Last week I was invited by the lovely Lesley up to the Hard Rock Cafe in Edinburgh for a bite to eat. So I caught a train up today as my mum is on holiday to babysit. This is probably one of my most exciting invites I’ve had as a blogger. I have been a long time fan of the Hard Rock Cafe thanks to my dad. I’ve been lucky enough to visit not only the Edinburgh restaurant, but also the one in London, New York and Orlando. My dad is a massive rock music fan so he’s been taking us to eat here since my sister and I were very small. Of course I’ve been an adult now for a good few years so I haven’t been recently (my parents have been plenty though, swines!) In fact the last Hard Rock Cafe I visited was the one in Times Square, New York four years ago!
I have sat here for the last 30 minutes trying to summarise the history of the Hard Rock Cafe and it’s such a legacy that I’ve failed miserable and deleted my several attempts. If anyone is interested in finding out more, you can read about it here. However, I will tell you that the Hard Rock Cafe now boasts over 175 locations across the world and it’s not just kick ass restaurants that have the name of Hard Rock above the door, it’s hotels, casinos and live music venues. Now that’s got to mean something, right?
Before I bore you all with anymore text, here is what I thought of my most recent experience!
On arrival I was met by Lesley who set me up with a table and told me to pick whatever I want to eat and drink, take photos and if I felt like it, blog about it. I felt instantly relaxed and within seconds of sitting down my server was over introducing himself as David. He handed me the menu and even offered suggestions, making general chit chat with me which was really nice since I was on my own (not that I’m any stranger to dining alone, the occupational hazard of being single I’m afraid!)
I had a few moments to myself as I tried to decide what to have. The Hard Rock Cafe has a HUGE selection of cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails along with lagers, beers, spirits, wine and of course soft drinks. The best part though, if you’re willing to pay a little extra you can come away with a souvenir glass that has the Hard Rock Cafe logo and the city you’re in printed on it. When I was in New York with my ex we each came away with our glass as we wanted them as memorabilia. It’s such a nice idea if you’re on holiday but I also know of a few Hard Rock heads that go to as many Hard Rock Cafe’s as possible and collect a glass from each place. I am not one of those people, I sadly don’t travel enough! Anyway, since I was baby free, I went for my signature mojito, but to make it a bit more day time friendly I went for the raspberry flavour, fruit makes lunch time drinking okay, honest!
For my main meal it didn’t take as long to decide because I’d had a sneaky look at the menu online before heading up. I went for the BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich, I’ve been desperate to try something “pulled” after hours of watching Man V Food. David came back to take my order very promptly despite by this point the restaurant was starting to get busy for lunch.
While I was waiting for my order it gave me the opportunity to appreciate my surroundings. One of the reasons my dad loves the Hard Rock so much is because it’s like a Rock ‘n Roll museum. Each one has different memorabilia from different rock stars through the ages. Sorry for the bad photo but above you can just see the walls covered in glass cases filled with various items. I think it’s fantastic and I love having a read of the cards explaining what everything is. When in New York I remember how excited I was at being sat beside Ringo Starr’s drum kit!
Not only this, they also have screens scattered around that show music videos and clips from live performances.. I was super psyched when Fall Out Boy’s Dance Dance came on an a Green Day song. If you’ve ever played Guitar Hero you would of recognised everything that was played while I was visiting today. My dad would of been real proud of how often I caught myself singing along.
|BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich*|
The service was exceptionally fast. My drink arrived first shortly followed by my meal. As you can see that is one huge mojito and it’s in one of the glasses that are available to take home. It was delicious and because it was so much longer than a regular sized mojito it lasted right through my meal and afterwards.
I cannot find words to describe how good my pulled chicken sandwich was! The chicken was cooked perfectly, not at all dry and so tender. The barbeque sauce was that right amount of sweetness and although I thought the cabbage was weird first it tasted good with the bun, chicken and sauce. Usually I don’t enjoy chips like these, I prefer the thinner kind, however these were so crispy that they tasted like skinny fries. The beans and ‘slaw complimented it all perfectly. I normally struggle with portions this big but in the end all I left was about three or four chips. I just could not stop eating!
David was the perfect host, constantly checking back on me, getting me another napkin when it was apparent I was making a real mess (I recommend cutting the sandwich into halves or even quarters!) After I’d finished he offered me desserts and coffee but I wasn’t able to manage either. In fact all the staff were constantly smiling and singing, even dancing on occasion, it was clear they all loved their jobs. Lesley popped back to check on me before I left and she really is a credit to the company. So friendly.
On my way out I had a quick look in the shop which sells t-shirts, pins, hoodies among other things. I had intended on taking some photos but it was jam packed! I actually own quite a bit of merchandise from the Hard Rock Cafe including a couple of t-shirts (both in kiddy sizes), a wee teddy bear, a couple of pins and of course my glass.
As you can tell, my Hard Rock experience today was nothing but positive. I really hope my parents feel like braving Edinburgh with Little Miss and my nephew soon because I know my parents would choose to eat here and I cannot wait to go back!
Have you ever been to a Hard Rock Cafe, if so, which one?