With Edinburgh firmly in the throes of festival reverie, it was rather nice to find a lovely, new place to visit, today. What’s more the place in question is right across from my office, so has a good chance of becoming a regular haunt.
From the folks behind Thistle Street’s excellent Bon Vivant comes Pep and Fodder, a smart, city centre café featuring a fresh menu of daily changing options. Having been open for just a few days, it’s still getting up to speed, but shows enough initial promise to indicate it will be a pleasing new addition to my local lunchtime options.
This stretch of shops has more traditionally been home to wedding shops, hairdressers, offices and the like, rather than eating places, so when I mentioned that I’d stopped for lunch there, the reaction from co-workers (even those that had spotted that the place was newly opened) was “that’s a café? I had no idea,” which isn’t exactly ideal. Word will get around, but some more obvious signage is definitely required.
Once inside, I was very impressed with the clean, modern stylings of the place. Clean white matches with light wood, and with arresting visual art bedecking the walls, the whole place feels smart and contemporary, yet welcoming.
The counter staff add to this welcome, with the chap in charge particularly keen to greet people as they wander in to his shiny new establishment.
For the second time with a newly opened café, following on from my experience in French Press, I was confronted with the prospect of no soup! Some teething troubles with the electrics were to blame, apparently. My horror was soon arrested, though, as they have plans in place to have soup on the menu, very soon.
So, I had to rely on a recommendation for what I sampled, and wasn’t altogether thrilled by the mention of a cous cous salad, but decided to go with it. Following its careful preparation, generous covering with a good looking basil dressing, then garnishing with rocket, I was rather more confident that this would be a tasty lunchtime treat.
Service was a touch slow, and I’m not convinced the staff members have quite worked out how the till operates, quite yet, but these are things that will be ironed out, in due course.
Once I’d returned to my office, the extra time taken to accurately prepare the salad paid excellent dividend. It was beautifully seasoned, packed with flavour and a complete riot of palette pleasing joy. With a nice range of beans and plentiful sun-blushed tomatoes, the salad was wonderfully united by the excellent basil dressing. I was entirely delighted with it.
So I was very pleased with Pep and Fodder. It certainly merits a return visit, once they’ve had a chance to bed-in a little more, and once they have their soup on the go. It has a nice array of cakes and pastries, too, so it may well be worthy of a visit from our Cake Questing friends soon, too. I’d heartily recommend you pop in, next time you find yourself at the east end of Princes Street.
Blythe scores Pep Fodder
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: cous cous salad
I drank: nowt
I wore: blue linen suit
Total bill: £4.50