Trying to find a table for lunch in Edinburgh on a day when Scotland are playing England in the Rugby Six Nations is never the the simplest of tasks.
And when the restaurant has the word ‘beers’ in its name, it’s a fucking miracle we got anywhere near the joint with countless thirsty rugby brutes roaming the streets.
But booking ahead proved smart and five of us – all rugby dudes and all rather fond of beer – were accommodated at Burgers & Beers on this gorgeous city’s Royal Mile.
The place doesn’t look like much from the outside, offering little clues to the culinary and bevvy-related delights on sale.
Once through the doors, a narrow bar area leads on to a corridor that opens into the wider restaurant. Plenty of wooden finishing is on display and it makes for a pretty sweet effect. Retro lightbulbs light the way and friendly staff are never too far away.
We all opted for a pint of the local Caledonian Three Hop lager, and a damn fine pint it is too. So good in fact, that we all stuck to it throughout the course of the meal.
For food, most of us went for burgers, with the Frying Scotsman a particular favourite. A haggis fritter makes this unlike any burger I’d ever seen and by all accounts, it was excellent.
I couldn’t resist sampling the chicken wings (I’m straight up obsessed with the fuckers) and went for Buffalo flavour. To my disappointment, there was no choice of blue cheese dip on the menu. It’s not the first time this has been the case at restaurants who offer wings, and I’ll be fucked if I can understand why. Chicken wings are a very American thing and I’ve never seen wings on offer in the States without blue cheese dip as an option.
But here’s where Burgers & Beers sets itself apart. When I mentioned to the waiter that I wasn’t sure about the wings due to the lack of blue cheese dip, she said “the chef can make some up for you.” That, motherfuckers, is service.
And God damn it, that dip was fantastic. The wings too were brilliant and I almost wished I’d ordered a bucket as a main course.
As it was, I opted to build my own burger and went for beef on a brioche bun with halloumi cheese, jalapenos and Monterey Jack cheese. As burgers go, this was right up there with the best.
My four beer, burger and rugby-loving pals (don’t dare call them fat) all seemed to be suitably impressed with the grub…and the beer flowed freely until we headed off for Murrayfield Stadium.
That was, of course, the scene of a one-sided Scotland victory. Could a Saturday afternoon be any more perfect than this?