Scotland & Food

After part one with the focus on the buildings I think we’re ready for the real meat of the trip. I know people want the food. I don’t blame you. The architecture is fantastic, I dream about it and wish I was surrounded by it at all time, but let’s face it; we want the food.

Well, I am here to serve! Unfortunately not actually serve you the food, but a picture is good enough, right?

Forgive my poor photography skills in these pictures. Either I wasn’t focused on what I was doing (I mean, food was right in front of me after all) or I made poor quality choices. Hopefully it won’t take away from the drool worthy experience!

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We’ll start with the place I became addicted to. I visited Dumpling Monkey about once a week. Sometimes more so. Of course, their dumplings were fantastic; made with fresh ingredients, sharp flavors, and a spicy side sauce.

IMG_0201As you can see, they are amazingly browned and you got a whole chunk of them for an amazing price.

Can you have too many dumplings? I’m thinking not.

Then there was the egg soup with seaweed and tofu. That is, without a doubt, my favorite  food on their menu. Pair it up with some slightly seasoned, doughy goodness (Baozi) and you have a pair made in heaven.

IMG_0198And my ultimate favorite. Probably the thing I miss the most because I have yet to find it again since returning home. The amazing, spectacular, and refreshing Mango Bobba Tea. Many days I wouldn’t even go in to get food–just a cup of this goodness.

My search continues for the Bobba Tea. I will keep you all posted on my heartfelt quest.

Now did anyone mention Indian cuisine? There was an Indian restaurant on almost every corner and every block. I bow my head and give thanks for that because it was fantastic.

Funny enough, it was this little walk-in site, Bon Appetit, that had some of the best. There was, what felt like, about seven feet of room between the entry and the counter and the rest was all kitchen. It felt almost diner-esque in the small waiting space but the smells and orders were pure Indian and Mediteranian focused. Though, as you can see by the menu, they have a lot (a WHOLE lot) of other types of options. Their wraps were tasty but I kept going back for the curry.

And the price! It was really cheap for the amount of food you got.

IMG_0174Of course, I may be a bit bias on the restaurant as a whole simply because they had the best Naan Bread I’ve ever had. it was soft, chewy, warm, with plenty of flavor that just filled up my belly and soul and make me so happy about life in general.

If you’re a bread fan or just a fan of carbs, you need to find some good Naan bread pronto.

IMG_0234Not to worry, despite only having it once, I did enjoy some good ol’ fish and chips. I’m just not a massive fried-food fan. After the first few bites, I just find I can only taste the breading and the grease and it doesn’t sit well with me.

Fries are their own food group, so they don’t count.

I will say, it was sometimes hard to find ketchup to enjoy these things with. You could tell  I was an American because I didn’t want the vinegar, I wanted the processed sweetness with my home cooked meal.

That little thing to the left is a mac & cheese pie. It was pretty good! A bit of a too heavy of a meal though, even I could admit that.

Want a quick break from the savory? No worries, I got you covered. Montgomerys was a delicious and sweet experience. Not three minutes from my dorm I had access to some of the best chocolate croissants ever. As you can see, I couldn’t even wait to take a picture before chomping down on the blasted thing.

But the muffins were scrumptious too. The blueberry muffin was about the size of a fist and overloaded with fresh berries. It had a bit of a crunch from a sugary, crumbly crust on top. Super moist and filling and one bite left you wanting more.

Coffee was pretty good too. But, I’ll be honest, I’m not a coffee girl. If I get anything close to a coffee drink it has a little bit of coffee in it and the rest is sugar.

Luckily, I wasn’t without something tasty in arms’ reach.

This is the hot-chocolate from Montgomerys and yes, that is indeed TWO roasted marshmallows skewered in it. With homemade whip-cream and chocolate dusted on the top.

What? you haven’t seen enough hot chocolate? Well, fear not! I have a good chunk left for you!

I guess I’m one of the people who judge places on their hot chocolate. If a place has it and I’m not in the money pit and/or it’s not boiling outside, I’m getting it. The more whip-cream the better, please.

IMG_0292I told you I liked my hot chocolate. I wouldn’t lie to you about that. (Note to self: make hot chocolate documentary cause yum.)

Don’t worry, there is still plenty of sweets left. Hard to stop once you get started on them. As you can see, I wasn’t lying about the muffin as big as a fist. That thing was so good that it almost felt like a cake at times.

Then the ice-cream. Whoo-boy. I’ll tell you that I get this from my dad, but if it’s cold and creamy the chances are high I’ll love it. Big Licks Ice Cream Parlour was just down the street from my dorm and was rich and delicious. You ever tried honeycomb ice-cream? Well, you need to. 

Back to the savory. You like Japanese? I know I do. I can eat sushi like it’s popcorn. And, like so many other things mentioned, I had a place to get some of the best just a few minutes from my dorm.

Cailins Sushi was another hotspot you could catch me at. Their bento boxes were amazing; you got rich curry, amazing sticky rice, fresh salad, and yummy sushi bits for about $11-12 (USD). It was always amazing and so filling. Then there was the sushi itself. I gotta say, I’ve been around sushi a bunch and if you can impress me with your California rolls, I’m probably putty in your hands.

But the most amazing and exciting experience from this place was the onigiri (rice balls). As a nerd and fellow intense lover of anime, I’d always wanted to try one. But where on earth do you find them? I didn’t know where so I had to suffer for ages without them. Until Cailins and now I’m hooked without anywhere to get them.

Salty, soft, and chewy–it was a minimalist party in my mouth each time I had it. Much like the Mango Bobba Tea, I sometimes came to the store just to get these rice balls. Worth it every time.

Now how about brunch?

It’s ok. I’m still jealous of myself too. My friend got herself a tuna melt with some hot soup and salad, something a little more tame and reasonable and probably a lot healthier, and I went in big time.

Once again, Montgomerys hit the mark perfectly with this Eggs-Benedict monster of a meal.

You know how you see something in your life that almost makes you want to weep. I won’t lie, I was gaping at this beauty for a good few minutes after was served. I’m a Southern gal. We get big portions that are good but not quite pretty or fancy. This was a game changer for me.

And yes, that bread is about, like, half an inch thick.

IMG_0393The Montgomerys’ Tuna Melt. I had to have it at least once. A little too heavy on the raw red onions but that is really my only complaint. Can you believe I’d never had one till this point? What an eye-opener.

Do yourself a favor. Find a way to buy or make a tuna melt. It’s delicious and makes so much sense in your mouth.

How about something a little different? This hidden gem was lost in a maze of alley-ways. If it wasn’t for my classmate and friend I would’ve never known about it.

Thai focus with some other Asian influenced cuisines in the mix. The lemon-grass seared tofu was to die for. I want to make it myself. That might inspire me for another post to try and make my own version because man was it good. The fried prawns and the pho soup were gorgeous as well.

This was a shared meal of appetizers and my first run in with risotto. Let me tell you, those chefs on Foodnetwork are not playing around when they talk about it. Creamy, pasty-like rice with cheese is a gift from the gods.

Baby garlic scallops bubbling in a skillet and some calamari just made the night even better.

And my final meal shared with friends. It was the night before I traveled back home for good so we all went out on a pasta-lovers night. Everything was beautiful and memorable and a wonderful ending to the time I had in Glasgow.

Besides a trip to Seattle I made years ago, I don’t believe i have had anything that stands out in concerns of food and atmosphere. Everything I had felt like love and time was poured into it and are not things I’ll soon forget.

Thinking of traveling yourself? Make sure you check out guides! (yes, I am a commercial):