I have to admit that until recently, I had assumed the Bow Bar on Victoria Street had been around for a long, long time. I thought it was a Cafe Royal or Guildford Arms that had been delighting Edinburgh’s pub-going fraternity for generations. It came as a surprise then to find out that in its current guise, it has only existed since the early 1990s. This hasn’t affected my opinion of the place, it just made me go, “Oh, really?” Anyway, what is the Bow Bar like?
It was always going to be tough for The Other Place at Canonmills to impress me given that it was my first pub visit after a trip to New York where service and food had been exceptional. What’s more, given that they claim that their menu is American-inspired, I’d be testing them on an iconic NYC speciality – the hotdog. So did this relatively new boozer deliver a successful ale and sausage-based experience?
It was a Wednesday night and I was out with Mrs Bar Fly. The Boozy Cow. That was where we were headed, keen to try Edinburgh’s latest burger vendor, which has replaced Amicus Apple on Frederick Street. The first thing you notice is the bright red branding and the cow logo – I began to think The Boozy Cow was what happened when the Laughing Cow had one too many (too cheesy?). However, the Laughing Cow would do well to avoid here or her cheesemaking days would quickly be behind her as there’s no escaping the bloodlust for meat here.
What has happened to me? In recent weeks, I have twice had cocktails with male acquaintances. Surely it is too early for my mid-life crisis? Of course it is. By pure coincidence, circumstances have taken me to the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews and also to Monboddo on Edinburgh’s Bread Street. Both definitely more bar than pub but both very pleasant in their own special ways. Given that my focus here is Edinburgh, let’s talk about Monboddo, part of the Doubletree Hilton hotel.
A thought struck me as I sat in Usher’s on a recent Friday afternoon. I’ve not been to Khushi’s, one of Edinburgh’s most famous Indian restaurants, very often but I have been to it in a total of four different locations as it’s moved around the city. It suddenly made me realise I’ve been back in the capital for nearly 10 years now. One of its locations was in this very space on West Nicolson Street. I also remembered sitting in this place when it was Centraal and trying my first fruit beer in the mid-noughties. How time flies. Back to the present though – what of this place’s newest incarnation – Usher’s?