Monday, 18 October 2010

Black Medicine Coffee Co. Edinburgh

A gothically inspired Native American treat. Serving the mainly
studious population of South Bridge; this jaunt calls your coffee by
name (and by this we mean your name, not your coffee's). This
personalised service for the taker-awayer would never be seen in a
mochachoccalatte with caramel syrup chain...and caused B&F to return
again and again. A £1.40 coffee a day keeps the doctor away!

Its worth noting that Black Medicine isn't the type of place to close
at 6pm, so coffee hits can run into the night!

Free range rating:
Black Medicine has been awarded our first 'Golden Goose'...A full dozen...12/12

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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Mums Great Comfort Food, Edinburgh

Today B dined alone. A travesty you may say but F had pressing travel arrangements which couldn't be postponed. So off B went in search of comforting treats. His destination was the famed Monster Mash but after some research he fell upon this....

And using his better judgement, B ended up at Mum's Great Comfort Food. Was Mums great - yes! Was Mums comforting - oh yes! 
From the mouthwatering menu of various sausages, mashes and gravies, B choose his Scottish favourite - veggie haggis with all the trimmings and a jolly Ginger beer on the side. The haggis arrived as a three layered treat - a bottom layer of mashed potato, topped with a parsnip and turnip mash, finished off with a layer of veggie haggis. This was then smothered in lashings of the most delicious tomato gravy which had a nice little kick. A slice of white to mop up the juices and B would have been in heaven!
The ethos of this eatery is simple - quality, tasty food at a decent price and for £7.50, B's cockles had been warmed from head to toe by Mums. 
The service too was top notch - how rare it is to have a waiter who enjoys his job. 
B wishes Mums all the best for the future and would like to congratulate them on their successes in the face of adversity. Don't forget folks....what goes around comes around...that restaurant a few doors up better watch out...!

Free Range Rating... 11/12 (if only F had been there, it may have pushed B to award a full dozen)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Bakehouse, Edinburgh

At a quaint table in the corner, B and F ordered 2 coffees and a fruit scone (which looked deceivingly like a rock cake and had a disappointingly crumbly texture). Moans aside, the coffee; rich, nutty and smooth, hit the spot and the nail on the head.
A common grumble for B and F, the rubber glove. Sadly it's absence here and the absence of hand washing left us somewhat hygienically harrowed.

Atmos? good. Coffee? good. Toilets? Elsewhere, which is where we've now gone.

Free range rating...6 and a yolk/12.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Rose Leaf, Edinburgh

Well......! It would appear the tea pots have turned a new leaf here at the Rose Leaf. This establishment is renowned for it's Pot tails - cocktails in teapots. Oh yes! At £5 per head, this decaf delight was free of one poison but laden with another. 
Lit by a hat-trick of lampshades with a wee toilet blackboard, B&F are convinced they have stumbled upon a find at the end of Leith Walk. We didn't eat here tonight but the food definitely  looked good enough to eat. And where have you ordered your food when the menu was encapsulated by the National Geographic...? Oh how we love an incognito menu.
Well that's goodnight from B and goodnight from F. 

Over and out...

