The Balgove Larder must be an absolute gold-mine for its owner.
When we went for lunch yesterday to their cafe, every table – and there are lots of them – was taken, with a long queue of hungry diners waiting to be seated the moment anyone left.
Add to that the Steak Barn and two shops that always have a constant bustle of people whenever I’ve stepped foot inside the place and you have one profitable business.
Anyway, this is the first time I’ve been to Balgove to eat, so I was hopeful that the level of busyness meant a good quality lunch.
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – The Venue
If you’re planning on a quiet, intimate meal, Balgove is not for you. Its large open plan cafe seeks to fit as many people in as possible, and thus the tables are closely packed together to the point where getting up to have a look at the specials board required a full on plan of action. But it was comfortable enough.
Sat in the corner, we were in a great spot for people watching, as we could see families having tense lunches with one another and dozens of blokes looking like they’d rather be anywhere else.
It also meant that we could hear all the conversations at the tables around us, including a father and son engage in what could only be described as awkward small talk about light aircraft and a couple of 20-
something girls having a deep-and-meaningful. Well…one of them was having the deep-and-meaningful anyway; she didn’t pause for breath and went on non-stop for well over an hour while her friend sat there looking like she wanted to smash her head off the table. It was like our own personal free-entertainment, and for me the highlight was the girl saying “If a guy buys me a bar of chocolate, he can do anything he likes to me. I’m his”. So there you go guys, for the price of a Dairy Milk, you’re in.
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – The Food
While Mhairi went for the Soup of the Day (Split Green Pea) served with a cheese scone, I opted for one of the meatloaf, which was a daily special.
Word on the soup was that it was tasty and filling, while the cheese scone was nice and soft but thankfully not dry. Having had a bit of the scone, I can concur with this assessment.
As for the meatloaf; I won’t pretend that I wasn’t initially disappointed. I had ordered it expecting a hot meal covered in gravy, but instead it was a cold terrine-like loaf served with bread, salad and coleslaw. While that was unwelcome news, it still turned out to be very nice and something I’d probably have again if given the choice.
And while both of us were full, there was still room for dessert, and this is where the Balgove Larder shone.
We ordered one hot brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream to share and yet the waitress – no doubt thinking that we were delightful customers standing out from a crowd of mopey faced gits – decided to give us one each at no extra cost.
I didn’t eat again for the rest of the day and was more than satisfied.
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – The Drink
Two Sprites. Bob’s your uncle.
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – The Vegetarian’s Viewpoint
There’s a decent selection of food available for vegetarians, although – much to my amusement – they have to walk through a butcher’s shop to get to the cafe and see all the lovely parts of the dead animals on
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – The Price
All in it came to roughly £20, so I have no complaints.
Stuart Reviews Restaurants: The Balgove Larder – Final Thoughts
While it might have been nice to have a bit more room around our table, that perhaps would have taken away from the entertainment value of eavesdropping on those around us.
So I’ll give Balgove a hearty thumbs up. Good food, good service and a nice shop to buy groceries from afterwards.
We’ll be back to try the Steak Barn soon.