Sometimes, eating at a fancy place makes you feel all posh and well catered for, but more often than not, I prefer a decently priced (the less expensive the better!) meal without the ‘wow’ factor when it comes to presentation and more of a well cooked meal. That’s exactly what you get served every time at The Buffalo Grill. With friendly staff and comfortable homey decor, no matter the occasion you’re bound to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and, of course, the great food.
I used to pass by the restaurant at Chapel Street every time I went to the George Square campus of Edinburgh University, but never paid it much attention. It wasn’t until the OH suggested eating there last year for his birthday meal that I realised what a great little hidewaway restaurant it is. I’ve been there a couple of times now and every time the name of the restaurant is suggested, I jump at the opportunity to eat there again. The restaurant is one of quite a few tucked into the small row of cafes and restaurants just next to the Mosque. There are usually a few waiting staff there to serve, but the service is great and you can’t really fault them for taking their time even when it’s busy. We’ve always been promptly served.
As I said before, the decor is very homey, but it definitely has a Western theme to it. Every where you look, you’re surrounded by buffalo ornaments, Western and Native American photos and film posters. Although you’re not transported back in time to rub elbows with the likes of John Wayne or Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves, having a Native American chief’s face looking solemnly down at you while you’re eating your meal is a little disconcerting for me. Luckily, the photo was above the OH’s head and I didn’t need to look up too often.
The interior of The Buffalo Grill at Chapel Street, Edinburgh
For the price they charge for their food, we certainly had no complaints. When it comes to portion sizes, they don’t leave you short; instead you most likely will end up with more food than you can manage! But the food is so good, you can’t really say no to having all 3 courses! So we decided to share our starter: my one foodie vice, mushrooms.
Our shared starter: mushrooms with garlic and butter with some salad greens
Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m obsessed with mushrooms. I try and put it in everything and anything I can and I’ll more than likely order a dish with mushrooms if I’m eating out, as long as none of the other ingredients used disagree with me. I was expecting the usual battered mushrooms with garlic butter, but was pleasantly surprised when the dish came out. The garlic flavour isn’t overwhelming at all and compliments the salad greens nicely, otherwise the veg can taste a bit dry.
They’ve got various options for you to choose from for the main course, from burgers to chicken, or their signature dishes, steak. Sorry, nothing exotic on the menu though so don’t be expecting buffalo to appear on the menu!
The El Diablo beef burger with cheese, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños
Apologies in advanced, didn’t realise the cheese and all the toppings obscures the view of the actual beef patty! It looks as if the burger the OH ordered is just a plate of condiments!
The 8oz Delmonico centre cut rump steak served with chips and side salad
I’m nothing if not predictable when I really like a dish, I’ll more than likely go back to the same dish unless the menu’s been changed (as they often do in most restaurants here every few months or so) or I find a few dishes I can’t decide between and want to try them all. The Delmonico steak is truly a beef-eater’s heaven. It melts in your mouth and you can really taste the difference between a well cooked steak and one that’s too dry and stringy. My own personal method of truly appreciating steak (which might not be for everyone and I have to admit I don’t eat steak often) is by taste testing the fat or tendon: if it doesn’t taste fatty or slippery, and you can only taste the beef, that’s a well cooked one. My dish might look a bit plain since my steak doesn’t have any sauce, but I feel with this place a sauce just masks the true flavour of the steak. You can ask for additions to be added to it though for a small charge.
Ice cream (vanilla and chocolate for me, vanilla and peach yoghurt for the OH) with a waffle
We couldn’t really decide on our pudding, only because we had filled up so much from just the main course. Pudding is my favourite part of a meal and I feel it’s a shame when I have to miss on it, so we decided to go for ice cream instead. The scoops of chocolate were interesting in that it wasn’t your usual ball of brown, but seemed to have swirls of vanilla through it.
All I can say is that the staff are really attentive and serve great food that I’ve enjoyed every time I’ve been. I’ll be more than happy to go again and can definitely recommend this place to anyone who wants a truly great steak experience.
The Buffalo Grill can be found on Chapel Street in Old Town, opposite George Square, and on Raeburn Place in Stockbridge.
Have you visited either restaurant? How was your experience? What was your favourite dish?