Sometimes you want something fancy. Five courses, matched wines, you want your palate challenged and teased. Sometimes you want something basic, quick easy, eaten on the go.
And sometimes you want something in between. Something good and hearty, tasty, but not fancy pants. Good size portions, but not quantity over quality. Something that you might be able to eat with your mates while on the beers, watch a match (rugby in my case) or just because.
Dive NQ has been on my to visit list for a while – I’m not really a sports bar bunny (anyone who has heard my language at a rugby match will attest to this – I get a bit excited), and I’m not really a clubber – on the weekends Dive turns into a night club – I’m mostly too old for that now. I’d rather spend my weekend in my jamas with a brew, so my going out tends to be left to the weeknights.
And that’s why it was a Tuesday night that I and a date headed in.
The menu has all the usual suspects – burgers of varying styles and heights, nachos piled high, topped fries, fried chicken and, if you can manage it, pud. The burgers came with a choice of fries, salad or coleslaw. So we hedged our best and went for one with fries and one with coleslaw.
When they arrived, we were awfully glad they had.
I’d gone for the John Wayne. Bun, burger, smoked Applewood cheese, chilli, barbecue sauce, chilli mayo and onion rings. It was substantial to say the least. Crunchy onion rings, check. Soft bun smothered in sauces, check. Rich meaty chilli and smoky cheese, check.
My date went for a (cheeseless) Jenny from the Block. Bun, beef patty, chorizo, lettuce, tomato, crispy onion and her side of slaw – the latter being crisp with a little bite of acidity.
Sides were swapped about and then we realised our error in ordering a little something extra. We kissed goodbye to pudding, that simply wasn’t going to happen.
Topped nachos with plenty of buffalo chicken, and no skimping on the sour cream guacamole, salsa or cheese. Without the chicken it would have been a challenge. With it….
We attempted to do it justice – and did better than we expected. There may have been a bun left (I balanced it out by eating more nachos). Fries may too have been left on the plate (a lot), but sauce covered shredded chicken made it into tummies, along with good meaty burgers and those crunchy onion rings (well two of them). Compromises were made, all aided by the happy hour (bottle of house wine £10, 2 for 1 cocktails, bargain beers and G&Ts).
Fuelled, replete, and the blush of wine on our cheeks, we spent a while putting the world to rights, while the football played in the background. Because that’s what this kind of place is for – relaxed catch ups over a burger, or shouting at the footie over fried chicken and fries.