Having visited Holyrood 9a several times over the years, it has only been to sample their impressive range of beers and ales. But I have been hearing so many reports of excellent burgers I felt impelled to venture into the dining area for a change.
We settled down with a Thistly Cross cider (£4.20) and a Duvel (£5.20) to read the menu. There are no great surprises but it is clear a great deal of attention has gone into the detail.
Although tempted by the Tandoori chicken sticks on the starters (£4.95) we spotted a few hefty burgers walking past and thought better of it.
With sharing boards and a grill menu also available there is a lot of choice, but we were there for the burgers. We went for The Cheese (£8.25) and The Pioneer (£9.25).
For 50p more, we swapped string fries for piri piri fries on the Cheese (sweet potato and chunky chips also offered).
The burgers arrived on wooden boards encased in a toasted sour dough bun, topped with dill pickle, beef tomato and lettuce with coleslaw on the side. The Cheese did as it said on the tin. Topped with Swiss cheese, the beef burger, coming from Simon Howie, was excellent quality and happily juicy with a charred taste. The Piri Piri fries were slightly greasy and delicious.
The Pioneer, with sautéed rosemary, wild mushrooms, crispy bacon, Swiss cheese and garlic mayo, was a taste sensation. Personally, I would have preferred the bacon being left on the grill for a touch longer. A suitably satisfying burger, with skinny fries which we would both definitely choose again.
Permanently busy, the atmosphere is buzzing but the level of service didn’t slip. Great for good quality, comforting pub grub.