OK Diner, An American Diner at Carlton on the Northbound A1

The OK Diner

The A1 Diner

The OK diner chain are a small group of ‘American-style’ Diners serving up their take on the American Diner experience alongside some of our main routes snaking up and down the country. I first spotted one when I was heading North up the A1 on my way to Newcastle. I had just joined the A1 from the A46 and a few miles later the OK diner popped up into my side vision as I passed Carlton on Trent. On that day I had a long way to go so it was too soon to stop, but I made a mental note to come back one weekend to get some breakfast.

Uncle Sam was there to greet us

Uncle Sam at the A1 diner

So the weekend on Saturday we planned a detour here en route to Welbeck via Ollerton, it was a bit of a long way around to take the A1 to get there but we figured it was worth it to try out the American Diner. The first thing we noticed was that the place was rammed, it was packed out and we had to wait with a few other diners to get a table.

This should be a good sign, well I hoped that it was a good sign.

The Yankie Doodle Dandy

The Yankee Doodle Dandy at A1 Diner

I opted for the most classic American sounding breakfast dish on the menu at the OK Diner and that was “The Yankie Doodle Dandy”. This was described as “Two eggs sunnyside up, strips of crispy streaky bacon and hash browns served with pancakes and pancake syrup on the side”. So what did we think? well first thoughts were that it was a bit pricy at £7.35, but lets skip past that for a moment and talk about the food.

The pancakes were pretty reasonable and I enjoyed piling them up in a small stack mixed with the streaky bacon and the syrup. The bacon could have been a lot crispier, it was a bit soggy and not at all like you usually get at a diner in the states, the eggs were pretty good with the yolk still nice and runny. The big disappointment was that the hash browns were those crispy fried one that you get out of a packet, more often than not from the freezer. I would have been happier if they were not on the plate. I was expecting something more akin to the sort of hash browns you get in the states which is basically like a pile of fried potatoes all mixed up with onion or pepper. I suspect that this dish has been tweaked quite a lot to accommodate the English Diner who just wants a greasy spoon breakfast in a diner that looks a bit like an American Diner. 

The All Day

Breakfast at A1 Diner

My companion chose The All Day which was described as being ‘Two eggs sunnyside up, two rashers of bacon, two pork sausages, griddled tomato and fried bread or buttered toast.’. This is basically just your standard English Breakfast. There is nothing ‘American Diner’ about it. The bacon is what would be described as ‘Irish Bacon’ in the states, and they don’t sell those cheap sausage over there either. There was nothing wrong with it, just not diner style, unless you count being cooked on a flat top grill. This also seemed a bit expensive for what it was at £7.35, I suppose though as in with many of these main road and motorway cafes the prices are often higher. The place certainly was getting the trade as there was a constant stream of people stopping by to eat.

The Bill at A1 diner

I quite enjoyed coming to the Ok Diner as it was nice to eat in this American style place, the ladies busied themselves around with their pots of coffee and the two lads on the hot plate cooked mostly everything to order. I wasn’t amazed by the breakfast, perhaps another time I might prefer to stop at one of the truck stop cafes, but it was still a lot of fun.

You can check OK Diners out on their Twitter feed and on their Facebook pages


This particular OK Diner is located at,
A1 Northbound,
NG23 6JF

One Comment Add yours

  1. When I stop at OK Diners I tend to have the burgers and the milk shakes (milkshakes are PROPER ice cream and fruit shakes). If I wanted a breakfast I’d go to Little Chef for the Olympic – expensive but good value for roadside dining. Once stopped for breakfast at the Tamworth services and felt positively violated by the High Price/Low Quality combo (though they didn’t actually call it that on the menu!)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.