This spot on the Bridges has changed ownership many times in the last couple of years but I think Whistle Stop Barber Shop have got it right with their American comfort food and super cocktails. Plus it helps that they are whizz’s on social media sharing all their mouth watering dishes online via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Whistle Stop Barber Shop invited me to come in and try out their brand new menu. Gone are the Sharing Caring platters and the Sandwiches, replaced by Burgers and Hipster Hotdogs which take centre stage. You’ll still find pizzas and nachos on the menu along with side dishes too.
First things first, and most importantly we checked out the cocktail and drinks menu. It’s very bright and fun with a nod to the East Coast Gangsta! I left the choice of cocktail up to our waiter and he definitely delivered.
Here is Whistle Stop Barber Shops most popular cocktail, the Gin n Juice and I can tell you why. It’s a tall drink combining Beefeater Gin, Cointreau, Passoa Passionfruit liqueur, orange, grapefruit and lemon. It’s sweet at the start ending on a sour note promising some soor cheek-sucked-in facial expressions. The sweetness of the passionfruit and orange versus the tart sharp taste from the grapefruit and lemon. Well balanced and rather delicious.
For those partial to a beer, they do have the favourites on tap. Tennents being one of them.
Or opt for a very classic G&T with a nice big wedge of grapefruit, ice-cold and very refreshing.
Now onto the food after all this is what we came for. Before a send your tastebuds into drool mode, here is the loaded poutin with buffalo chicken and ranch. French fries smothered in ranch dressing with lots of cheese and shredded chicken. These fries are great. Everything you want in a good chip – crispy, fluffy and messy.
I honestly thought I was going to be disappointed with the onion rings as I like mine completely covered in batter. Alas these were scoffed along with the rest of meal. The batter was light, non-greasy and delivered a whole lot of crunch. Somehow they managed to get the exposed onion ring crunchy too whilst retaining its sweet softness. Totally contradictory I know but if you have some, you’ll know what I mean.
On this new menu you’ll find a whole section dedicated to Hipster Hotdogs.
The one that I would have ordered was The Wholly Guacamole Dog (pictured above). It’s a pork dog, jack cheese, guacamole, salsa and sriracha (for me minus the sriracha!) served on a toasted brioche finger. The Scotty Dog also made our tastebuds want to jump for joy; haggis, smoked bacon, whisky sauce and crispy shallots with a pork dog.
But alas it was the burgers that won us all over. I’ve been a few times and the burgers are the one thing I always come back to. I promise you I will be back to try a hotdog though.
So first off the block is the Skinny Minnie. Grilled chicken breast with avocado, sun touched tomato and low fat lemon mayo. This one was ordered without the avocado. It’s so nice to go somewhere where it is easy to pick and choose what you have on your burger. No questions asked and served with a smile. The chicken was perfectly cooked, well seasoned and the tomatoes were a lovely tasty topping.
Up next came The Angry Onion. A double patty with jack cheese, spicy onions, smoky bacon and bbq sauce. This one was ordered without the onions (an angry onion with no onions you ask but it was thought it might be too spicy) and avocado was requested instead! So perhaps it was the Angry Avocado! All in all absolutely delicious but the comment was ‘perhaps I should have ordered it with the onions!’ (I agree. There is a reason there was onions on it in the first place).
Now you can set your tastebuds to drool! This is the Rowdy Roddy Piper with double patty, smoky bacon, haggis, spring onion and whisky sauce. This has been a staple feature on their menus and there is no denying it, it is outstanding. The beef patties are soft and succulent. There is no mega meat denseness here. The beef is loosely formed into a patty and cooked which makes for a softer, tastier patty with great caramelisation on the outside. Add to that the peppery haggis, the cheese and the bacon. Burger heaven!
Lastly, as the menu is still fairly new their dessert menu is still being tweaked and finalised but we managed to taste one of the most amazing Key Lime Pies I’ve had in a very long, long time. If you LOVE anything and everything lemon or lime, then this is for you. It’s lime overload but along with the firm creaminess of the pie itself, the short biscuit base and the lightly whisked slightly sweet cream on top, this is a must have dessert. I guarantee you’ll return for this alone.
The service at the Whistle Stop Barber Shop is really really good. The staff are super friendly, knowledgeable and personable although slightly hipster (insert smiley emoji). There is a lovely vibe to this place and can I just say the choice in music was fabulous!
I love Whistle Stop Barber Shop and highly recommend that you try out their new menu.
Whistle Stop Barber Shop, 66 South Bridge, Edinburgh Tel : 0131 5560954 www.whistlestopedinburgh.co.uk
My Spoon Award : Gold 9/10