The Not So Great
I was in a little bit of a pickle yesterday because I have had a few not so great gastro experiences recently and was unsure if I wanted to write a post about someplace I didn’t really enjoy. After giving it some thought I decided that since this blog was supposed to be about my food adventures I should probably include the good & the bad. Please don’t think I’m claiming to be any kind of food critic I just want to share with you the places I likes and feel I should also share the ones I didn’t. So here is my run down on the places I haven’t enjoyed so much in the last few weeks.
A few weeks ago I visited Gumbo on Byres Road which was somewhere I had my eye on the minute I became a west end chicky. With claims of soul food from the deep south it immediately sounded like my kind of place and honestly I was a little disappointed with both the venue (to eat its a cool bar tho) and the food.
I think this would be a great spot on a Friday night for a few cocktails and will definitely go back in the but not for food. We went in for a bite at lunch time and our immediate impression was it was a pretty dark venue which wasn’t a great start. We had a bit of a hoohaa to start with because I had my 14 year old niece with me who wanted to sit at the back but it was too dark for her so we moved closer to the window. The biggest issue I had with the venue tho was the lighting they have red and blue halogen spot lights and I made the stupid mistake of sitting under one of the blue lights which I actually found quite painful on my eyes – this also explains why my photos all have a blue tinge.
The food was really average, we tried the Burger which came served in a small wooden crate – it was large but pretty tasteless which was surprising because the burger was juicy it just appeared to have no seasoning. My niece ordered a quarter chicken with chips but it was served with a mountain of rice. The very friendly waitress tho quickly rectified it. Most of our food was left because the portions were so big. The one shining star was our side order of hush puppies which were hot little morsels of doughy goodness.
However as a plus point the whole bill which consisted of 3 mains, 2 sides, 3 soft drinks and a cocktail (which was delicious) came to just £30.
After the meal the general consensus was – It’s alright. Would not choose to go back there but if I was hungry it would do.
On Saturday night we were starving and decided to stop in to Brazilian Restaurant Tropeiro located on Argyle Street. It was 5pm when we walked in and we were the only customers in the rather large dining area, which is always really off putting I think. Within a few minutes another 2 couples came in which made me feel a little less on edge.
The venue is pretty basic, nothing especially stood out about it, it was basic and bare is the best I can say about it. I did like tho that you can see the Gaucho chef cooking the meat skewers over the open flame.
The concept behind this chain restaurant is that you pick your sides from a main buffet in the middle of the room, the gaucho chef comes to your table with some meat which are cooked on skewers over open flames. The range of meats were pretty expensive from Sausages to Brisket and Chicken Hearts for the very brave amongst us. They just keep bringing you meat until you tell them to stop – the portions are quite small but there is about 12 different types to try so that is actually a plus point.
First off let me tell you about the sides which they describe on the website as a Gourmet Salad and Side bar – but is actually a selection of cheap salad items, sliced tomato, red onion and boiled dressed baby potatoes…you get the idea. They had quite nice roasted potatoes and a cold tomato and basil pasta which I think may have been made on site rather than come from a tub. Not especially impressive selection so it became apparent very quickly that people obviously come for the meat…and man there was a lot of meat.
We tried everything on the meat menu (well except the chicken heart..yucky!) my favourites were the Sausage which was delicious, the lamb and the gammon which were all tasted really good. My least favourites were the brisket which was almost impossible to chew it was so fatty and the Cap of Rump which I left because it was a really unpleasant taste – there was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn’t to my taste.
The larger problem I have with this place is not the food which was pleasant but not amazing, my problem was the price – it was £53 for 2 meals and 2 bottles of water. If the selection of sides had been of a better quality I wouldn’t of minded but the meat was really let down by the sides which to me made it feel a bit over priced.
The Verdict – good meat, bad sides and expensive. Probably wouldn’t go back.
On Sunday afternoon I went out in the hunt for a big lunch and ended up in McPhabbs on Sauchiehall Street – a bar which is regularly busy whenever I drive by and was on my radar to try.
We opted for a table inside to get out of the mid-day sun as there was no one else in the bar we had our pick of tables inside and out. The bar was nothing special to speak of a fairly traditional after work Glasgow boozer so it was pleasant enough, in the warm weather the big draw is surely the 2 beer gardens.
Food was selected and the wait began! We waited….and waited….and waited…we waited 30 minutes for a plate of nachos and a bowl of soup! Did I mention we were one of only two tables in the bar at the time? And even when it did arrive my nachos order was wrong.
The food was okay, slightly above brewers fair…probably on a par with a Frankie & Benny’s. The portions were big…the nachos in itself was a meal. The haggis burrito which I ordered for my main was absolutely massive and was pretty tasty although once I got about half way through I was bored with it and it became a struggle to chew through it. My side of Chilli & Salt chips were tasty but just tasted like salted chips.
Verdict – Would go again if I couldn’t get in anywhere else but from my house wouldn’t walk past Scaramouch on Elderslie Road to get to it.