A few years ago I remember having the absolute best steak and ale pie of my life at Clever Dicks, the pub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. To mark the start of 2007 I decided to venture back and see if memory matched reality.
Clever Dicks is a traditional Scottish/Royal Mile pub. It’s interior is cosy and makes a good venue for enjoying drinks with friends. A simple laminated A4 menu adorns each table and this continues the traditional theme with just three starters of soup of the day (¬£3.25), entree sized haggis neeps and tatties (¬£3.95) or nachos (¬£5.25). The main courses included my very own Dick’s Homemade Steak pie (¬£8.45), homemade chicken and vegetable pie (¬£7.95) which one of my dining companions enjoyed and the ‘Award Winning’ Haggis, Neeps and Tatties (¬£8.25). A steak sandwich, scampi with chips, breaded haddock and a few other traditional meals are also available.
To order a meal at Clever Dicks you just head to the bar and point out your table to the barman. Whle at the bar we also helped ourselves to a round of draught Grolsch lager. It wasn’t long before the food was served.
The steak pie had a very generous meat content that mixed well with the ample gravy/ale sauce. The puff pastry top was very good. However, the side servings of chips and salad weren’t as good as I remembered. A few crinkle cut chips sat by the pie dish along with some cold peas and carrots, with a little salad also. The chicken and vegetable pie of my fellow diner was very good, again lots of meat and excellent sauce; however the side servings again let the collective dish down. However there were no complaints about the haggis, neeps and tatties that provided a generous quantity of good quality and tasty homemade, traditional Scottish food.
All the staff were extremely friendly and whenever I have frequented Clever Dicks its always been a warm and welcoming atmosphere; with tourists and local Edinburgh folk mixing well.
So in conclusion: I haven’t tasted a better Steak & Ale pie in Edinburgh than that of Clever Dicks, although I don’t think this visit hit the heights of my last. It would be good to see a more substantial serving of accompanying chips, salad and vegetables. I also wasn’t too keen on the cold peas and carrots! Still, a very good traditional pub and a wise choice to stop for refreshment and food if on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Clever Dicks is located at 119 High St, Edinburgh. It’s location can be seen here on Google Maps.