Luck Be A Restaurant Tonight - Lucky 7's, Glasgow

Aah, Glasgow.  It's a city that seems to have hidden restaurants all over.  One minute, you feel like you've exhausted all of your options.  Next, you find yourself being introduced to somewhere you've never heard of smack bang in City Centre, right next to places you visit regularly.

Reunions are a glorious thing.  I could honestly say that I would be happy to meet up with my friends Luisa and Stevie in the middle of a stinking swamp, as long as I saw their lovely faces.  Lucky me (and luck being a theme here) that my friends love to eat as much as I do.

Dear old pal Luisa mentioned Lucky 7's to me when we were arranging to meet up.  A bar/restaurant on Bath Street (ground floor level, above Kushion), it has a central location and a very unique theme - the website describes itself as 'bohemian', which I'm inclined to agree with.

Lucky 7's in Glasgow
The decor inside reminded me of Casper (the friendly ghost) and his house.  The walls are deliberately covered in ripped wallpaper, the furniture is quirky: old fashioned tables with antique armchairs.  We were seated at a booth that was made of rough wood, matched with plump round cushions.  I absolutely loved the oddness of the place - we had half a table lamp fused to the wall of our booth.  Kind of like a reading lamp, if you were reading in Willy Wonka's office.  The large table that ran down the middle of the place was set up with Jenga, books on gardening and other random tidbits.  Our table water was served in an old fashioned carafe, whilst our napkins were akin to checked tea towels.  I really liked the eclectic style - the photographs don't do it justice!

The wallpaper & table

Our half table lamp
Table setting
The menu is literally a piece of paper.  I think the general ideal in this establishment is to provide a very homely and relaxed setting, whilst subsidising things such as bound menus and fancy matching cutlery to ensure that you can eat decent food for cheap.  It's a philosophy that I definitely back.  Once you realise that the restaurant doesn't take itself too seriously, and it isn't trying to sell itself as The Ritz, you will fall in love with it and embrace it's deliberate unkempt appearance with a love that only a foodie can have for a rare gem such as this.

After a deep and thorough investigation of the menu, I decided to start off with salt and pepper pork belly, with Stornoway black pudding and apple & ginger salad.  Stevie went for the special soup -potato and watercress soup - and Luisa asked for roasted roots (one of the sides) as a starter.

Roasted Roots

Even though it was meant to be a side (a fact I can't get over) Luisa really enjoyed her roasted carrot, parsnip and turnip ensemble finished with a modest side salad.  I can't really believe she chose vegetables as a side over the other mouth-watering offers on the menu (chicken liver pate, or grilled goats cheese with plum chutney) but she was happy so I had to lump it.  The waiter who served us was happy for the ridiculous request and served these roots with conviction.

Potato and Watercress soup

Stevie was going to order pate for the first time EVER, however he got scared when it came to crunch time.  The soup was served piping hot, alongside a chunk of soft bread, slightly grilled for a crunchy crust.  The soup was bursting with flavours, and was the perfect savoury delight for a cold January night.  The massive piece of bread was devoured too, eaten like a true savage.  A word to the wise - break bits off, unlike my dear Steven who has Viking ancestry apparently, and ate it as one giant crouton...

Salt and Pepper Pork Belly, Stornoway Black Pudding, Apple and Ginger Salad

Well, well well.  This was absolutely delicious, including the apple and ginger salad that I really dreaded tasting.  The pork meat was tender and fell apart easily, whilst the seasoning was perfection.  The black pudding was slightly spicy, which was really complimented by the sweetness of the apple and ginger salad.  Drizzles of balsamic vinegar also added a strong sweetness that didn't overpower the meat or the accompaniment.  Finished with a leafy salad dressed with a chilli dressing, this was an amazing starter and had me pining for my main course.

