Boondocks is an authentic American Diner serving up the ultimate home cooking-style comfort food just a few minutes away from Old Street station – a larger version of its sister restaurant Stax Diner, which I’ve walked past many a time in the beautiful Kingly Court.
Having drooled over their Instagram page @boondocksldn, I inevitably ended up looking at their brunch menu and it’s safe to say I was seriously excited to go down! I was especially excited to take Marcus here – whilst I love this kind of food, I also love the healthier or quirkier brunch options so I’ve dragged him down to many an obscure place, but he’s a true comfort food lover at heart so I knew he would love everything on this menu.
Their menu has everything you could possibly want from a American brunch spot – eggs, bacon, fried chicken waffles, buttermilk biscuits and pancakes, hash browns, French toast and waffles. Like any proper London brunch spot they also serve a selection of cocktails and Prosecco and they also have a selection of teas and juices. Similar to Bababoom, filter coffee is the only type of coffee they offer but for just three pounds it’s bottomless – an absolute winner for me from any brunch place!
As soon as we walked in I was honestly shocked – the inside was beautiful! Pretty interior design is the last thing I’d expect from an American diner but this was perfect – no stone had been left unturned when it came to attention to detail. They’ve stayed true to their home style roots with Coca Cola crates, the stereotypical bright neon signs and dark wooden furniture but they’ve turned it cute, quirky and downright bloody beautiful with tea lights, a ton of vintage pieces and manuscripts with printed music plastered to every bit of wall space. From the ceiling hang thin cut offs from trees covered in tiny lights and items ranging from glass jars to mini bird houses filled with wild flowers. This is truly one of those times when a picture is a thousand words – I can’t begin to describe it in words. The only problem is we ended up at a table directly below the bright red neon sign.. which didn’t exactly make for great photo lighting, so apologies in advance – I definitely haven’t done justice to their food!
It was pretty hard to decide what to get as we wanted to try everything! We decided to share a traditional brunch dish and some classic American options – we started with sourdough toast with butter, wild mushrooms, poached eggs and mixed greens, chicken and waffles (an absolute must-try!), biscuits and gravy and I also got a side of smoked salmon (which Marcus steered well clear of obviously – it had to firmly stay on one side of the plate!).
The food came quickly and the portions were generous – my kind of sizes 😉 I ended up with a crazy mix of sweet and savoury on my plate but it was all incredible! The fried chicken was ridiculously good – proper, thick pieces of chicken breast (none of the dodgy offcuts!) coated in a light, crispy, well seasoned batter. Combine that with a fluffy waffle, a pot of maple syrup and an entire bottle of Buckwood maple syrup for drowning it in (the only way to eat chicken and waffles!) and you’ve got the ultimate comfort food – what more could you want!?
The ‘biscuits’ (buttermilk scones!) were light and fluffy – certainly not a looker but what they lacked in aesthetics they certainly made up for in taste! I was pretty surprised by the meatiness of the gravy.. it wasn’t what I was expecting and whilst it wouldn’t have been my first choice of gravy flavour (if that’s even a thing!), it went very well with the soft scones.
Oh and of course there are home-style hash browns, which can’t be missed 😉
We felt surprisingly full afterwards but of course missing out on sweet stuff was out of the question! All in the name of good blogging of course 😉 I’d had almost all of the sourdough in our first course (I preferred it to the biscuits and Marcus had loved the meaty gravy!) so Marcus opted for the ‘half and half’ and I went for the roasted strawberry buttermilk pancakes. The half and half is two eggs with some sourdough toast and a couple of buttermilk pancakes – a great option for anyone who wants both sweet and savoury food but can’t manage two courses.. though trust me squeezing in the pancakes as a second course are well worth the food coma! They were thick yet light and fluffy and they had the deliciously distinctive flavour that buttermilk pancakes have. The roasted strawberries were stewed down until they were incredibly sweet and soft and the whole stack was drowned in syrup and served with two generous scoops of sweet vanilla cream. Like the savoury stuff, it was a very generous portion; we saw a couple of women eat a QUARTER of a stack BETWEEN THEM! Much as I admittedly am a pig, a quarter of a stack is a pretty terrible attempt, though it is testament to how big the portion sizes are. They have a brunch special too which is seriously good value – bottomless tea or coffee, an orange juice or Bloody Mary, any main and two sides all for eighteen pounds!
Flash or no flash.. both pictures are equally bad – sorry! 😦
As well as their filter coffee I also got a fresh mint tea and Marcus got an orange juice. My tea came in a pretty china cup.. I’m such a sucker for pretty crockery and I know I’m not the only one who loves pretty bowls and plates (even if admitting it makes me a bit of a nerd!).
Unlike many other brunch spots in London you can actually book which I’d definitely recommend doing – I’m sure they probably hold tables for walk ins but by the time we left (around half 12 I think) they were packed – and deservedly so. We both loved it and left very, very satisfied – a great menu, quick service, friendly staff, an absolutely beautiful interior, big portions and (most importantly of course!) seriously flavour-packed comfort food! For those of you who are less brunch-obsessed than me they also have an awesome lunch/dinner menu with all of the absolute classics – burgers, fried chicken, nachos, wings and all of the milkshakes you could dream of!
I’ve since been back and tried their avocado toast, a portion of their ‘half and half’ of my own.. and more of those amazingly fluffy buttermilk pancakes..
They also have two other sister restaurants – Butterscotch (founded by the former owner of Bea’s of Bloomsbury so be prepared for some seriously epic cakes) and The Famous Flames (wings and fried chicken for days!) which you can check out on Instagram @butterscotchldn and @thefamousflames
Link to their website: http://boondocksldn.com/menu/