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TGI Fridays – a perfect place to liven up your dining experience by taking a step into America.

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The first T.G.I s opened in New York soon becoming a meeting place for local lovers of wild nights and fun times. 2015. T.G.I s has expanded bringing American mouth-watering food, tempting drinks and fun times to global countries.

TGI Fridays brings the American dining experience to Newcastle.  On arrival you are bombarded by   American themed interiors from NASA astronauts to Ghost Busters. You will be transported to America, memorized by the props and images to be discovered in the restaurant bringing the American theme to life.

On arrival I was warmly welcomed at the door by a very friendly staff member and told there would be a 20-25 minute wait. Due to it being a Saturday night during the Christmas season it was very busy so this was to be expected. I would suggest booking ahead if you are visiting over the weekend.

The atmosphere is captivating. Blasting music, cocktail making and smiles everywhere. As TGI s say ‘we make everyday a Friday’ I definitely agree that they do. We received a lively and refreshing dining experience.

The aroma of burgers, hot dogs and BBQ sauce instantly hits you as you walk in. Looking through the menu it has a large variety of options. There is the expected American cuisine such as burgers, ribs and hot dogs but also it features fajitas, pastas and salads too. TGIs are known for their legendary Loaded Potato Skins so I decided to try them – choosing the pulled pork filled with melted cheese. They were scrumptious! The mouth-watering flavours oozed into my mouth. The pulled pork tasted like heaven on earth paired up with stringy cheese and BBQ sauce. I’m thrilled to have discovered these delights.

Eating at TGIs is definitely not sophisticated. While eating your food you have to embrace the sloppy American style of eating, using your fingers and dribbling sauce everywhere!

 

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I was overwhelmed by the massive  ‘Let’s Play Ball’  grilled pork hot dog with diced onion, pickled cucumber, pickled red onion, American mustard and tomato ketchup,  served in a brioche bun with crispy fries. The huge hot dog was squeezed into an impressive tin with waxy red and white check paper with fries underneath. It took a while for me to take in the hot dog as it was so big. I had to work out a way to eat it without getting into a total mess!! The tin was too small to cut it up into pieces and no knife or fork was given to me.  I had to take it on with my own bare hands.  I wouldn’t recommend ordering a ‘Let’s Play Ball Hotdog’ if you visit TGIFs on a first date! TGIs definitely embrace the American XXL portions.

I was wary of ordering a hotdog as most aren’t made out of 100% real meat but this hot dog was amazing. The best hot dog I have ever experienced. My first bite revealed the juicy hot dog was fused with mouth-watering flavours which combined in mouth – it was exhilarating. This resulted in not caring about getting messy as I savoured every bite.  Reaching taste buds I never knew I had!

The staff are very welcoming and friendly but they go over the top seeming artificial – almost patronising.  It is refreshing to see staff enthusiastic about their work and going the extra mile to make the experience enjoyable. But it does make customers feel slightly awkward; if it was toned down then it would be perfect! The food was served fast but with the lively, party ambiance of the restaurant the overall dining experience was over in no time.

After the main I treated myself to a cocktail. The cocktail menu features 500 cocktails. Eventually, I chose the festive option the ‘Candy Cane’ with Crème De Menthe, BOLS White Curacao and BOLS Grenadine with a sugar rim. When it arrived it looked like green gunge, nothing like the image below.  However never judge a book by its cover! It tasted heavenly, with bursts of peppermint and popping candy around the rim –the taste of Christmas surged in my mouth. Due to the “Candy Cane” being a success I ordered a ‘Mud Slide’ cocktail which featured Baileys, Kahlua coffee liqueur and SKYY vodka blended with vanilla flavour ice cream topped off with chocolate flavour sauce. Only one word to describe this, “divine”.  The description sounds rather sickly but it’s not. All the ingredients compliment each other giving a delightful creamy taste.

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The bar seems central to TGI Fridays, surrounded by a seating area with house remixes of pop music creating an almost night club feel. It is a very enjoyable, chilled out experience. It is aimed at all ages, with a kids menu as well as a cocktail menu for adults. However I would say it TGIs is more suited to young adults and teenagers who want a lively dining experience rather than a sophisticated one.

The desert menu was disappointing with only 9 selections. I ordered a Cookie Dough Cheesecake. A New York cheesecake with layers of cookie dough and toffee sauce on a chocolate biscuit base, served with real dairy ice cream.  Normally desert portions are too large and I don’t eat it all, TGI s portion size was perfect. It was just the right size for something sweet after a large meal without being too sickly.

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I would definitely visit TGIs again; it is a lively and friendly place to eat. They create an enjoyable dining experience with luscious food and spectacular cocktails. There’s something for everyone at TGI Fridays.

The Gate

Newgate Street,

Newcastle upon Tyne,

NE1 5TG,

Phone: 0191 261 8676,

Cuisine: American

Price: Meal for two, including drinks: £36.02

Website: http://www.tgifridays.co.uk/newcastle/

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