Monday, 30 July 2012
Harley-Davidson cafe, Strand Road, Preston
“I'm off to an American diner at the back of a Harley-Davidson showroom, so what I'm going to do is put my leather jacket on, don my Weetabix helmet and cycle into the car park making throaty revving noises like a badass.”
“For Pete's sake Ben, you're a 28-year-old man, you need to grow up.
“You'll get smacked in the face and they'd be within their rights.
“In fact I'd smack you in the face if I was there...”
“Alright mum chill out, I'll just walk instead”, I said before quickly hanging up the phone mid-tirade.
I met my friends, Bainsey Four Bellies and Big Dog Dave in the car park, before sidling painstakingly among hundreds of hypnotically shiny bikes. Gleaming exhausts stretched my face while a tiny fob sucked it in as I became transfixed by a million distorted images of myself.
Just as my nose got within a hair's length of the handle bars I caught I glimpse of the price which sent me scuttling to the cafe at the back, terrified by all the noughts.
With fixed-table booths, assorted bowling pins and swathes of chrome, Harleys captured some of the authentic American roadside joint.
Instead of savouring a sense of the States however, we took the highway dining theme a little further and sat on the terraced area, off one of Preston's most famous highways – Strand Road.
We barely scanned the menu before making our choices.
“Jeez can you imagine us out on Route 66 pulling over for a cheese and ham toastie?” said Big Dog.
“Yeah that sucks”, agreed Four Bellies.
We were all set for a 'Phat Boy Burger' apiece, which included two hearty burgers, bacon, cheese, salad and relish, (3.95) but Four Bellies hadn't eaten for over an hour and decided it might not sustain him.
So he chose a Cornish pastie (£1.65) with gravy and a hot dog (£2.45) just to be sure.
No mention had been made of French fries and I assumed they were a given but when I checked, I was told they cannot cook chips because the smell and the grease perforates through into the showroom.
My first instinct was to baulk at such a preposterous ideas as an American diner without chips but then all those mesmeric twinkling bikes shimmered back into mind and I could see the problem they faced.
The Phat Boys lived up to their billing perfectly. The waitress borrowed one of United Utilities' cranes stationed nearby to lower them onto our bench and there they sat towering over us.
With the top buns hanging backwards they looked like the mouths of angry ogres bellowing at us (perhaps about the lack of chips).
But we need not have worried because the Phat Boys were more than enough to contend with on their own.
And Four Bellies was also impressed with his plates declaring at least three of his stomachs were full and contented, which had not happened since his infamous 24 hour takeaway challenge of 2010.
With the three sodas the whole bill came to an incredibly reasonable £15.05, which is why I've decided to treat my mum next time she rides into town.