Just behind the hustle and bustle of Clerk Street, St Leonard’s Street is actually pretty quiet but inside The Auld Hoose, which had only just opened for the day, death metal was blaring away. On a Sunday afternoon.
Drinks-wise there is a big focus on whisky, with at least 27 bottles, including Japanese and Bourbon choices. If you fancy a beer they have 3 cask ales pumps, with excellent choices of Titanic Plum Porter, Oakham Ales Citra and Stewart Brewing Radical Road Reverse (Radical Road at 4.6% instead of the usual 6.4%) on our visit. The draught beer selection includes Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropicana, West St Mungo and Brewdog Punk IPA so it’s veering towards ‘craft’.
If you’re feeling hungry then you’ve come to the right pub. They are famous for selling the biggest plate of nachos in Edinburgh. A whopping 6.2lbs (2.8kg) of nachos topped with cheese, kidney beans, jalapeños, sour cream and guacamole.
We decided that was too much of a task for just the two of us so we just ordered regular nachos, but this smaller portion was still a mighty challenge. At £13 they come with or without cheese and beef, so can be made meaty, vegetarian or vegan. We obviously had the works and wolfed this as best we could to a metal cover of The Police’s Message in a bottle! If we could have, we would have requested an S.O.S to save our stomachs!
But we didn’t stop there, being gluttons for macaroni we also ordered the Beer Mac ‘n’ cheese served with three slices of garlic bread. These are £8 but for an extra £1.25 you can add toppings of pulled pork, bacon or sun-dried tomatoes, we opted for the pulled pork, which made this another mountain of food that we struggled to finish! We don’t know what beer goes in the recipe, or if it made much difference to the overall taste but the macaroni was certainly gooey, cheesy and filling.
More massive plates of nachos came out to other tables and we watched as deflated couples gave up their half-eaten nachos like sacrifices to whatever Norse god the current metal band were screaming about. So try not to over order, as they don’t do doggy bags. The regular nachos is probably just enough food for 2 people on an empty stomach. Only take on the gigantic nachos If there is a group of you (4-6 people) or your name is Adam Richman.
As we were leaving, the music had mellowed out to Cake’s Race Car Ya-Yas. So we rode off into the distance to ‘The land were large fuzzy dice still hang proudly like testicles from rear-view mirrors’.
Food is served 12 noon – 9:30 Monday to Saturday, and from 12:30 – 9:30 on Sundays. They don’t take reservations but students get 10% off all food. Breakfast is available until 3pm, which includes a full traditional breakfast or vegetarian or vegan versions. For the less hungry breakfast rolls are available, again these can be meaty (bacon, egg & haggis), vegetarian (mushroom, egg & veggie haggis) or vegan (mushroom, fried tomato & veggie haggis *which is actually vegan*). After 3pm only nachos, burgers, hot dogs, burritos and the like are available.
The pub is dug-friendly but children are not allowed in at any time.
Both male and female toilets were clean with Scottish Fine Soap and Excel hand dryers in each, which is good when eating messy nachos. Music was a mix of 80s/90s rock and metal featuring Deftones, Tool and Mastodon.
- Absolutely massive portions
- Breakfast served until 3pm
- Veggie and vegan options
- Metal jukebox
- Good toilets
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