At Tollcross there is an excellent little café or restaurant or watchamacallit. Bistro, according to the door. It is rather unobtrusive, announcing its presence in the corner of a building opening onto a square with important bank people and some less well dressed ones looking for a pub. The only other indication is a (granted, very yellow) sign on the side of the wall (as seen to the left). I felt very clever when I first found it. Nobody had pointed it out to me. It looked like someone had tried to hide it. And I was hungry. I was fairly sure I was in heaven. Since then I have tried, every now and again, to bring other people in on the secret. But the secret resists revelation. Not only do people seem to have less than full confidence in my ability to pick a good lunch place, whenever I suggest to someone we go there for dinner they invariably stop serving food just as we enter.
When, after a fruitless trip to the Consulate, we agreed that lunch should be had before
going to the library for a tough bout of productivity, Tor laughed at me when I tried the ploy of suggesting that Tollcross was practically on the way and that this would be a good chance to sample the delights of this wondrous place. I know it sounds shocking, but Tor sometimes doesn't believe that all my ideas are good ones.
I batted my eyelashes, however, and a short trip up (or down, if you are crazy or Scottish or both) Lothian road later we reached our destination. Tor still had the expression that says "I am humouring Camilla for now; I am sure my reward will come in the afterlife or some such". He agreed that it looked rather nice and friendly. The art on the walls spans from dreadful to really rather brilliant, which can be good as a conversation starter and is always something you can return to when you are done discussing how absolutely mad and funny the mathematician Hardy was.
Their prices are average. You think. At first. When the lady comes over to take your order. Then you chat about the art and your plans for the day for a little while. And then you realise how utterly wrong you were. As they bring you enough food to feed a small nation.
We had landed on the quesadillas with chicken on our perusal of the menu. Strange as it may sound, I am also a great fan of their macaroni and cheese. There is also always a home made vegetarian soup to be had. But that is a story for another day. Today we had quesadillas. And if you now have images in your head of dry, rather boring over-spiced or greasy food, you couldn't be more wrong. There is nothing of the fast food horror in this creation. I am talking about a carefully composed melody of flavours, with a generous helping of fresh coriander that can only be described as a stroke of genius.
Tor was profusely sorry to have ever doubted me, lavishing praise on the establishment as I mocked him for his lack of faith all the way to the library.
In conclusion: when hungry in Edinburgh, Tollcross is rather a good bet. Here is Tor after having seen the light: