Bite to eat at the Traverse Bar Café

The blog has always been a fan of the Traverse theatre, also referred to as “Scotland’s new writing theatre”. Rarely will you find anything other than a top notch production showing in either of their two performance rooms. The Traverse Bar Café, which is just down the steps from the ground floor level of the Traverse is a lovely space. There’s a long bar, lots of seating and an unfaltering pleasant atmosphere. The bar is equally accomodating to those of you waiting for a show, just out of a show or folk who have just popped in, for no reason in particular.

Interior of the Traverse Bar, Edinburgh Five bean muchos nachos at the Traverse bar, Edinburgh

The Traverse Bar must surely win the award for the worst bar staff during the 2010 Edinburgh Festival season. That said, there are no shortage of contenders. Unobservant and oblivious are the first two words that spring to mind. On two separate occasions, two separate bar staff completely ignored our presence at the bar. We’d waited patiently on both occasions. The first time we were ignored in favour of a guy who appeared beside us a long time after we started waiting. The second time a chef took pity on our plight and grabbed our drink, before prompting the bartender to ring it through the till. This poor service, which borders on being downright rude, is the sole reason why I won’t be enjoying drinks in the future at the Traverse Bar.

Anyhow, the selection of beers at the Traverse Bar is impressive and there will be something to suit all tastes. On the food side there’s a short “Refuel” menu which is ready in under 10 minutes and a “Relax” menu which takes over 10 minutes. My 5 bean chilli “muchos nachos” (£4.75) were from the Refuel menu. The quantity was huge and they were a struggle to finish. The nacho chips were obviously out of a packet and the 5 bean chilli was pleasant enough, but on the whole rather bland. Dips of sour cream and guacamole were welcome, although I prefer nachos when everything is stacked on top of each other. The carrot and lentil (£3.70) soup had found some flavour and was served with super fresh bread. Again, it was a huge portion but very enjoyable.

The Crombies vegetarian sausage and mash (£7.25) was proving very popular and looked appealing. Overall the Traverse is a nice bar with unremarkable but hugely convenient food. The staff in general are friendly, but the bar staff clearly need training (or replacing).

The Traverse Bar Café is located at 10 Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2ED.
Telephone: 0131 228 5383

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