I'm a big fan of American-style diners; I think it has something to do with my cooked breakfast obsession. So when I heard about Toute Sweet, advertising itself as an American diner despite the French-sounding name, I knew I'd have to visit.
This is not just a diner, though. On Friday nights, they have a 'theme night' where they serve a three course meal based on a particular cuisine. The menu is fixed, though you can find out in advance what you'll be eating; I found it quite entertaining that the only ordering I had to do was to stick my hand in the air when they asked "who's a vegetarian?"
The evening when I visited, the theme was "A Taste of the Highlands" - or to put it another way, Scottish.
For starters there was pea soup; thick, creamy, and delicious, with just a touch of fresh mint. The main course featured more peas (are peas particularly Scottish? I have no idea), this time as an accompaniment for vegetarian haggis - something I've never eaten before, and of course I can't comment on the resemblance to 'real' haggis, but it was pleasantly spicy and felt suitably filling and warming for a chilly evening.
Dessert was advertised as butterscotch tart, though there was no pastry in evidence - "butterscotch pudding" might have been more accurate. But butterscotch-anything is a winner in my book, and I wasn't disappointed.
One other thing I have to mention, although I didn't try one myself, is the Smurf-flavoured milkshake from the menu. I've never been a fan of milkshake in any flavour, but my friends seemed to enjoy theirs, and it's certainly a great colour!
I really enjoyed every mouthful of my meal, and it's a bargain at £10 for three courses (and BYO with no corkage charges, since they're not licensed for alcohol). The portions weren't huge, but I don't usually order three courses and I couldn't have eaten more.
The restaurant is a tiny place with bright pink walls; the 'diner feel' is there in subtle touches, even down to a miniature jukebox in one corner, despite being housed in a typical Cheltenham terrace that could never fit seating booths.
We'll definitely be going back for more Friday night fun - but I'm also going to have to arrange a visit during the day, to
|Address:||8 Prestbury Road, Cheltenham|
|Date Visited:||23 October 2009|
|Link:||Toute Sweet group on Facebook|