Hello lovelies! Are you ready to talk food? It’s no secret here that I am in love with cooking and dining out, especially gastro pub food and relaxed dining. I am sure fine dining is lovely, but trust me when I say it’s not for me! Look, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I felt the anxiety of remembering my dining etiquette and being the only person people would trust to test the wine which is a whole other realm of anxiety. And that’s why gastro pubs and relaxed dining are for me.
But anyway, welcome to The Foodie Files!
The past few months have been a bit crazy for my family (well, Ben’s family… but it’s technically now my family too, so, y’know). From graduations through to and including holidays, there’s never been a dull moment, so that’s why a few weeks ago we decided to meet up at Café Source in Glasgow for a bite to eat, before heading out for a glass of wine elsewhere.
And when I mean a glass of wine elsewhere, I mean Helen and I got wine, whilst the boys watched the football.
Anyway, I digress, (and Helen had Gin, not wine) let’s talk about Café Source.
Set beneath the St Andrews church on the edge of Merchant City and the outskirts of Glasgow Green, it’s a blink and you miss it venue, which has been part of Glasgow’s restaurant scene for almost twenty years.
Café Source, Glasgow
It’s that kind of venue you’d expect to be dark and dank, given it is beneath a church, but instead is full of warm amber mood lights and mirrored fixtures to help create a calm and classic ambience, perfect for relaxed dining.
Café Source offers a selection of modern Scottish cuisine using fresh, Scottish produce, which I know can be confusing to most who aren’t familiar with more traditional fare. Think black pudding and haggis, gourmet sausages and chicken Balmoral, slow cooked beef joints and of course, the classic fish and chips.
All of which we had, of course!
We treated ourselves to two courses from the market menu, which was £19.95 each and included a glass of wine. Not bad! I’ve actually noticed this trend is everywhere in Glasgow now – a two course menu with a glass of wine for less than £20. It makes dining out a much more financially relaxed situation, because who wants to stress over the final bill?
Anyway, Ben loves haggis, and if it’s on the menu as a starter he will order it, and in this case it was in the form of Bon Bons (think deep fried haggis balls – yum!) with a delicious minted yoghurt sauce. Nat (Ben’s brother) enjoyed Salmon Millefeuille, Helen a Ham Hough croquette with black pudding soil, and myself? Well, I had the chicken liver parfait which was served with warm oatcakes and a homemade onion chutney.
I know it’s difficult to get chicken liver parfait wrong, but it’s also pretty difficult to get it so right. It was honestly the most enjoyable parfait I’ve had in a long time. Also, the fact they warmed the oatcakes? It’s little touches like that which turn a good dish, into a great dish.
The servings were huge despite being starters, but we all thoroughly enjoyed what we had ordered, and each sampled the other dishes because, well, why limit yourself to just one starter when you can share!
For our mains, we played it safe with the Beer Battered Fish and Chips, Braised Daube of Beef, Roast Vegetable Risotto, and for myself: Sausages! I wouldn’t normally order sausages when out for dinner, but I had a weird craving, and they were served with “Rumbledethumps” (potato hash with cabbage and spring onions) which made me curious as I’d never tried it before, let alone seen it on a menu! Oh and also the most delicious onion rings I’ve ever had!
The portions of the main dishes were huge and Ben, who typically finishes my meals for me when I’ve had enough, couldn’t even finish his own. Large, well-seasoned, perfectly cooked, and incredibly delicious.
As we ate and sipped our wine, we discussed visiting again, and when you’re not even finished dinner and already making plans to return, you know you’re onto something good!
The only downside to Café Source is the fact that it is quite far out of the way, and probably why I had never heard of it before. Its location, nestled between Merchant City and Glasgow Green, in what appears to be a residential area, tucked beneath a church, does keep it a bit “out of sight out of mind”. However, this does also lend to its charm and creates a relaxed environment, and definitely makes it a “find”.
That being said, they also have a venue in the West End and in St Andrews, and maybe these are a bit more accessible. In fact, next time Ben and I head out to St Andrews we may have to visit for dinner! We haven’t been to St Andrews this year yet, however I am secretly (ok, maybe not so secretly) making plans for a January adventure out east. Nothing is more beautiful that the seaside on a cold, blustery, winters day.
Wait, no, that’s St Andrew’s in the Square, not St Andrews, my bad. Ok, only two locations: Merchant City and the West End.
Back to Café Source: If you do find yourself looking for a new place to go for dinner, that’s affordable with deliciously large portion sizes of modern Scottish cuisine, if I were you, I’d definitely make my way to Café Source.