One of the joys of being back in Edinburgh is discovering wonderful new bars and restaurants outside the Glasgow bubble. As much as I love Glasgow and all it has to offer, I wish it had a Hanging Bat. My friend Ailsa introduced me to this place, selling it purely on the fact that it did craft beers and great food. Located on Lothian Road, the exterior is very nondescript and we took a few minutes to spot it. Once inside however, it was clear this place was quite special. There are about four different levels, a balcony area, two lower levels and the main bar area. Each part is full of leather sofas, brick walls and wooden tables and chairs. In certain areas of the bar were brewing and fermentation rooms behind a glass window for customers to peer into. It just looks good.
Sam was immediately mesmerized by the range of beer listed on the blackboard above the bar and quickly decided he wanted a flight. Most craft brewing places will offer this, a taster of 4-5 beers from the board for a set price. In this case, it was 5 beers for £11.95, each beer coming in thirds of a pint. Rather than give you all 5 beers at once like a lot of places do, you are given 5 bottle caps with the Hanging Bat logo, once you’ve finished your first beer, you come and get your second so that each one is freshly poured and cool. The first one Sam went for was a 12% triple IPA with a ‘mango finish’ called The Tickle Monster – weird, right? I’m not a big beer drinker myself but this one, despite its strength, was delicious and you could taste and smell that hint of mango.
Moving onto the food, we sat down at one of the lower levels with the menus. The extensive beer menu is followed by a drool inducing food menu, which you can take a look at here. One of the things that both Sam and I loved was the fact that all of the Meatloaf burgers were named after songs by the man himself. I ended up going for the Dog of the Day from the specials board, which was topped with pulled pork and cheese. We also ordered a side of smokey beans, a range of beans in a smokey tomato sauce with chorizo. You go to the bar to order and are given your table number which comes in the form of a glass bottle of water with a number on it, as well as lots of information about The Hanging Bat, like the fact that groups can come in and brew their own beer. Another little detail I just loved about the whole experience.
When my food arrived I was already in love with the school dinner theme. Brought to you on a metal tray, the hot dog in a little cardboard coffin and classic bottles of ketchup and mustard. The appearance for me was great. Our side, the beans, as you can see, came in a little white tub and were full of smokey flavour, although we only found two chunks of chorizo among the beans, which we were a little disappointed by. The hot dog itself was exactly how I wanted it to be: smokey, slightly sweet and perfectly matched with that mound of pulled pork and grated cheese.
Sam had gone for the meatloaf burger of the day, which was also topped with pulled pork. I had a taste and enjoyed it, but because the burger is actually meatloaf as opposed to a big, juicy burger, it is a little on the dry side for me, and I was glad I stuck to my delicious hot dog!
In one trip I fell in love with The Hanging Bat. The decor, the food, the staff, the drinks. It’s the exact kind of place that, even though I’m not a big beer drinker, I just love. This will certainly become a regular spot during my time in Edinburgh! Take a look at their full website here.