Fish and Chips

Luisa swears by the fish and chips here, and her plate was cleared.  The fish batter was crispy and sizzling, whilst the meat was pure white and flaky inside.  Served with a side portion of mushy peas (which I was dared to eat, unaware that it was my arch nemesis) and a healthy dollop of tartar sauce, this classic was done beautifully.  The chips are all hand cut, so come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  I'm glad to say that each chip was cooked to perfection - there were no burnt or undercooked fugitives lurking, I'm glad to report.

Home-made Chargrilled Cheese and Bacon  Beef Burger with Chips

Sides of Black Pudding and Onion Rings

Stevie ordered a cheddar cheese and bacon burger, with a side of black pudding.  Honestly, this sounded like the greatest thing ever.  A massive seeded bun filled with a hunk of grilled pure minced beef, topped with  a generous slice of melted cheese and smoky bacon.  Again, the hand cut chips arrived in a separate bowl which were all cooked to the best quality.  I am desperate to try a cheese, bacon and black pudding burger!

Th onion rings were for me (as if you didn't know) and were delicious.  Not my favourite onion rings, if I'm honest, but they were still pretty good.  The downfall was that the onion crunched - I like crispy batter, and soft onion.  Not a critical flaw, but a personal affliction nonetheless!

Chargrilled Venison  Steak Sandwich on White Bloomer Bread with Balsamic Onions

This was delicious.  When I ordered it, they asked how I would like my venison (also known as Bambi) steak cooked, which was a great sign.  I always go for medium rare, as you will know by now!  The only thing is that it didn't arrive medium rare - it was well done.  This did make it tougher to eat, and I was a little disappointed.  It still tasted delicious, though!  The balsamic onions were sweet and potent, and only slightly overpowered the venison.  I do believe that this would have been due to the overcooking of the steak.  The bloomer bread was thick and soft, and it was really a delicious combination.  I would genuinely love to try this again, provided that the venison steak is cooked to order!  The chips were perfect (three outta three for chips!) and I was given a nice jar of mayonnaise to dip.  I really did enjoy my main, however I would have preferred loving it!

Chocolate Brownie with Raspberry Coulis, Fresh Raspberries and Vanilla Ice Cream

A Pot of Tea!

When Stevie and I were driving through to town, I got slightly hysterical at the fact I was craving a wee cuppa.  When they asked if we wanted dessert, all I could think about was tea.  Then, fate drew my wandering eyes to the brownie option.  Sold.

The brownie arrived warm and gooey inside, with a slight warmth and harder exterior.  Breaking the brownie down and watching the chocolate fudge slowly ooze out was almost erotic.  The fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis were really zesty and refreshing, and a welcomed interjection to the richness of the chocolate brownie.  The vanilla ice cream was cold and contrasted the heat of the chocolate, and also a welcome mellow sweetness.  Washed down with a self concocted cup of tea, it was truly awesome.

After our stomachs were well and truly packed, we asked our quirky waiter for the bill before we all settled into the comfy booth for a nap.  For three starters (well, two starters and a side) three mains, two sides orders, three desserts, three teas, and numerous juices, our grand total was just over £60.  An absolute bargain for the food and the company.

Lucky 7's is a great casual place to catch up, or to grab a decently priced bite to eat.  You almost feel like you are sitting in Willy Wonka's living room, and God knows in Glasgow there are plenty of short, orange skinned teenagers to make you believe it were so...

Contact Details:

Lucky 7's
166 Bath Street
G2 4TB

Tel: 0141 331 6227


Wheelchair access: No

One That Stands Out from the Herd - The Stag Hotel, Lochgilphead

When life gets me down, I know that I need to extract myself from the situation.  Feeling rather claustrophobic with work, decorating, boy trouble and talks of 'my future', I decided to grab a close friend and drive away into the horizon.

Of course, there's only one place that truly calms my soul.  I headed out past Loch Lomond, through Inveraray and into the welcoming arms of Lochgilphead.  With our stomachs beginning to vie for our attention,  it was time to find somewhere good to eat. Originally we were going to visit where I had previously reviewed - the Grey Gull Inn at Ardrishaig- however it was closed, and not open until 5pm.  Keen, but too hungry to wait a half hour, we ventured back into Lochgilphead town centre in search for an open restaurant.