Free Range Rating: 11/12

Loopy Lorna's, Edinburgh

Earl Grey Elephant
The Aftermath

Our trek from the Grassmarket to Morningside was lengthy. Our stats were low, our BP had dropped and Loopy Lorna's was still nowhere in sight. Then a puzzling breakthrough - B&F didn't realise that Loopy Lorna's was a thespian joint located in the Churchill Theatre. Luckily, research by B paid off and we bypassed this bright pink soulless sister cafe in search of the real deal further down the hill. We were richly rewarded with our endeavours as there she stood at the foot of the hill, the original Loopy's. 
B&F were warmly greeted at the door and this hospitality continued throughout the afternoon. These lovely ladies were treats in their individually designed aprons. 
After much deliberation, F ordered a trusty scone and jam with Honey Bunny tea. B went full out with feeling and ordered the whole hog - Afternoon Tea of sandwiches, sweet treats, scone with jam and cream accompanied by a pot of the finest Earl Grey.
The presentation was kooky yet traditional. China crockery, tiered cake stand and the piéce de resistance, hand made and hand picked tea cosies. F's Honey Bunny tea pot was resplendent in it's woollen bee jacket and B's Earl Grey elephant jumper kept his tea cosy - now there's attention to detail! 
Onto the food....F was first to sample the sandwiches. "That's the lightest bread in the world", she remarked. 
B was almost contorted with joy at his first mouthful of scone with clotted cream and jam. Heavenly! Perfectly crisp on the outside and densely spongy on the inside. Other sweet treats included a perfectly moist pecan brownie, a melt in the mouth meringue, a classic vanilla cupcake and an average coconut and chocolate bomb (it's really not worth commenting on).
With 1930's crooners piped through the wireless, we were almost transported back in time. Our gripe being with the modern decor - a minor one but still a gripe. We must also pass comment on the pricing - this tea shop is dear both to our hearts and to the wallet. A pot of tea ranging from £3.95 to £5.95 - that much for a dried leaf - ouch!
On a side note, F was clearly broody today as she noticed the ample supply of high chairs. The lack of yummy mummies did, naturally, add to B&F's enjoyment of the afternoon. 
It is fair to say we departed as full as a Michelle McManus sock. Well done Loopy Lorna's of Morningside.

Free Range Rating: 10/12

Henderson's, Edinburgh

As Scotland the Best said, "Like Arthur's Seat and the Castle Rock it is impossible to imagine Edinburgh without Henderson's". They're not far wrong.
After a wintery stroll through the streets and lanes off Princes Street, we head underground to a basement cafe cum wine bar. With a swift buffet/canteen style of service, we hungry diners are quickly fed and watered which keeps the place buzzing. B took delight in a joyous veggie haggis, complete with neeps, tatties and tomato gravy - heaven! F was equally treated with a jolly carrot, parsnip and coconut soup. Total cost was £8.95. Shame we couldn't try the cakes and puddings but we're saving ourselves for this afternoon. Filled a gap without burning a hole in the pocket.
Sat in the bohemian Mediterranean like taverna, we noticed they do live music every night of the week and there's also a gallery. It's a true life cafe.

Free Range Rating: 10/12

Harlem Café, Belfast

Harlem Cafe is the reason for this blog. Our desire was Sunday Brunch, elevenses, something involving an egg or two. It was during our time there that we pondered.....what makes a good fact what makes an enjoyable eatery?
We were drawn in by the decor and the individuality of the place. Our excitement continued as we sat in the lion head arm chairs, tapping our toes to the soothing sounds of the 60's. It was a good job these were entertaining as the menu took a while to come - menu being a laminated piece of paper presented with shoddy spelling and inappropriate use of "apostrophe's" (steak cibitta and herbal tea's - now come on!). F ordered one of herbal tea's teas, an apple one in fact and proceeded to be perplexed by the apple juice that arrived in a bottle. Aside from the fact it wasn't a herbal tea, a place as beautifully designed as this serves Fruice juice in a plastic bottle, the kind you'd find in Londis. It did have 50% extra though - treats! Sadly B's Americano didn't arrive until much later and served by the chef. What was going on in this place? However this did arrive with a cow milk jug - very jolly! All in all, drinks were a boob.
We both ordered the egg breakfast for £4.95 which included bacon, eggs, tomato and toast. The unfriendly vegetarian menu was adapted by B and he substituted the bacon for a measly sprinkling of mushrooms. Alas, no butter, need I say more. The food was OK, nothing special, just OK. B contemplated, how do some eateries make breakfast special? We came to the conclusion that it's the service that gives it that sprinkling of fairy dust. We never had the same server (I include the chef who brought the coffee) and between that girl with the chewing gum and rubber gloved hygiene hyper chef(who we observed used the glove to touch everything but the food), we were made to feel like table 4 in the corner and nobody likes to go to a restaurant and be made to feel like table 4 in the corner.
Was this place really that bad, or had we ourselves spoiled brunch by over analysing everything? Are we insecure diners? Alarmed by their escalating disappointment, B&F sought confirmation from a pair of fellow diners. This pair had never been to Harlem Cafe before and like ourselves had been drawn in by the look of the place. They were happy with their breakfast and happy to return. B&F paused..........they may had been happy but maybe they didn't know better. We've had better times than this and we'll continue in our pursuit of greater nosh and witty waiters.

Free Range Rating: Half a dozen 6/12