Ed’s Easy Diner

NOW CLOSED

19th June 2016 12noon

www.edseasydiner.com        www.fortkinnaird.com

I was very aware of Ed’s Easy Diner in Soho, London as I’d always wanted to try there but never had. Luckily for me, I was asked to try out the one at Fort Kinnaird. I’ll admit, I haven’t come out to the Fort that often as I live in the centre of the city. So since I last visited there is now a cinema, a Primark and a whole host of other new places. Ed’s sits centrally on the site so if you get a window seat as I did, you can sit and watch the world go by.

Ed’s is an American style diner, with booths, chequered flooring and a 50s Americana soundtrack (more about that in a moment). I was shown to a window booth and I got stuck into looking at the menu. Ed’s have launched a new additional menu with a Tabasco theme. I wasn’t brave enough to go whole hog on this but got the service bottles on the table to try later. The diner serves mainly burgers and hot dogs and you can order sides on top or to save a few pennies, order an Ed’s plate which consists of a burger, fries, onion rings and coleslaw, which is exactly what I did. I chose the Cheese or Cheese burger, with American cheese. You can upgrade your fries in a multitude of ways but I opted for the standard version. I also ordered a large Diet Coke which was good value as it’s refillable. There are shakes, including boozy and ‘skinny’ versions, on offer but I decided to try to leave room for dessert instead.

Jukebox - Ed's Easy Diner

Jukebox – Ed’s Easy Diner

Whilst I was waiting for the food to arrive (which really wasn’t too long at all), I spotted a mini jukebox on the table. For 20p you can pick a song from the likes of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Beach Boys, Bill Haley etc. Also the money goes to Action Against Hunger. What a fun idea! I also noticed a squeezy ketchup bottle rather than a glass one – bonus points!

So, the burger arrived and looked great. I was a little apprehensive about choosing the plate option as I thought it might be an over facing size but it wasn’t. The burger was meaty and generous. The salad on the burger seemed fresh and of good quality. The fries were somewhere between a string fry and a chip, so would probably please both camps. The onion rings were large and the batter was not too heavy. The coleslaw was quite creamy but served in a relatively small size which seemed just right. I tried some of the Tabasco chipotle version and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.

Apple Pie - Ed's Easy Diner

Apple Pie – Ed’s Easy Diner

I left a few of the fries in order to try to squeeze in a dessert. I toyed with the idea of one of the waffle s’mores but ended up going for apple pie with an additional scoop of ice cream. The pie slice was very generous and deep. It did include sultanas, which I loved but wasn’t on the description of the pie on the menu. There was a nice cinnamon tone through the pie and the pastry wasn’t dry. The ice cream tasted a bit like a Mr Whippy but in scoop form rather than soft serve.

Overall, Ed’s Easy Diner was a pleasant experience. The staff were friendly and helpful and the atmosphere was fun. The food left me happily full.

 

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall – 34/40 

Would I eat here again? Very much so.  

Cost – complimentary but the true cost of meal approximately £17.

Please note that whilst this was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Vanessa from Hummingbird Communications for arranging this visit. 

Frontier

19th December 2015 1pm

www.frontierestaurant.co.uk

Frontier lured me to their restaurant through the amazing photos of their food on Twitter. Situated just by Bruntsfield links, Frontier is a small, quirky restaurant serving American food. The menu was great, filled with things such as burgers, hot dogs, ribs, catfish and on weekends American pancakes. I already knew from the photos I was going to have a sundae for dessert so went for the vaguely lighter option of a hot dog over my usual choice of burger. I went for a Native New Yorker, which is quite a classic. My dining companion went for chargrilled baby back ribs.

Upon arrival of the food, we knew we were in for a hearty meal. The hotdog was big, topped with crispy onions, gherkins and drizzled in mustard. It was accompanied by rustic fries and coleslaw. I did wimp out and tackled the hotdog with a knife and fork. The dog was great and the crispy onions gave fantastic texture. I usually prefer string fries but these weren’t too bad as an alternative. The red coleslaw was crunchy and well balanced. Overall a good dish. On the other side of the table the baby back ribs were massive. A very generous portion indeed. These came with the same fries and coleslaw, corn on the cob, and some beans. My friend really enjoyed both the ribs and fries. The meat slid off the bone nicely and the glaze was tasty. She couldn’t manage the other sides too though sadly.

