Food review: Easy Street Diner, Mermaid Beach

2563 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach 

Like many Gold Coasters the Christmas break was painful. Our beloved NOLA @ Blackboard had served its last po’boy with promises of new beginnings coming in February.

Instagram was our only avenue to monitor the situation as we all hung out for the news we were waiting for: that Easy Street Diner was finally open for business.

Situated on the highway at Mermaid Beach the sign says it all: Cold Beers and Burgers, Fried Chicken and Good Times. Entering into the modern space owners Lucas and Erin have added their own quirky touches peppering the walls with unique artwork including the diner favourite: the Van Gough selfie.

Erin is happiness personified greeting all customers with an infectious smile and an enthusiasm for the menu that knows no bounds. “You have to try the chicken and waffles” she informs me nodding appreciatively, “with bacon, in fact everybody should add bacon to everything!” How could you not love that encouragement!

The succulent Southern fried chicken and waffles ($18), with bacon of course ($3), comes with whipped butter and maple syrup, which I dubiously pour all over the meal before gingerly taking my first bite…and absolutely loving it! It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet, crunchy and soft, and I am immediately transported to America via my tastebuds. The bacon in question is smoked and air dried, locally sourced along with all other produce used in the Easy Street kitchen.

Lucas and Erin started their journey at Miami Marketta with the humble po’boy, a Louisiana-born sandwich crammed full of meat and slaw. From the Marketta to NOLA and now Easy Street the po’boy remains a crowd pleaser. Generous amounts of meat are served on a brioche bun with the sweet and succulent pork belly and crispy Cajun fried chicken being particularly awesome ($15).  Easy Street already has a huge base of hard core fans that come in many times a week to dine on the comforting home-style food. Chicken Wings are a crowd pleaser coming in a five ($8) or 10 piece ($15) served three different ways: Southern fried with Ranch, Sticky BBQ and Hot & Spicy. Great to share when dining with a group or I encourage you to be entirely selfish and have a basket all to yourself.

Last, but not least, we need to talk about the burgers. The Royale with Cheese ($12) is a generous sized, hand pressed burger served with salad and pickle that will cause you to feel you are dining in the Deep South as it tastes so damn authentic. For the chicken lovers out there you will need to bring your appetite when eating the Chicken Deluxe burger as it is mightily generous and will leave you rubbing your full tummy with contentment ($15). With all sides being $6 most diners grab a few to share. A favourite of mine is the Dirty Corn smothered in chipotle sauce, cheese and crisp onion. In fact you know what? All the sides are delicious with the cheesy fries and onion rings being the big pleasers with my dining group.

Drinks wise Easy Street has a range of craft beers on tap as well as a few of America’s favourite brews. Their cocktails are on point with the Easy Street Tonic made from whiskey and fresh apple juice making for a great accompaniment to the food.  So what does the future hold for Easy Street? Erin is hoping that they will eventually open for a New Orleans style long boozy lunch and branch out to American style breakfasts so stay tuned to their Instagram for all the important updates.  Easy Street Diner is open Wednesday to Monday from 5pm with the kitchen closing at 9pm and the bar at 10pm. For authentic American goodness, and comfort food at its best, you simply must treat yo’self to a trip down Easy Street.

 

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