Our Beer Man’s Verdict
A jaunt to the seaside at Portobello – on what felt like it might be the last warm day of the year – worked up a lunchtime appetite.
The sunshine had clearly lured many others to Edinburgh’s Riviera, as most establishments were pretty busy.
So I ended up in Popeye’s, which sits in a prime spot on the High Street. It’s a place I had passed on countless occasions, but had never ventured into until now.
It’s a fairly typical café set-up – counter and tables – and offers the usual breakfast rolls, baked potato and salad options as well as a few staples like fish and chips.
In a place like this, I would normally play it relatively safe and opt for a breakfast roll but I wanted something a little healthier so opted instead for the left-field option of a falafel salad.
After sitting for a while waiting in vain for my order to be taken – while the young members of staff engaged in some hi-jinks behind the counter – I eventually figured out that no table service was offered. So up I went and placed my order – minus chips, but with extra salad.
It arrived five minutes later looking pretty sad: salad with a scoop of coleslaw and a blob of hummus, with five unappetising looking disc-shaped falafel.
The undressed iceberg and the various other salady bits were fridge cold and tasteless, with the coleslaw seemingly the cheapest, nastiest supermarket option. As I cut into the falafel – which looked like something you might feed a budgie or hamster – they gently oozed fat. With a swipe of hummus, they at least tasted of hummus.
It was grim fayre, and poor value for £5.50 – although I did voluntarily pass on the chips, so I’m perhaps partially to blame.
And I suspect I was also culpable with my choice. Falafel salad is never going to be the signature dish for a place like this – although I’ve got every right to expect it to be significantly better than it was – and I would probably have been much safer with a breakfast roll or some soup.
But there are undoubtedly many far better options in Portobello, and I would advise you to take your custom there instead.
Address: Popeye’s, 134 Portobello High Street, Edinburgh EH15 1AH