This year, it seems that the explosion of pop-ups and street food has finally taken hold at the Edinburgh Festivals. Lock Up are open all month, Castello are popping up in the HMV Garden, on Princes Street, and Brew Lab have a chalet just near Bristo Square. And that’s just the coffee chaps.
George Square has been taken over by an extremely impressive array of stalls and food trucks, offering everything from pizza to banh mi, bunny chow to pad Thai, curries to hotdogs.
My first stop on what will be an August odyssey was at Scoop, which has pitched its “bullet” van in George Square gardens.
Their offering focusses on burgers, hot dogs and barbecued pork sandwiches. I was drawn in by talk of butternut squash, chickpeas, chipotle sauce, and smoked brie, which came together to form their veggie burger (£5).
Having placed my order with the excellently friendly counter man, I lingered nearby, while it was prepared.
Soon I was looking at a sesame seeded bun, packed with tempting items. In particular, the char on the squash looked outstanding.
The burger proved to be one of the single most enjoyable culinary experiences I’ve had in a very long time. Each element, from the crunchy lettuce leaves, to the wonderfully spiced vegetables, the suitably robust bun, and the gently smoky cheese, came together to form magnificent mouthfuls.
In Festival season, our usual scoring system seems a little inappropriate, so for all of these temporary visiting food nomads, we’ll use the classic Fringe show scoring scale of one to five stars.
Scoop has set the bar very high. They are, without question, the first five-star smash of my 2013 Festival. Their offering is “remarkable”, “unmissable”, “a triumph”, “the next big thing”, and every other Fringe cliche you could care to mention. Visit soon.
George Square Gardens, Edinburgh