Saturday, September 10, 2016

UK Food #4: Edinburgh (Theatre Royal Pub, Fiddler's Arms, and YHA Edinburgh)

During my trip to the United Kingdom, I took a train to Scotland and stayed overnight in Edinburgh. My train arrived around noon. I found out I couldn't check into where I was staying until 2:00, so I decided to have lunch at the Theatre Royal Pub on the next block until I could drop off my bags.

Theatre Royal Pub:

As the name implies, they were next to Edinburgh's big theater. Unlike the pubs I visited in London where you ordered your food at the bar and then claimed a table, the Theatre Royal Pub was full service from start to finish. Just to confuse American tourists with variations of pub culture in different parts of the UK.

I ordered one of their daily specials, which was the Pork & Bacon Pie. I really liked pies like this after having a few of them in London so I couldn't resist ordering another. It was served over mashed potatoes in a gravy sauce.
This was the most boring of all the pies I tried in the UK. This was filled with not much else besides ground pork and bacon. It was almost a meatloaf wrapped in a pie crust. Still pretty tasty.

Fiddler's Arms:

I decided I needed to try haggis while in Scotland. This happened at another pub called Fiddler's Arms.
I knew exactly what I was going to order when I walked in. I had the Traditional Scottish Haggis, Neeps, & Tatties. The menu described this as haggis, mashed potatoes and turnips, drizzled in a homemade whisky cream sauce. My expectations weren't high for ordering offal meats in a bar, but what I was served far exceeded those expectations. The whole dish was constructed as a circular tower. There was a bottom layer of potatoes, topped with turnips, with the haggis above that, and then finally a sprinkling of greens at the top of the tower of food. The entire thing was drenched in the sauce which pooled at the bottom of the plate. Not only did it look good, but it was delicious too!
I did find it humorous how my server came over after I finished eating everything and started telling me what haggis is made from. Hurray for scaring the tourists with organ meats!

YHA Edinburgh:

I had breakfast at the hostel I was staying at the next morning. Unlike the other hostels I stayed at in the UK, this one was serving a hot breakfast. It came with a poached egg, beans, sausage, haggis, black pudding, a potato cake, roasted tomato, and a type of puffy bread. Plain haggis was interesting, reminding me of scrapple from the Pennsylvania area of the US. Of the plain meats, I did enjoy the black pudding. Blood sausage is always tasty!
I also bought a bottle of Irn Bru. I was told this was the national drink of Scotland and had to try it while I was there. It was soda...

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