“ N.AMERICAN / BAR / RESTAURANT. Royal Mile, Edinburgh. „
Edinburgh is a very interesting city, especially the old town area which is steeped waist deep in history. That's the reason we were in Edinburgh and after we'd been on a rather long but fun tour of Mary King's Close and The Royal Mile we decided that we really needed to eat something before we embarked on our next tour. A short wander down The Royal Mile and we'd came to The Filling Station. Too tired and cold to really care too much where we ate, we bundled in ready to eat.
The Filling Station is situated just off The Royal Mile on the High Street section within a minutes walking distance from St Giles Cathedral. There are plenty busses servicing the local area and Waverley Train Station isn't more than five minutes away. Parking nearby might be a bit of a nightmare due to being in Old Town in a pedestrianised area but it's not too far to walk from the roads that allow traffic, especially if you get a taxi. If you need the address to help you find it, here it is:
235-241 High Street
You might want to contact them to book a table before arriving, though we walked in at about half five on a Saturday evening and managed to get a seat for 3 with no problem. If you'd prefer not to chance it, however, you can call them on 0131 226 2488 or email them on email@example.com.
===Who are they?===
The Filling Station is a chain restaurant owned by The Restaurant Group who also own other well known places like Frankie and Benny's and Garfunkel's (which is just across the road). This restaurant chain, much like the others, is a mix between American and Italian food. They all tend to be filled with memorabilia making the places look like they have a lovely history when in actual fact it's all just a story. The Filling station is packed with pictures and bits of bikes and cars while showing off the comfy and interesting décor of an American diner.
===Sitting down, way down===
The waitress came over to seat us straight away when we came in and showed us to a booth. The people behind us had draped their coats over our side and decided not to move them when they saw us being sat down. How nice. I got a bit of a shock as the springs on the seat I'd been given were completely past it so my backside fell much farther into the seat than it was supposed to. It wasn't incredibly uncomfortable, but it wasn't a great start.
Drinks were ordered though I did have to question the waitress as to how much the drinks were as spirits, rather bizarrely were the only thing on the menu that didn't have a price attached to them on the menu. As it turns out they were over £3 each before you added a mixer so drinks in here really weren't cheap if you wanted it to be stronger than a coke. Even then, it was around £2.50 for a soft drink which is just nuts. Other than the drinks, there were plenty of options on the menu so you'll probably find something everyone likes here. Pizzas, burgers, pasta and salads are the staples of the menu with a few other things kicking about on it.
===Revving the engines===
Rather than having a three course meal, we decided just to order everything with a couple of sides and tuck in, mostly because we were conscious of the time. We probably would have had enough time before we had to leave for the next tour but didn't want to chance it.
Allan and Sloan both ordered a pizza. Allan had a Double Pepperoni pizza for £9.99. The size wasn't printed anywhere (sneaky) but I would say it was either 10 or 12 inches. His pizza was quite simple but tasty looking and he really enjoyed it though did say it was maybe a little pricey for what he got. He got a side of chips for around £4 that were also polished off.
Sloan went for the Californian Classic Pizza for £10.45. This pizza came with goat's cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and red onions topped with mozzarella with a tomato and pesto base. I don't really like pizza and it sounds delicious. Again the size wasn't on the menu but it was the same as Allan's (whatever that was). It looked really tasty again and Sloan finished hers off with no complaint so it must have been good! She also ordered a side of onion rings which were around a fiver and also looked delicious. Again it was maybe a little pricey for the amount she got, but I have to remind myself that Edinburgh is generally (and needlessly) more expensive than other places.
===Trouble at the station===
For my order I went for Steak and Fries (£13.95) and a side of cheesy garlic bread (about a fiver). The side of cheesy garlic bread was delicious and a decent serving for the price too. The steak on the other hand was shocking. The first thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the size of the thing. More pointedly, the lack of size. I had just paid £13.95 for a 5oz steak. To put this into perspective, you can get 8oz steaks for the same price in plenty other places. I have had thicker slices of roast beef. Still, I was hungry and decided not to bother complaining. I cut it open to find that "medium rare" is impossible to do with a piece of steak less than half a centimetre thick. As much as I prefer my steak cooked properly (by which I mean to order) I can pretty much eat it any way it comes. Unless of course it tastes off. One bite of the wafer thin steak confirmed that it tasted terrible and said bite was promptly put back on the plate and the waitress subtly called over. She was nothing but apologetic and offered straight away to get another steak. I asked if I could order something else instead as I really didn't fancy trying more steak at that point. This wasn't a problem and she brought the menu back over for me to choose. Meanwhile I tucked into my cheesy garlic bread. A minute or so later the manager came over to apologise about the steak. It was good to know that the staff were reporting issues promptly!