Not being in the mood for Indian cuisine at my favourite Taj Mahal, and my friend being on crutches, this made it more difficult to find somewhere to eat.  Do seaside towns close down for the Winter?!  Luckily, the Stag Hotel seemed to be lit up and drew us in.

The Stag Hotel

We were welcomed into the hotel as if we were family coming to visit.  The restaurant is basic, but very cosy and it was lovely and warm.  We were obviously in well before they offered food (their menu states dinner begins at 6pm) however they were accommodating, and even put on some music in the background to make the restaurant seem that little bit less vacant.

The dinner menu is basic, but they offer something for everyone - filled potato skins, soup, steak pie and the like - and it was very decent prices too.  They did have a specials menu, however we didn't get to see it.  I wasn't disappointed by this, as I was already happy with what I had read.

On to the scran, then! Both Jen and myself decided to start with the prawn cocktail.  For my main I had haddock and chips, and Jen went for the lasagne.

Prawn cocktail

The prawn cocktail was amazing.  A fresh, crispy salad made up of shredded lettuce, halved cucumber, sliced red and green peppers, stripped red onion and quartered tomatoes created a bed for the plump and juicy prawns; The Marie-rose sauce was creamy, packed with flavour and incredibly mouth watering.  The sliced bread was soft, lightly buttered and was a great accompaniment for the salad and the prawns.  Drizzling the fresh lemon juice over the top added a citrus tang to the whole dish, and it was truly a delight to eat.  For a two star establishment you can see that there was still some thought in the aesthetics too!

Haddock and chips with salad

I was so pleased with my choice when this was sat in front of me.  Fish is a tricky one to get right, and can end up soggy and a bit pathetic looking.  This haddock fillet was coated in a light, sweet and crispy batter, whilst the fish flaked away perfectly inside.  It was so fresh, I would believe if they had ran down to the sea quickly and caught the rascal after I had ordered.  You know that I'm not a great fan of chips, however THESE were proper chips!  Soft and fluffy inside, crispy and golden outside.  No strange fishy odour or taste (which is highly commendable, considering they were served with fish) and they weren't limp, soggy or cold.  Piping hot fish and chips = a happy Foxy.  From my last post at The Chophouse you will know that I am a coleslaw fan.  Extreme delight is an understatement when I eyed it on my plate!  It was really lovely and went well with my beautiful, and generous, portion of salad (same as above).  Again, aesthetic wise it wasn't presented as it would be in an upmarket restaurant, but I can assure you that the food itself was marvellous.

Lasagne with garlic bread and salad

I am a loyal fan of my father's lasagne, and therefore never order it anywhere.  This dish, however, would perhaps lure me to make the above statement false.  The lasagne was served piping hot in its own individual dish, with two slices of garlic bread, salad and coleslaw.  Jen isn't a fan of the old 'slaw, so it was donated to me (happy days!).  When asked for her descriptive words for the lasagne, I was provided with "meaty...cheesy...tomato-y" - clearly the enjoyment was too much for words, eh?  The smell was amazing, and it really looks the part too!  Lasagne is definitely a comfort food, and you could tell that this was quite a heavy dish - perfect for a Winter's evening!  Needless to say there were two empty plates when the waitress revisited us.

Absolutely full to the gunwales and ready to travel back to reality, we asked for our bill.  For three soft drinks, two starters and two main courses, we were just over £30 - £16 a head, which is pretty decent considering the portion size of each course, and the quality of the food itself.

The Stag Hotel is one that I would never have envisioned myself in, however I truly am glad that I paid them a visit.  The staff were very welcoming, friendly and efficient.  The general atmosphere is very casual, relaxed and homely, so I would recommend that you check it out if you're up that way!  Plus, they have a fully stocked bar next door, should you wish to get a little silly after your meal...just a thought...

Contact Details:

The Stag Hotel
47 Argyll Street
PA31 8NE

Tel: 01546 602496


Wheelchair Access: Yes