I don’t know what the etiquette is for reviewing the place where you work as I have never encountered this issue before. If I have a great time and tell you all how wonderful it is, I run the risk of seeming quite disingenuous or sycophantic. If I had a terrible time and told you the warts and all story of my ordeal… I would probably get fired.
It’s a pretty Catch 22 situation I found myself in.
That being said, after a short deliberation with myself, I realised the inalienable truth about any and all blogs. I don’t have to write anything.
What I mean by that is, if I didn’t enjoy myself, I could save myself the trouble of writing this blog post. Thus saving my career prospects and work friendships and none of you would be any the wiser.
Now, obviously, I had a great time otherwise that bunch of words up there would have been pointless. But I just want you to know the careful consideration that goes into most, if not all, of my blog posts.
To set the scene…
I moved up to Edinburgh in early August. I bummed around for a bit, continuing my Digital Marketing work remotely and looking for something full time to fill the hours in between. I, eventually, found a job as a barman at Wahaca. That’s that bit out the way.
I hadn’t seen my mother, or most of my family for that matter, since the day that I left sunny Scunthorpe and I was jubilant when my mother suggested that she bring up the boys to stay for a couple of days over the half term period.
The boys hadn’t been to Edinburgh before and I don’t know if my mother had since she brought us when I was… a year? Maybe a couple of months old. Suffice it to say, that flying visit faded from my memory years ago.
They arrived on the Thursday evening and, because I was working during the daytime on Friday, Anna and I suggested a few places they could visit in the area until eventually arriving at Wahaca where I would treat them to some food (*cough* staff discount *cough*) and they could see where I work. We all agreed that this would be a wonderful idea and Anna even invited her mother, who had yet to meet mine.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The fabled “parent meets parent” was finally happening! I was unperturbed, they’re both lovely people and they have their love, respect and admiration for me in common so I’m sure they would get along swimmingly.
I finished my shift at 5pm and my mother had already arrived. So she got comfortable in the cocktail bar/waiting area while the boys challenged another set of brothers to a game of table football.
Our table wasn’t booked until 5:30 (I’m not kidding, the place has been so popular, even staff have to book ahead to avoid disappointment) so we sat down and I had a well earned beer while we waited for the arrival of the Lockharts.
With the group united, introductions made and hands shook, we were led to our table upstairs. I have to say, it was actually a great table. It was right in the window and at that time of night, there is still a little bit of sunlight to eke out of the day.
We all ordered drinks, got comfortable and let Alex guide us through the menu.
This is where it gets concerning about how biased my opinions are but just pretend I don’t work there and read on. Alex is a lovely server. She was friendly, polite and engaging.
When I have eaten or taken a drink in the places I’ve worked before, there is a real danger of being seen as the figurehead of the group. Whoever serves you refers to you as the de facto leader and decision maker. Alex spoke directly to everyone in my merry band of misfits. She actually ignored me mostly, which is fair… I’d probably do the same.
Anna and her mother ordered a bottle of the Trebbiano white wine and, stunningly, Anna enjoyed it! She normally hates white wine but this one passed the test.
We deliberated for a while about whether or not to order a big dish each or to just go nuts on the street food menu. As I said previously, I work there full time and they feed us every shift. I think I’ve eaten more burritos than I ever thought possible and I like to dream big. So I wanted to try a few of the street foods and my mother opted to do the same. Anna and her mother had the Mexican Style Steak, which I have obviously eaten before and I commended them on their fine choice.
With a little bit of umming and ahhing, we finally reached a consensus on what would be brought to the table.
I love the quesadillas. I don’t know what it is about them. They’re just so simply, cheesy and awesome. So I went with the chicken one
We have also had a few menu changes and one of my favourite things on it are the Mexican City style salmon sashimi. So I went with that. It’s incredible, cured salmon with avocado, lime, soy sauce, delicious crispy onions… I think I know what I’m getting on my next shift
Actually, here’s a picture of the whole table… It’s easier
As you can see, I also got the Smoky Chicken and Avocado Tostada, which is wonderful. The chicken is so tender and juicy with the crispy vegetables and crunchy taco base giving it a bit more bite.
We got the Sonora salad with chicken. Word to the wise, you can not handle this salad alone. It is quite massive. Get it as a sharing salad for the table. Seriously.
Here’s Anna’s delicious, meaty steak
We all thoroughly enjoyed the food. Aside from the quesadilla, I made the conscious decision to order from the gluten free menu so that Anna could enjoy some street foods too.
Then it came down to the desserts…
We had just eaten a lot of food. Just… so much food. We did have to think for a second about whether or not it would be wise for us to also order desserts. Then, Anna saw the cricket brownie. And the choice was made.
Before anyone starts making any noises of disgust about this brownie, I urge you to try it. You can barely hear the crickets while you eat it and I only got like… 3 legs stuck in my teeth.
I’m entirely joking. It’s made with cricket flour so there is no danger or an errant limb. Cricket flour is used in a number of dishes in Mexico and it seems as though the rest of the world is jumping on the trend. It’s packed full of protein, fibre and vitamins and is much better for you that normal flour.
As for the taste of this actual brownie? It’s a delicious, gluten free brownie (oh yeah, cricket flour is also gluten free). Full of chocolate, nuts and more with that wonderful crunchy outside and soft, slightly gooey inside. Served warm with a melted ball of vanilla ice cream on top, get over your reticence and give it a go.
We also ordered the churros because we were in a Mexican restaurant and we’re not amateurs.
Anna’s mother got the coconut coated plantain, which I have been dying to try since our training weeks. It was delectable. It had just the right amount of sweetness and the plantain did that wonderful thing that it and bananas do when they’re cooked whereby the outside goes all mushy while the inside stays firm.
Because I’m an old soul, I went in a different direction for my dessert.
I opted for the Centinela Anejo Tequila.
I can’t say enough good things about this tequila. But sitting there with a full stomach as the two halves of my family talked, laughed and shared desserts, slowly sipping away…
It was the perfect end to a perfect evening.