Oh, Scotland. The land of deep-fried chocolate bars, deep-fried pizza, deep-fried haggis, not-deep-fried haggis and kilts. Scotland, while maybe not reputable for its cuisine, is notorious for having some of the most intense crowds in this neck of the woods. Crowds so loud and crazy and devoted, that they put other countries to shame.
I was thankful to still have my wife Ashley with me on this leg of the Trivium & In Flames tour - and extra thankful when she remembered a serious gem of Glasgow: The Butterfly And The Pig. We first stumbled upon this little oasis accidentally on The Black Crusade tour (Machine Head, Trivium, Dragonforce, Arch Enemy, Shadows Fall) and have essentially been bringing it up anytime anyone ever brings up Scotland.
We went back, 4 years later only to be greeted by the same exuberantly friendly server. We were then seated at the same table from those years past, then we ordered a round of Tennent's. The menu at The Butterfly is pretty hilariously written up; we order: "Cream of chicken, leek and spring onion soup de loop," "Cillia black is back in black in a pudding, with salad, apples, bacon. Contains black sudden, parmesan cheese and a wee friend quail eggs on top," "Haggis has stopped running circles round the hill and arrived here with his friends neeps and tatties fired in a whiskey cream sauce," and "Like mamma used to make beefy beef stew served with mash potatoes and a puff pastry hat." I - obviously have a tendency to over-indulge...
I say it every time I eat with friends who maybe haven't eaten with me much: I prefer to share. I want everyone to be able to experience as many tastes and textures as possible, the same eats that their cohorts are enjoying; my wife and I live by this with food with family and friends. So how was this feast?
The soup tasted like it's ingredients and nothing more, the exact way a soup like that ought to be. The salad was perfectly balanced: just enough vinegar in the dressing; just the right ratio of egg, cheese, ham and black pudding for me, and greens and healthy bits for my vegetable preferring spouse (a meat eater, but one who prefers vegetables to anything else edible (crazy right?)). That is what a salad should be. I had the Haggis last time here, and I was having it again - I assume "neaps" are Parsnips, the "tatties" obviously potatoes. The Haggis here is splendid. Meaty, stick-to-your-bones, fill-you-up goodness that someone way-back-when cleverly created when deciding to stuff different parts of an animal in other parts… then into it's own stomach. Sound brutal? I call it ingenious. The beef stew is something you'll see all around in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland - The Butterfly does this really nicely; in a massive portion at that. I found the description cute too.
If you haven't tried Scottish food before, or have heard horror stories of the dread Haggis - I suggest you go here. Here The Butterfly And The Pig. will show you how fantastically Scottish food can be done.