For dessert I opted for the funfair sundae. My friend couldn’t manage that and went for a Coke float instead. My sundae consisted of bubble gum, candy floss and salted popcorn ice cream. Inside that were bits of popcorn, jelly bean and marshmallows and the whole lot was topped with cream and raspberry sauce. This is great for those who are a big kid at heart, like me. Even the waiter said something similar. I loved every mouthful. It was quite a clever dessert as somehow it managed not to be sickly. Yum. The Coke float in the other side of the table was bringing back happy childhood memories.

We had a good time at Frontier. Service was a little slow but that was due to the restaurant being full and only one front of house staff, who was working very hard to keep things going. It was the last Saturday before Christmas after all. He did it all in good spirit which was great. I’d definitely go back. I need to try one of the burgers next.

Food – 8/10
Service – 7.5/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32.5/40

Cost £32 for 2 mains, 1 dessert, a Coke float and two diet cokes.

Frontier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dirty Dug – Mini Review

21st August 5pm

www.twitter.com/dirtydug_edi

Dirty Dug

Dirty Dug

Dirty Dug is a pop up situated on Frederick Street for the duration on August only. I recommend you get your skates on if you are partial to a hot dog. Or to cocktails. Or both. I had been invited to check out this place by the PR team and I was curious to see the set up. Whilst hot dogs and cocktails wouldn’t be the first pairing that springs to mind, this place seems to work. Entering the venue, you end up in a basement and somehow transported into an almost club like environment. The room is dark but a bright neon bar lights one end of the room. There are lots of candles scattered across the tables and even some sparkle encrusted skulls on the walls. Dance beats pump overhead. This place isn’t best if you want a quiet meal but is perfect for the purpose it was set up – the festival period. I visited relatively early in the day but I could see that this place would be busier in a few hours and really reach it’s intended audience.

Scottish Russian - Dirty Dug

Scottish Russian – Dirty Dug

I was greeted by a friendly staff member called Chris who was kind enough to go through the menu with me and make some suggestions based on a mixture of popular choices and his personal recommendations. The menu covers the expected hot dogs and cocktails but also has some sides and deals. Chris also mentioned that they did take away of a hot dog and drink for £6 – bargain! Firstly Chris suggested I try the Scottish Russian cocktail. I was a little dubious at first as the ingredients are vodka, tia maria, buckfast, milk and cream. However, I decided to trust his judgement and give it a go. As for the hot dog, Chris said there were quite a few popular hot dogs, include a mac ‘n’ cheese one but in the end I plumped for the BBQ pork dug.

BBQ Pork Dug - Dirty Dug

BBQ Pork Dug – Dirty Dug

Firstly the cocktail arrived. I tentatively gave it a sip and was pleasantly surprised. It actually tasted quite good and not what I was expecting at all. The cream didn’t make it too sickly and the buckfast didn’t make me go loopy. It was an easy cocktail to drink. It’s a good sign when you can get recommendations like this from the staff. The dug followed shortly after. This is one of the bonuses of this type of food; you are not waiting long. The pork on top was a generous portion and was incredibly moist. The barbeque sauce was tangy but didn’t drench the bread. The hot dog itself was much larger than I was expecting it to be and also managed to have great flavour. It wasn’t bland and you could taste the spicing in it. The bread was strong enough to handle the wait of the hot dog and pork combined but you do get cutlery should you need it.

The staff were friendly here and the food is good fast food. This place is great if you want a drink and something to line your stomach.

Cost – the meal was complementary but would be around £13.50

Please note that whilst this meal was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Brad for arranging.

Click to add a blog post for Dirty Dug on Zomato

Barnacles and Bones – mini review

7th Aug 2015 5.45pm

www.twitter.com/eatbnb

Newly opened in a police box at the back of John Lewis on Cathedral Lane, I have been desperate to try this place out. An unappetising half left lunch resulted in my being hungry on the way home from work, so I thought I’d stop off here to fill my chops. Not technically a restaurant, hence it being a mini review, I couldn’t not feature it on my blog (plus, the owner informed me that as you can drink on the streets in Edinburgh, it is classed as a BYOB and local wine sellers can offer some pairings for you).

