How to eat like you're at the beach, without leaving the West End of Glasgow.

I'm a country girl at heart. As much as I love living in the city, and in spite of spending my formative years in Calgary, I know, ultimately, that I want to end up somewhere where I have a nice garden and maybe even no neighbours.
Don't get me wrong, right now you couldn't pay me to live anywhere but Glasgow. It's perfect, full of life, amazing people and endless things to do. It's my favourite city in Scotland, and it now truly feels like home. But sometimes everyone needs a break from the bustle of city life. However, my post today isn't a recommendation of a nice beach to go to or hill to climb, instead I'm posting an 'eat like you're at the seaside' blog, without having to leave the West End.

Pah, I hear you say, impossible. But with summer approaching 3 out of 7 days a week, blink and you'll miss the warm days. SO, if it's too short notice to get out of the city, or to the coast, this recipe for lunch destinations with that 'coastal feel' will fool your tastebuds into thinking you're in a seaside town.
It all started when I met my friend, and blogger extraordinaire, (check her out she's something special) Floraidh, for lunch. Dithering about where to go, we both decided on a place we frequent far to much. The chippy on Byres Road, Old Salty's. Many posts ago I wrote about a place called Charlie Rocks. Well, Old Salty's now takes up the Charlie Rocks unit. Run by the same small Glasgow-based group of restaurants, they were changed over not too long ago. Whilst I liked Charlie Rocks, I think the people who makes these decisions made a wise, wise move. I've been to Old Salty's more times than I care, or even remotely want to, remember. This is for a number of reasons -
Fish and chips is my favourite food (besides burgers) and they do a seriously mean fish and chips.
They have a five pound lunch deal, during the week, which is seriously good value for money, given the mammoth portion sizes.
The macaroni cheese, available on it's own on the lunch deal and also in their macaroni pies, is what I want my last meal on this earth to be.
The chips are exactly like they 'chippy' chips from your childhood, only way better.
You can take out the food, (way too tempting) or sit in the cute restaurant, the upstairs of which has a great, almost birds-eye view of Byres Road, great for people watching if you're dining alone (see Floraidh's latest blog).
It takes me around ten minutes to walk to it from my front door, although there is also one in Finnieston.
They have many, many delicious non-fish options for my non-fish eating boyfriend.

The macaroni cheese, on the £5 lunch deal. 
Because I have visited so often, I have tried the Haddock supper, the Hake supper, their macaroni, the macaroni pie and the steak pie. I know, I winced whilst I typed that. I've also had the ice-cream and jelly, and the chocolate brownie. Ahhhhh.
Nonetheless, they were all delicious and I couldn't recommend them enough. I'm pretty fussy when it comes to fish and chips, to the extent that heavy batter actually makes me physically ill. The batter at Old Salty's is always light, crisp and hot, you can tell it's been freshly made. I even tried some of Calum's deep fried haggis one time (I know, how stereotypical) and it was, despite all expectations,  light and fluffy. Whilst me and Flo were eating our Haddock suppers, we started reminiscing about the chip shop in Anstruther, one of the most picturesque seaside towns in Scotland, when it hit me. We could be on to something here. Taste-escapism.

Haddock Supper

For dessert, we continued the seaside theme and decided on ice-cream. Leaving Old Salty's, we went to Crolla's, an Italian ice-cream parlour that has been a Glaswegian institution for over 100 years. It's also on Byres Road, and I had never been before. Looking at the menu proved difficult enough, but that was before I even saw the ice-cream counter. Piled high in beautiful, colourful Napoli display trays, which make you feel like you're on holiday, they have flavours you couldn't imagine. From patriotic tablet and Irn Bru, to exotic Baileys, Turkish Delight and Coconut, it took me ten minutes to decide. I ended up with a rather unusual, but nonetheless delicious combination of apple pie and baileys. Two scoops served in a lovely glass sunday dish. Floraidh opted for tablet and chocolate. The menu also has elaborate sundays, waffles and a raw cookie dough dish that I will have to try the next time I go. As we sat downstairs (because it was raining, obviously) with the ice-cream ending our lovely fish and chips, it truly felt like if you threw in a couple of little boats and some freezing cold paddling we could be in lovely Anstruther, or any other picturesque seaside town. Hey, you could even head down to the pond in Kelvingrove Park and really complete the picture. I'm joking, please don't.

Apple Pie and Bailey's, from Crolla's

We were both left feeling happy, and so well rested and full that we actually needed naps. Lunch had provided the perfect mini-break, without having to pack beyond a handbag. So, next time it's beautiful weather and you want that 'stay cation' feeling, put on a summery outfit and go and sit outside Old Salty's, then wash it down with some traditional Glaswegian ice-cream from Crolla's, which you can take out if it's nice enough to go and sit in the park. The perfect faux holiday pairing.
Holiday sorted, and in under two hours.

Lindsay x


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