Wow. It’s back to reality again after four blissful days holiday in recognition of Easter.
Although I am not religious, I always love this long weekend as for me it represents everything great about spring time in Scotland, and in particular is a time for my family and friends to gather, eat and be merry.
We have been extra lucky this year as the sun shone down on the central belt of Scotland all weekend, heralding candy floss coloured blossom to flourish, daffodils to beam and the smell of freshly cut grass to permeate the nostrils.
Not the best for hayfever sufferers mind you!!
This year, instead of booking ourselves up with Easter social engagements months in advance, we decided that our plan would be to have no plans.
Those who know me will understand how challenging a “no plans weekend” is for me, as inevitably my natural urge to say “yes” to as many people as possible always kicks in, leaving us haring around the country with very little time to chill out.
I suppose you could say that we achieved a modicum of success in achieving a chill out weekend.
Well, ok, we may not have pre-booked umpteen social catch ups, but we said “yes” to anything fun presenting itself to us when we got up each morning.
Counting on my fingers, I think we actually managed to eat out five times in four days between dotting around Glasgow and on various road trips taking in: (the stunning) South Queensferry; the (beautiful) seaside town of North Berwick; the (majestic scenery of the) Scottish Borders; and, our capital city itself: Edinburgh.
Needless to say, my jeans are feeling rather snug today. Oh yes!
All these awesome locations are within an hour and a half of Glasgow City, which makes it very addictive to collect as many land, sea and city scapes as possible whilst being Glasgow based.
There will no doubt be more on these day trips in future posts, but today I wanted to select and share with you just one high five on the eating out front from this greedy weekend of ours just incase any of you Glasgow based people find yourselves with a rumbling belly and nowhere to go anytime soon.
Searching, Looking for Lunch
I don’t know about you, but despite there being literally hundreds of places to eat in Glasgow, I often find myself at a loss as to where to suggest on the spur of the moment when wanting a great soup and sandwich type lunch with friends.
Well, I have now found it.
Nestled at the bottom of Byres Road, (just on Dumbarton Road beside Kelvinhall subway station) in the heart of Glasgow’s west end is the Siempre Bicycle Cafe.
This cafe is unique in that the building hosts both a bike&accessories shop and a large cafe (complete with handy takeout window).
The philosophy of the Siempre (or “forever” in Spanish) is simple: local sustainability and health:
“We source all our products locally and believe in regeneration in our community. Everything you buy from Siempre goes back into Partick, our neighborhood. We also source organic (where possible) to ensure your body gets as much healthy produce as possible. We also provide a cultural hotspot that encourages creativity and self-build and hopefully we can act as a focal point for the local people and community.”
In what felt like the first in a long time for me in a cafe, Siempre’s lunch menu really excited me.
The great news here is that healthy food most definitely doesn’t mean boring.
The sandwiches in particular are quirky in name, variety and design making the toughest part of the experience the choosing.
Other menu highlights include their sharing platters, which could be a good option if munching in a large group. I had on eye on the charcuterie but in the end it had to be a sandwich.
There is also good news for coeliacs, as there is a good variety of gluten free options listed.
After deciding we could have eaten pretty much all the sandwiches on the menu, we finally settled on two for swapsies.
I went for the “hot to trotter” (pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce and saurkraut) and he went for a “crayfish po’ boy” (crayfish, spicy creole mayo, shredded iceberg lettuce and tomato).
Both sandwiches came with a salad garnish and tasty side of homemade potato salad.
A side note
For those who aren’t familiar with po’boys, they are traditional submarine sandwiches from Louisiana, USA. We had basically become totally addicted to them when we were in New Orleans and so were slightly sceptical about how authentic a Glasgow po’boy would be.
After getting stuck in, we both agreed that this was by far the most authentic tasting po’boy we had come across outwith Louisiana, particularly because of the unique “blackened” taste of the crawfish. Yum!
The pulled pork sandwich was also very tasty and perfectly roasted. I was very pleased to see that Siempre subscribes to my preferred school of thought on pulled pork. That is to
say, that pulled pork and BBQ sauce is way better than those with apple sauce. Just my theory anyway!
Anyway, we bounded out of Siempre like happy wee Easter bunnies after this hearty pit stop, although at £17 for two (including soft drinks) it’s not the cheapest if say you were to decide that you needed a daily po’boy fix going forward.
Believe me, in my case this could well happen!
I would definitely recommend Siempre for a relaxed lunch experience with friends. It has ample high chairs and is fully wheelchair accessible with all the necessary WC facilities to cater for everyone.
Wait – there’s more
There is also a superb “secret garden” to the rear of the cafe for soaking up some rare sun and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome here.
My only regret is that we didn’t stop to bask in the sunshine for a while, but we had forgotten our sunscreen (Scottish skin n all)!
Anyway, enough about my weekend. How was yours?