When you walk in a restaurant and sitting in front of you are four blokes wearing chicken hats, you know what you’re in for.
Or you should. Anyone familiar with the concept of Man vs Food style challenges, or even just American Deep South cuisine, will be prepared for what’s to come.
If you’re not, and you innocently walk in, then you’ll soon find out!
Holy Moly’s is no place to be counting the calories, or fancying a three bean salad. The menu is packed with finger-lickin (literally) choices – chicken, burgers, steaks and the like – and dishes with names that range from the fascinating to the frightening. “Food for your soul”, the signs proclaim.
Inside, the diner-style layout consists mainly of booths, with the deep-turqouise and yellow colour scheme punctuated with Americana and posters shouting out the latest specials and offers. On Shrove Tuesday, for example, you’re encouraged to “stuff your face” with unlimited pancakes!
The music of the Deep South – what else? – played away in the background, and the excellent staff contributed to a convivial, fun atmosphere.
On the assumption that we’d barely fit out of the door afterwards if we had three courses, we bypassed the starters and concentrated on sampling instead a yummy vanilla milkshake, pineapple juice and Boston lager.
Similarly, despite the lure of, among other things, a prize T-shirt, free meal and chance to wear a silly hat, we decided against any of the mighty challenges. Even my son, a “dawg” fan, would have whimpered at 4ft of hotdog. And “absolutely no drinking” when tackling Satan’s Psycho Wings? Is anyone that masochistic?!
Anyway, on to our, fairly sedate, mains.
My son opted for a Notorious B.I.G. hotdog, which came drowned in nacho cheese sauce and was speedily polished off. My wife declared the Holy Shroomie burger “OK” – the grilled halloumi was tasty but the sauteed flat mushroom a little on the small side, lost in the large bun.
I chose the Bayou burger – beef pattie with chipotle barbecue sauce, caramelised onions, smoky chorizo sausage and creolaise – with additional onion rings. The burger was succulent, the chorizo sparse and I’d have liked the twice-cooked fries a little crisper.
To round things off, and feeling a bit rounder than before, we decided on one pud – a gut-busting Big Momma’s Banoffee Pie. It was really tasty and came with oodles of cream and ice cream, although the layer of gooey caramel would probably have been a dentist’s worst nightmare.
Holy Moly’s, and others similar, have their diehard fans, and it’s a great place for a fun meal out, maybe with a bunch of pals. Preferably with big appetites.