but I have to admit, with the exception of the cheese sauce which I love, it was good just not quite as amazing as I’d remembered it.

The kids meal (£4.25) was disappointing. Chicken nuggets, beans and chips –but both the nuggets and the chips didn’t taste as good as they should.

Most of it ended up left on the plate.

Sadly our third choice of the ribs meal (£8.95) was a let-down too.

There was too much sauce, the meat was in places so over cooked it was crunchy and in others too tough.

Sitting surrounded by James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis we felt as if our American dream had suddenly deflated.

To cheer ourselves up we decided to share two puddings – apple pie (£3.25) and waffles (£3.50).

The waffles were absolutely amazing. Out of this world.

They tasted fresh, crisp yet soft in all the right places. Perfect.

The apple pie was ok but not as good as you’d hope from an all American place.

I’d wanted Yankees to be as brilliant as I’d remembered but in the end we all felt it just hadn’t managed to move with the times – despite its army of loyal customers.

There are also lots of mid-week deals if you are looking for a less expensive night out with the family.

Our bill came to £44.45 and while the meal had started and finished well, the middle did leave a bit to be desired.