Crab and chips - Barnacles and Bones

Crab and chips – Barnacles and Bones

Barnacles and Bones offers simple options of catch of the day crab or short rib beef. If you are lucky on weekends you might get to taste some special brunch offerings including scallop and black pudding. There are three ways of having these; with chips, in a roll or with a quinoa and rocket salad. You can also have it open or in a take away carton. I went for crab in homemade lemon mayo with the tarragon salt fries. This also came with a crunchy slaw. I got it in a take away carton as I was nipping straight home. My first impression when opening the box was there was tons for the money. The fries were well cooked and the seasoning was lovely (and I’m not usually a fan of tarragon so that’s saying something). The slaw was crunchy and you could kid yourself you were having a very healthy meal. It consisted of beautiful ribbons of carrot , sliced red cabbage, red onion and also some shredded lettuce. It was all topped off with a scattering of cress and a slice of lemon. The crab itself was gorgeous. Zesty and flaky but so easy to eat, with the homemade mayo giving my stomach a satisfying feeling. A couple of hours after eating it, I still had that happy post-eating smile on my face.

This is certainly worth stopping by for. In fact, purposefully go out of your way to eat there. It won’t disappoint.

Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere n/a
Value – 10/10

Overall – 28/30

Cost – £6 for the crab, chips and slaw

Click to add a blog post for Barnacles & Bones on Zomato

Pinto

NOW KNOWN AS BARBURRITO

1st August 2015 – 12.30pm

www.pintomexican.com/menus/shandwick-place/

Pinto

Pinto

I was invited to try out Pinto’s Shandwick Place branch this week. As my love for Mexican food knows no bounds, I scuttled along as soon as I could. When mentioning this to a friend, she said that she loved the Glasgow branch (actually one of two in Glasgow), so that filled me with optimism and rightly so. Pinto has a surprising amount of seating considering it’s relatively small shop front and there were already several customers chowing down on their food. There was also some seating outside should the weather be favourable(!). Mid-way through the restaurant is a serving counter where you order. I was greeted by helpful staff who took my order. I knew I had to try out the burrito. The member of staff serving me explained all the different fillings and options available to create my burrito, including three different salsas catering for an increasing level of heat. So I had a barbacoa beef burrito with rice, pinto beans, medium salsa, cheese, soured cream and lettuce. This was then wrapped up in the customary tin foil to create a delightful burrito parcel. I did ask for a diet coke but they had run out that morning. Whilst a little disappointing, there were masses of other options and it gave me an opportunity to try Coke Life (verdict – not as good as diet coke). To be honest, if I’d gone later in the day, I might have taken advantage of the margaritas on offer. Anyway, I took my food and drink and settled in one of the smaller tables by the window.

Burrito - Pinto

Burrito – Pinto

I unwrapped the top of the foil surrounding my burrito and took a hearty bite and then another and another. This burrito did not disappoint. The tortilla was beautifully soft and the meat was full of flavour. The pinto beans were not too hard or too mushy and gave a good amount of texture to the burrito. The salsa worked really well. The medium option had a lovely little kick without setting my mouth on fire. The soured cream and cheese complemented this, evening out any chance of the salsa becoming the overpowering element. The rice was also very well cooked. I was utterly full after this but in a good way.

The atmosphere isn’t stellar but I wouldn’t really expect anything more of a fast food type establishment. The Mexican music seemed a little awkward (and coincidentally was being drowned out somewhat by a bagpiper across the road). Anyway, I imagine Pinto has a larger demand for take away rather than sit in. This is borne out in the speed in which they are able to complete your order. It was nice to see that they do encourage for you to separate your rubbish for recycling. On the way out, the woman who had served me earlier mentioned their burrito buddy scheme and gave me some cards. Essentially with these, if you bring along a friend and buy one burrito and two drinks, you will get a second burrito free. I already liked place and intended to come back but this just sealed the deal.

Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 6.5/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32.5/40

Cost – complimentary but cost for a burrito and a soft drink just over £7

Please note that whilst this meal was complimentary, views expressed are my own. Thanks to Lizzy for arranging.

Click to add a blog post for Pinto on Zomato