We have almost reached the end of this gloomy month.
I never bother with Veganuary, Dry January, the digital detox, signing up for marathons, thinking about my pension, dieting, or any other New Years torture.
If I want to get to February without being a total Eeyore, I can live with my belly, which I call Ron, a little longer.
However, there are many who are ready for a virtuous challenge. This is the biggest year yet for those temporarily going vegan, with 600,000 signing up online for Veganuary 2022. I also know a lot of transient tee-totallers, who will presumably be hitting the abstinence bus next week.
If you’re one of them, and you don’t want to become a permanent herbivore either, a visit to Edinburgh’s new The Black Dog may be the proverbial carrot on the end of a stick. Except a meaty carrot. in a bread with French fries
I was sold, so I left my metaphorical black dog outside and tied him to the railing.
Established seven years ago and with a shop on Glasgow’s Woodlands Road, this burger joint is owned by founder Nick Watkins, along with business partners, Peter McKenna and Ivan Stein of The Gannet in Glasgow, who also have a presence further in Bonnie . & Wild, in the comfortable living area.
The menu at the younger El Perro Negro is a bit shorter than its West Coast sibling, though they do have the best hits there.
When it comes to drinks, scan the QR code, try to remember your password, and then order from the in-house bar, Hauf & Howff, for table delivery. I chose an excellent, sparkling pineapple sour (£9), with a shot of rum and a sprinkling of mummified nuts on top. This tasty cocktail surpassed the bulk of El Perro Negro’s Top Dog Burger (£12.50), which was a winner of the National Burger Awards in 2019 and 2021.
If he were human, he would be newly single actor Jason Momoa. This was beefy, smoky, and wild-tasting, thanks to the thick beef patty topped with mammalian-flavored bone marrow and roquefort butter, as well as crispy boards of well-cooked bacon, some gummy caramelized onion, and mayonnaise. of black truffle. It was served on a soft sesame bun, which dented where it had been gripped hard.
what a beast He deserves his awards. I’m sure it could even comfort Lisa Bonet.
At the other end of the scale, we also tried the tofu burger (£9.50), which included two thick fingers of nutty tofu, both with a crispy finch-coloured coating. These had a layer of iceberg lettuce underneath and were topped with an “Asian Pickled Cabbage Slaw,” which featured strings of carrot and cabbage, and there was some slightly spicy Korean mayonnaise and coriander leaves.
We also had togarashi chips (£4), thin ones that were drizzled with this chili sesame seasoning. We dipped them in a small pot of black truffle mayonnaise (£1.50), which clung to their potato bodies. There was also house pickles (£2), a small portion, with pickles and chilli, but with a big personality. Our eyeballs were sweating.
We could have pudding at the ice cream parlor, Joelato, which is right next to El Perro Negro. Since I’ve been there before, we take the escalator down to the ground floor of the neighborhood, where Bubbleology has sprung up. I’m like a 10 year old, I’m a fan of bubble tea, the drink that originated in Taiwan and contains tapioca pearls.
“But why?” said my other half. “It’s like the spawn of a frog.”
True, but there’s something satisfying about sucking on those jelly pearls through a straw, like reverse slam football. I queued with the other tweens, while my husband was far away, and went for a special tiger tea (£3.99), which is iced jasmine milk tea with brown sugar tapioca pearls. It is an excellent sugar delivery system.
When we left this place, which seems increasingly noisy, we went to pick up my black dog.
He had left. That’s a relief. I’m sure he’ll start following me again soon, but I’ll enjoy my break. It seems that pampering yourself with burgers is the best way to get rid of it this January.
Or if you’re a dry vegan, you can always look forward to your carnivorous carrot next month.
How much? Lunch for two, excluding drinks, £29.50
This is another great burger joint that’s a pickle’s throw from the St James Quarter, except this lot does it Canadian style. In addition to burgers, they make fried chicken, beef dip, Korean wings, shakes, breakfast pans, and poutine.
Our new favorite restaurant, you’ll have to get there early to get a table at Edinburgh’s sister to The Little Chartroom. Expect plates to share, with options including their cured halibut with orange kosho and the hash brown with smoked cod road, vadouvan and lime.
Bross Bagels, St. James Quarter, Little King Street, www.brossbagels.com
The newest branch of Bross Bagels is open, but not officially, as they are still trying out some specials before settling on a final menu. In the meantime, they’re serving up matzah ball soup, bagel dogs, some of their familiar bagels, like The Goy, and weekly specials like challah French toast.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.