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Review: American Sports Bar & Grill, The O2 Arena, Greenwich
I love America – the food, the music, everything.
Having just become engaged in my favourite place on the planet – Disney World, Florida – the US of A holds a very special place in my heart.
Childhood memories of watching black bears break into a friend’s garden in South Carolina to steal fish also come flooding back when I think of the stars and stripes.
So I was thrilled to stumble across a little taste of the States on our doorstep, and even happier to escape the bitter cold of falling snow outside.
American Sports Bar & Grill at The O2 in Greenwich gives the impression of having it all.
Husky Kurt Cobain wailed a welcoming Come As You Are as we stepped inside, red and cream vinyl-upholstered benches invited us to sit on them and a mouth-watering menu of classic Yankee grub cried out to my empty tummy.
Despite the bar being deathly deserted during our early afternoon visit, I imagine this is a truly cool place to down a few beers and get into party mode before your favourite rock and roll band graces the stage in the arena.
Unfortunately, it was also truly cool when my friend and I turned up – but not in the way we’d hoped.
After ten minutes of sitting down, I realised the wait to warm up was going to be a long one.
My angry side emerged as I cursed every hesitant customer who opened the door to let in an icy blast, and then decided against coming in.
The barmaid was obviously feeling the pain too, wrapped up in a woolly jumper that could easily have belonged to a giant.
Maybe some hot food would help.
I ordered the pulled pork and fries with delicious Floridian memories of that same dish coursing through my mind.
The friendly barmaid and I shared an extremely awkward giggling session as she poured my Diet Coke from the world’s weirdest sounding drinks tap.
It seemed to take half an hour to extract half a pint of pop, and the poor girl could only laugh and say: “I think it’s the oldest thing in this whole place.”
Chunky darts players had silently been playing on the big screen TVs, not particularly bothering anyone.
But suddenly Nirvana was curtly switched off and the blare of British football rang out, stomping on my American dream.
Then my companion’s NYC (Not Yummy Cuisine) style hot dog arrived along with my sorry excuse for a pulled pork bun.
The pale looking finger of meat in a cardboard bun cost almost four times its Yankee counterpart and tasted more like it was made from real dog than an authentic New Yawk dawg.
In the States they serve gargantuan portions of tasty chow for small prices.
I think the American Sports Bar & Grill may have accidentally swapped these around.
The chef had tried to make up for my overly sweet pork (£9.95) with a mountain of salty chips, but I found myself wishing my South Carolinian bear would just come and steal it away.
I left with one word repeating in my head - Nevermind.
How American Sports Bar & Grill rates:
DECOR: **** (true American feel, pool and foosball tables, neon signs)
DRINK: *** (great list of cocktails, unusual beers and an abundance of spirits)
PRICE: ** (over-priced food and pricey pints)
ATMOSPHERE: *** (Good music while it lasted, but very cold)
STAFF: **** (Very friendly and polite)
Address: American Sports Bar & Grill, The O2 Arena, Peninsular Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX