I sat looking at the jukebox, a milkshake in front of me and listening while Patrick and kids were mucking about in the booth. All that was missing over the sounds of period rock and roll and vintage vinyl on the wall, was my rockabilly dress and pop socks. This was a unique way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Wimbledon.
The Restaurant: Waffle Jacks
The name really sets the tone for this place, as it’s a throw back to the classic American diner. The red leather booth, the music, the milkshake bar, the mass of chrome and vinyl and selective pop art creates a unique, and family friendly vibe, which was perfectly offset by the owner who was clearly having a great time, enjoying his customers, and just loving life. The kids were at ease, and Patrick was hungry so while we waited and sipped our milkshakes, we checked out the menu and ordered hot dogs, waffle stacks and kids burgers. There is nothing quite as handy as coming to a diner with a hungry husband, who ended up ordering 2 meals.
The meals were exactly as you would expect, with amazing hot dog combinations, a huge range of bagels and of course, the waffles. Everything was delicious and we were beaten. I couldn’t finish everything and even Jimmy, as a 17 year old bottomless pit for anything sweet, couldn’t quite get through the waffle stack. This is not a place for diets and thank god for that. There are plenty of health conscious hipster restaurants, and franchises that try to offer ‘healthy’ options on their menus. This place is a refreshingly honest restaurant, which makes no apologies for being pure glorious classically American style food. If you want a salad, go somewhere else. If you want a waffle or a hot dog, go to Waffle Jacks.
One thing about this diner that is very un-American, is the fact that it is small. It is not built for large groups, but in the space that they have, they have packed it out with lovely little details like a proper old coin phone on the wall, the juke box, the booths, the bar, and lots of other little touches. It’s a joy to be there, and it’s one of these little gems, that doesn’t give away everything before you go in. We were lucky to be there on a sunny Sunday, but I can well imagine that on a grey day, when you are not paying attention, you would probably drive right by.
The atmosphere was very upbeat, and that is in no small part down to the amazingly friendly owner who clearly loves and is proud of his diner. We are not a quiet family and in fact peace and quiet is very hard to find in our house, but it was nice that when all eyes were on plates and we were tucking in, that there was a buzz, laughter and a great relaxed atmosphere.
Will we go back? Yes we will. On leaving we were told to ‘come again soon’, to which Jocelyn replied in all seriousness, “Thank you! Yes we WILL come back.” Enough said.
If you are interested in checking out Waffle Jacks, you can book online with Opentable (which is what I did), or you can check out their website to view the gallery, menus and get in touch. If you do go, please let them know we say Howzit.