===Trouble at the station: Take Two===
For my next attempt I decided to go with the Chicken, Bacon and Blue salad for £11.95. The price was bordering on expensive for a salad but it at least looked more appetising than the steak did. This salad came with slow roasted tomatoes, pancetta bacon and crumbled blue cheese sprinkled over a "seasoned chicken breast" and a lot of leaves (as you would expect). The cheese, bacon and tomatoes were lovely and the chicken was seasoned nicely. I was really enjoying it till about half way through when I cut into the thickest bit of the chicken to be met with a large area of pink meat. I put my cutlery down straight away and pushed my plate away. I was no longer hungry and felt really bad for having to complain again.
When the waitress came over to ask if everything was ok, I showed her the chicken and her face was completely shocked. She was again very apologetic and asked if I wanted anything else, I thanked her but told her I wasn't very hungry any more. We saw her show the plate to another member of staff who also looked horrified and not long after the manager came back over to apologise again. We asked for the bill at that point. A couple of minutes later the manager came back with the bill and to our surprise she had removed all of the food, including Allan and Sloan's pizzas and all the sides from the bill and asked only that we paid for the drinks We'd only had two alcoholic drinks and a soda water with lime so the total bill came to a grand total of £9 exactly. I can't say that it made me want to go back, but it certainly made us all feel a little better about my terrible luck with my order.
As with anywhere else, the toilets need to be up to scratch or they'll lose a star. I actually had to go into the toilets as soon as I had arrived due to a nose bleed, probably thanks to going from the cold into the warmth of the restaurant. I was disheartened that the cubicle I had to rush into was not very clean and the lock on it had been burst so the door didn't stay shut meaning I had to hold it while trying not to get blood everywhere. The loo roll provided was those horrid thin individual squares that are no use to anyone. In general the toilets weren't incredibly pleasant so I'll be taking a star off for that.
This is a tough one. I have to take a star off for the toilets and another for the broken seat. The staff were lovely and very apologetic about everything but I have to take a star off for each of the meals that had to be sent back. I will add a star back on for knocking all the food off of the bill. That leaves us with a rather dismal two stars which is a shame as the pizzas and garlic bread were all ok, if not a little overpriced and the staff were all very attentive. That being said, even if I didn't have the trouble with the food, I'd have knocked a star off for the price which would still mean a score of two stars. I'd only recommend this place if you're getting a pizza, otherwise I'd steer clear.
I took a party of 10 to 'the filling station'in inverness and i have to say that i would never go back , meals came to the tables wrong in no less than 6 times and when it came to the sweet courses they faired no better all in all between meals and drinks we spent in the region of £350 pounds NOT money well spent and needless to say that i would not be back or would i recommend it to any one not unless they had more money than sence .
This is a great place for lunch when exploring the Old Town side of Edinburgh. It's central, situated towards the top (castle) end of the Royal Mile - if you've spent the morning looking round the Castle, then headed on down the hill, you'll pretty much reach here just as you're starting to get peckish, and fancying a pint. When you first go in, you find youself in what seems to be a fairly standard pub, with several good beers on offer at the bar on your right, and a handful of tables and chairs. Having chosen your pint and sampled a mouthful or two, you move further in to reach the large eating area, which is decorated with lots of American gas station memorabilia. There are loads of black-and-white photos on the walls, as well as number plates, hub-caps and even a pump or two. This may sound a bit naff, but the effect is pretty impressive, and I must admit I quite like the double meaning in the name, ie gas station vs somewhere to feed your face! The menu is fairly extensive, tending mostly, but not exclusively, to the American Diner / Tex-Mex style. There are plenty of burgers to choose from, nice and meaty, which you can have plain, or with additions like bacon, chilli or blue cheese. They do a wicked Caesar salad, and the burritos are to die for. Really. You can also choose from several types of pasta, steaks and salads, plus a handful of more standard "English" pub-grub favourites. The desserts are mainly sundae types, with choices including chocolate brownie, marshmallow and strawberry meringue. They are all pretty big, with loads of extras (whipped cream, wafers, chocolate pieces, nuts - you name it) so they're great to share. Prices vary, but are all pretty reasonable for the weekend lunch-time purse - we're talking between £5 and £8 for a main course. The atmosphere in the place is relaxed and unhurried, and the staff are friendly without being too in-your-face. Once you've finished your
meal you can happily linger over the rest of your pint (or your second!) as you gather the strength to continue your exploration of the Royal Mile.
The Filling Station is a pub/restaurant/bar all rolled into one situated in the heart of Edinburgh. Welcome to all families and all ages, it caters for all of your needs whether it be a quiet drink, bar snack or evening meal. The menu has a wide variety of meals from speciality burgers to Italian Pizzas. No booking is needed although you can reserve tables if required. Personally though I've never had to wait more than 15 minutes due to the large amounts of tables available. The music played is up-to-date and suits me to a tee! An all round superb place to fill your tummy!