Update - yesterday the Edinburgh Blog visited the Filling Station restaurant on Edinburgh’s Rose St. It was dreadful. We were seated downstairs at one of the booths, where the temperature was unacceptably cold. However, worse was to come. It took 30 minutes and three prompts to various uninterested staff before we received our round of drinks. Our combo platter starter was served before the drinks, but we sent it straight back as everything on the plate had gone stone cold. It was over 40 minutes before we received anything edible and another 30 minutes elapsed after finishing the starter, before the mains arrived. Initially the waitress, who admitted it had been a long day for her, brought a pizza to our table, which we hadn’t ordered. The cutlery, tables, etc. were also not cleaned to a very high standard. The food was ok - but hardly the great menu the posters suggested; infact my corn on the cob tasted very strange. After this unbelievably poor showing the Edinburgh Blog won’t ever be visiting the Filling Station again. “Downhill fast” springs to mind.
Original Post - Last night I headed to The Filling Station, the bar and restaurant on Edinburgh’s Rose St, for an extremely, yet not surprisingly, filling meal. Note: This is the second Filling Station in Edinburgh, with this Rose St branch opening after The Filling Station restaurant on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. We hadn’t booked and arrived at The Filling Station just after 5pm. The upstairs bar area was fairly busy with many persons enjoying drinks, including The Filling Stations large range of cocktails. Some others were also enjoying food upstairs. However, we headed down to the basement level of The Filling Station which is their designated restaurant area. There were a few tables occupied, but our waitress had no problem finding us a large booth though the back. I like the setup of The Filling Station, it’s interior is themed with typical American props such as fuel pumps, registration plates and steering wheels. It’s menu and overall style is comparable to Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays, although I prefer the filling station. Their booths and tables are better laid out and the music, although playing, is not as intrusive as the Hard Rock Cafe - so you’re still able to hold a conversation without shouting! Our waitress was extremely friendly and attentive; making it, perhaps, the most pleasant service I have received in Edinburgh.
The menu is typical American diner fare. Starters include the usual suspects and mains such as pizza, steaks, scampi, chicken, their famously filling burgers, ribs and a few pasta dishes. We prompted for the combo starter (about Â£10 I think) between the three of us and I went for the Chicken and Ribs combo (Â£10.95). Although I was tempted by the surf ‘n’ turf (Sirloin steak and Scampi) dish (about Â£14 i think). One of our party had the scampi and chips for around Â£10. All mains come with a choice of fries, jacket potatoes or potato wedges.
The combo arrived quickly and offered substantial amounts of food. I thought it offered far better value than similar combo starters at the Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays. Potato skins with cheese and mushrooms, barbecued chicken wings, onion rings, nachos with dips, garlic bread, deep fried cheese with jalapenos and salad all made an appearance on the sizeable plate. Everything was very good indeed and this was an excellent starter to share - I think between 2/3 persons it’s excellent. I was grateful for the pint of Staropramen to wash my share down though.
The main course was delivered with a smile and this was another huge plate. A small serving of salad was dwarfed by the huge rack of barbecued ribs. These were very good indeed - lots of meat on them and smothered in a tasty BBQ sauce. Underneath the ribs were many barbecued chicken wings; not sure if I misread the menu or not, but I was expecting the chicken to be a whole piece and not individual wings. However they were so nice: there was no reason to complain. The fries were plentiful too and so were one my parties potato wedges. The food was really excellent quality for what it is.
After struggling through the ribs and chicken wings, I was absolutely full to bursting point: so mission accomplished for the Filling Station after just two courses. I was grateful for the moist wipes to rid my hands of the barbeque sauce that had covered them We finished out our drinks and despite a look at the wonderful choice of fudge/ice cream based deserts, there was no way any of us could manage one. So we paid the bill and left the excellent Filling Station.
It’s worth emphasising just how efficient and seemingly genuine happy the service was - you felt leaving a tip for the waitress was actually to reward service that added value to the meal, rather than tipping out of pure obligation. The Filling Stations decor and layout also scores highly as does the positive atmosphere the lighting/music creates. And finally, most importantly, the food fits the restaurants name perfectly, while still retaining quality. If there were an award for best in its category in Edinburgh (i.e. American diner food) I would place The Filling Station top - it also holds fairly decent value. Check it out.