Midtown Eats has replaced Brooklyn Pizza at Rugby's Elliott's Field - is it any good?

The most prominent change to the restaurant is the new mural, painted by a Birmingham-based artist.
The most prominent change to the restaurant is the new mural, painted by a Birmingham-based artist.

Brooklyn Pizza's sudden closure on June 16 came as a surprise - so when a new restaurant opened on the site less than a week later on June 21 the Advertiser was intrigued.

Midtown Eats is a New York street food inspired restaurant which has risen out of the space left by Brooklyn Pizza after it ostensibly withdrew from its unit on Elliott's Field.

The chicken breast burrito.

The chicken breast burrito.

The restaurant's manager, Kayleigh Williams, kindly invited the Advertiser to come along and we dutifully obliged.

Staff said Midtown Eats is intended to be a reasonably priced, 'grab and go' sort of place - with the idea being that Rugbeians can stop by for a quick lunch.

There have been some tweaks to the interior decor since the demise of Brooklyn Pizza - with the one distinct addition being the striking mural of a New York street scene on the wall separating the kitchen from the public area.

All staff were friendly, diligent and had a great sense of humour. In combination with the pleasant decor, this made the restaurant a nice place to be.

The midtown burger with nachos.

The midtown burger with nachos.

The main courses

Onto the food - we ordered the chicken burrito and, on the recommendation of Mr Wakeman, the 'Midtown' burger.

The two mains took around 25 minutes to arrive and, although not awful by any standard, this seemed a little too slow if part of the target market is people looking for a quick lunch.

That said, at the time we visited the restaurant had only been open for three days. The service may very well get quicker as staff settle in.

The delicious strawberry waffle.

The delicious strawberry waffle.

We were told the chicken breast burrito is the best-selling item on the menu at the moment. This is no surprise, given there is a serious lack of places to get a burrito in the town.

The £5.95 burrito was not unpleasant but, I am sorry to say, it was not very robustly flavoured. My colleague and I did enjoy it, but we felt some more seasoning would have made a huge difference.

It is worth saying here that the menu gives the chance to add extra fillings for 50p a go - I would suggest doing this perhaps for a bit of extra flavour.

Overall we thought this was a fair effort, and thanks to a generous amount of filling, it could have been enough on its own for a lunch.

The Nutella waffle.

The Nutella waffle.

The Midtown burger, the dish which bears the restaurant's name, was pleasantly simple - comprising a single beef patty with cheese, tomato, gherkin, lettuce and what is described as handmade burger sauce.

The burger was a little overcooked, with some blackening on the underside, but it was brilliantly seasoned, the burger sauce was perfectly tangy, the cheese was clearly of a good quality and the gherkins were delightfully chunky.

If the beef had been cooked a little less vigorously, this would have been perfect. Despite this, the burger was very tasty and I would happily order it again.

The side chosen was nachos with nacho cheese. That was fine, but the top of some of the nachos had been burnt to an extent, producing a burnt taste in the upper layers of the dish.

At £6.50, including a side of fries, coleslaw or nachos with cheese, we thought it was very reasonably priced.

Waffles

Midtown Eats' waffles are sublime - and it is worth visiting the place just for these.

We ordered two - the Nutella with strawberries (£5.50) and another with strawberries and strawberry sauce at £5.

They both arrived very nicely presented with a 'just right' crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.

The strawberry ice cream scoop, included with both, was very pleasant. And the strawberry sauce which came with one of the waffles was beautifully sweet, with the consistency of a light syrup.

The only criticism here would be that some of the strawberries had not had their stalks removed. Although this looks nice when the dish comes out - it would, in my view, be better to do away with them in the kitchen.

The waffles took between 15 and 20 minutes to arrive - if these could be brought a little quicker I'm sure those coming to the restaurant just for a sweet snack would be happier. But, as said before, the restaurant has only just opened - I'm sure things are likely to speed up.

Is Midtown Eats connected to Brooklyn Pizza?

Brooklyn Pizza has branches in Northampton and Wellingborough which appear to do quite well - our colleagues at the Northampton Chronicle gave previously gave Northampton's branch a positive review.

The Advertiser reviewed Rugby's branch when it opened last year and we had mixed thoughts - although ultimately we felt the place had a lot of potential and welcomed its arrival in the town.

But it only lasted 11 months, and we were a little curious as to whether Midtown Eats is more of a rebranding and change of menu as opposed to a complete change of ownership.

There appears to be some connection between Brooklyn Pizza and Midtown Eats, although it is quite difficult to establish just what that connection is.

The overall verdict

We had a nice lunch. We hope the service gets a little quicker, but there is a very reasonably-priced, unpretentious menu with a great selection for vegans and vegetarians including jackfruit options and vegan hot dogs.

I cannot state this enough - the waffles were brilliant.

For more information, or to see the menu in full, visit www.midtowneats.co.uk