There’s been a little crop of new restaurants opening in and around Leeds recently and last week I visited three newbies to the scene who are all take their inspiration from the good ole’ USA. I always said that if I would live anywhere it would be America, the idea of living the Clueless/Sweet Valley High/Saved by the Bell life appealed greatly when I was a teen and it never really left me. Of course I also wish I was twenty years younger too and that’s never going to happen! As I’m not close to even going on a holiday there I figured at least eating American might fill a bit of that hole, if not, my stomach.

First up was a restaurant in the new Leisure Wing of the White Rose Shopping Centre Leeds. The strapline of Limeyard Kitchen * is that its  an ‘All Day Californian Kitchen’ so it’s very much American cuisine west coast style. I won’t lie I wasn’t too sure on what constituted West Coast but it seems buttermilk coating, swordfish and then just general lovely food seem to be the one.

Their most spectacular dish has to be the ‘Yard of Taco’s’ which consists of 12 mini tacos with a choice of 5 fillings (the symmetry driven me really wanted that to be a choice of 6!) presented on a long (a yard long believe it or not) wooden board. Not being novices to trying out restaurants myself and Lucinda decided to go for the half a yard where you can get 6 instead as we knew we needed to leave space for mains. The pulled pork was glorious, as was the steak and fish I’m told. The bean one Lucinda liked but I wasn’t so sure and the spicy chicken lived up to its name I must say. I needed the very delicious non alcoholic Spritz I’d ordered to help save me. We also got some sesame prawns to try too and these were utterly glorious. It was like a fabulous non squishy version of prawn toast , without the toast of course. I know, so descriptive aren’t I? But seriously I’ve been dreaming about these, they’re amazing.

Mains wise there’s a lot of choice of burgers, salads and BBQ type food. Lucinda had the Buttermilk Chicken and I had the Limeyard BBQ Board (coca-cola glazed ribs, wings, buttermilk onion rings, sweet corn and spicy slaw). Both were humongous portions and tasted so good. The Ribs were meaty and came straight off the bone, the buttermilk onion rings were beaut and the wings were also pretty decent. None of it was particularly spicy either which I enjoyed. The chicken had a lot of coating on it, so I did find myself picking some of it off but the chicken beneath melted in the mouth. The chilli broccoli was nice but I prefer Chinese style brocolli and thesweet-potato fries were the only thing that let it down a bit as they were slightly undercooked. Food was served super fast though so could have meant they were slightly harder than I’d like.

Pavlova is queen. Give me meringue and cream plus any form of berry and I am one happy girly. Even though I was pretty stuffed I managed to eat all of it. The waffle tasted pretty darn good too, but would pick the pavlova every day of the week if I was going again. It was all super delicious, everyone was friendly and I’ve now discovered a taste for west coast food, now I know what it is!

Skipping right across the USA to the East Coast now is East 59th*+. It’s all about New York here with casual yet scrummy dining and a ‘manhattan style’ rooftop bar to bring that New York vibe to the Victoria Gate. We went for a pre opening party and the nibbles we had were lush. I need to go back and try the full menu!

My fave by far was the firecracker shrimp, it was the perfect salty batter combined with the firey sauce was just a stated sensation. I also loved the Truffle Puffs which looked a bit like a small risotto ball but were cheesy Truffle delights. Of course it wouldn’t be a New York eatery without a Reuben Sandich and these mini ones were super cute and tasty. I’d love to try the full size of those too. Also they do late night eats where you can order your firecracker prawns when you’ve had one too many cocktails until 1am. I think I’ve found my new home.

Last but not least Big Grillie Style, is one of the newest additions to the Trinity Kitchen and it’s amazing! Basically it’s American Diner meets hip hop so basically my two loves, and with burgers like the Fresh Prince and side of Halloudicris you can see it pays homage to the best retro rappers around. Forgive me as I didn’t take a photo of my burger but it was lush as- pulled pork and various bacon toppings plus frazzled on the brioche made for scrumptious eating.  That plus a side of fried halloumi and a drink for £10 was well worth it too.

So needless to say I am loving all the new Americans in town and with all of them being reasonably priced for what you get I can afford to revisit them all!

*Meal provided for consideration of review. *+Guest at the press launch party As always thoughts and views are my own and my plus one’s!