Mac Duff's for Scottish Food!
South Lake Tahoe, California
Houston has almost every kind of food you could hope for. I'm making progress, with my goal of eating food from 50 different cultures, in 12 months.
But, I've searched the Houston area for Scottish food and found only a Scottish bar. Imagine my excitement when I spotted this cozy house along with a quite adorable truck in Lake Tahoe...that served Scottish food and drink!
A Cozy Lunch
24 hours after taking the above photo, Don and I headed over for lunch. Only it looked pretty different.
We had snow over night, so we figured this little place would be extra cozy for lunch.
When you first enter the doors you are greeted by large windows looking into the kitchen. There's a sign that sends you up the stairs, to the Pub/Restaurant, which was fine for me.
But I couldn't help but wonder about all that space downstairs. Maybe someone lives down there, too?
Lots of Plaid
It was noon, so there was no one at the bar, except owner Dan who was racing about getting beer and hot chocolate for some diners. (Too busy to get in a photo) You have to love the plaid stools in a Scottish pub.
I don't know a lot about Scottish plaid or tartan or whatever they call it. But I know there are many designs to choose from and they sure had a variety of plaid on the chairs in the dining area.
Dining in an Attic
This must be the upstairs to an old house, but it felt like an attic with the slanted ceilings.
There were some cozy seating nooks sectioned off by wood and brass. The windows looked out at snow covered pine trees, which was nice. The TVs I could have done without, but this is a pub and we are in the US.
The Dog Corner
From our booth I spotted this funny corner space and wondered what it was for. But then I noticed a big black dog coming up the back stairs and strolling through the dining room and into the corner.
Then I knew who owned the space! There was a bed and a giant bowl set for food and water. This doggy fit the look of the pub very well.
"What's your most Scottish food?"
Dan was handling all the tables, as well as a group of high school kids who had come in trying to sell yearbook ads. Dan was also trotting up and down the stairs with food and answering the phone. Dan is not exactly a fit youngster, so I'm not sure how he was handling this.
But his maturity also gave him a no nonsense approach to waiting on our table, so I figured he'd have a quick answer to my food question. "Shepherd's Pie, hands down. It's all homemade and you can't go wrong." Dan shook his head at Don's wimpy sandwich order and insisted he get the fish and chips. We both laughed at Dan's forcefulness...then gave in. And we were glad. I'm not usually a big fan of lamb, but the mixture of ground lamb, carrots, peas, brown gravy and cheese in a potato crust was a perfectly tangy treat for snowy day! Don's beer battered haddock with chips was excellent. Even the slaw with a hint of cilantro was a refreshing addition. We enjoyed leftovers a day later!
We chatted with Dan just a bit more before heading downstairs. We got a speedy history of the place. I wish we could have heard the Scottish accent of one of the other owners who is responsible for the Scottish recipes! That would have been a nice treat. I told Dan I was sorry to leave without saying good-bye to Bob, the sweet dog. Dan leaned into the stairwell and made a hissing sound with his teeth. It took a while, but Bob came up and posed on the reflective strips near a step. As soon as I clicked my photo he wandered off to his bed, before I could give him a thank you pat.
You have to love a dog and owner who don't go out of their way to put on show for the tourists. They were both happy to accommodate, but didn't bother themselves by going overboard!
We promised Dan we would come back for the very famous bread pudding!
11/7/2013 01:01:28 am
I go to the Red Lion every January 25 for Burns Night (except last year, since I was in England celebrating it for real) on Shepherd and Fairview. It's an english pub, but they do a kilt contest and all Scottish food for Burns Night. I had haggis for the first time there. Yeah, probably won't again.
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The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.