I remember visiting the Festival Tavern pub on Edinburgh’s Morrision St shortly before it closed. It had become a dated venue, where customer numbers had dwindled. When the end finally came few tears were shed. Fast forward a couple of years and the venue has been transformed by Lebowskis; a laid-back pub the Dude (from the Big Lebowski movie where Lebowskis gains its inspiration) would be happy to sink a few jars in. The Lebowskis brand began life in the Finnieston area of Glasgow, where it has attracted a strong following, or a mass of “urban achievers” as Lebowskis refers to them.
Today was the Edinburgh Blog’s first visit to Lebowskis. We’ve tried before, but it’s always been a struggle to find a free table; helped by the range of entertainment Lebowskis organises each night. Lebowskis also gets very noisy when busy, due to the low ceilings - so it’s not always an ideal pub for a quiet pint. With today a UK Bank holiday Lebowskis had understaffed the bar, believing it would not be busy - that wasn’t the case and the lone waitress was struggling to run the bar and dining area all by herself.
Lebowskis have proclaimed their burger as the BEST burger in Scotland. While I wouldn’t neccessarily agree with that, the Lebowski Burger is a very good burger and very good value. ¬£6.95 buys you the basic rump steak burger and Lebowski’s hand-cut chunky tats (more on these later). The burger can be customised with a choice of 6 cheeses (75p), extra meats like haggis or bacon (¬£1) and “bling” such as pineapple, salsa or a small bowl of the delicious smoked mayo I had (50p each). The burger was cooked to perfection and the meat (all locally sourced) was of exceptional quality. The stack of potato wedges were truly superb; so superb I’m tempted to head back and buy one or two of the ¬£2.95 bowls all to myself.
The steak pie (¬£7.95) didn’t hit the dizzying heights of the Lebowski burger - some stronger flavours and more tender meat would have improved it. However, we liked that inclusion of vegetables and potatoes in the pie itself and while not the star of the show, the steak pie deserves its billing on the menu. The gigantic bowls of West coast mussels (¬£6.95) - a struggle for the waitress to carry - were doing a roaring trade.
The truth is there’s very little on Lebowskis menu which I didn’t find appealing, including their great value “express lunch eats” menu and the ¬£20 sharing plates. Lebowskis is a great place to enjoy a night with friends, perhaps after a game of bowling… Lebowskis - “I like your style, Dude”.
A very good pub, servung quality bar meals and snacks at totally reasonable prices. Recommended if you can get a seat.
Lebowskis is located at 18 Morrison St, Edinburgh, EH3 8BJ
Telephone: 0131 466 1799