In the grand scheme of weekends, there's really nothing I enjoy more than a bit of Sunday brunchin'. Especially when it means a bit of quality time with my better half! Pete just launched his new business Black Pine Coffee in Perth a month ago (within Badlands Barber) and this week they've just opened a new Glasgow store on Great Western Road too. So we've both been pretty busy, and until recently I didn't tend to venture west of the city as much as I should. I'll definitely be exploring it more now Pete's shop is over there. The west end is such a hustling and bustling part of Glasgow, with food and drink establishments certainly being the areas forte, especially in Finnieston (already home to some stellar eateries such as Ox and Finch, Porter & Rye, The Finneston, and Crabshakk) It looks like there's a new gal in town too, and she goes by the name of The Duchess Of Argyle.
Wearing a 'Pizza Is My Soulmate' t-shirt to a Mexican restaurant wasn't deliberate on my part, but I must admit when it comes to lunchin' and brunchin' and any sort of casual dining, Mexican food is never really at the top of my list. There are often a handful of other things I'd rather eat before Mexican (much to the horror of Pete because he LOVES it) My bestie Leah took us to El Local Loco while we were in Toronto, and I really did like it, so we were looking forward to a trip to the Duchess in the heart of Finnieston to see what all the fuss was about. First impressions of the outside and decor, you would never know this place was a purveyor of Mexican street food due to the victorian cocktail bar vibe. Upon closer inspection, there were a fair few pictures of famous scottish figures on the walls who's portraits had been injected with a bit of old fashioned cantina magic.
This Mexican party bar has been brought to us by makers of The Finnieston and Porter & Rye, who I already rate very highly, so we were already off to a good start! They are doggy friendly too, which is now a pretty important rating in my books because I love to be able to take Bronson out and about with us at the weekend. We were brought Tortilla Chips with homemade salsa to nibble on while we perused the menu, and Bronson was extremely impressed with his cup of doggy biscuits and ample amounts of space for him to relax and stretch out under the table.
The menu at The Duchess is a mixture of tacos and small plates, which was perfect for me as I like to try a little bit of everything rather than eating myself into oblivion with the one, massive course (buritto = food baby for days) Pete and I shared the spit roast apache chicken and crispy pork tacos (you get 2 for £6, so I was keen for us to mix and match!) The pork one was absolutely delicious, with the charred pineapple giving a kick of sweetness which compliments pork so well, however we both found the Chicken one to be rather under seasoned and sort of not tasting like... anything? Which was a shame. I'm not a fan of spicy food but I do like a whole explosion of flavour in my mouth and that taco just didn't do it for us. They have a range of fillings you can choose but chicken is pretty standard so I did hope it would be shit hot. Unfortunately it wasn't.
Onto bigger and better things however, the Tijuana street fries with roasted cumin, spice mix and home made guacamole were fantastic and a big enough portion for us both to share. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, the fries on their own would have been delicious enough so the added toppings really were a bonus! I didn't know quite what to expect when I ordered the smoked frijoles (cue surprised but polite face when a plate full of purple beans arrived at the table) but honestly, they were SO GOOD. Ignore the way they look, this was the taste explosion I was hoping for. Black beans with montery jack chedder cheese, corn shards and white onion throughout - these were like the best cheesy beans I've ever tasted. Now, a taco (or, okay... buritto!) filled with this stuff might just be what dreams are made of.
The Duchess of Argyle plays host to an extensive tequila menu, as you can imagine, with a Mango Margarita slushie being at the forefront of my brain after the sunny weekend we've been having in Glasgow. We were driving though, so no alcohol for us but we did end our meal with some Churros to share. They were extremely well cooked and very moreish, with a perfect hazelnut garapinada sauce on the side. I think they need to even up the portion for sharing though as me and Pete were fighting for the last one! Overall, a great location, genuinely friendly and attentive staff, and a very reasonably priced menu. I maybe wouldn't recommend The Duchess of Argyle for any hardcore mexican food fans out there, but it was perfect for a light lunch and would make a great place to go after work for drinks, a cosy atmosphere, and a shed load of plates great for sharing.