There are some dishes that just make you think of certain locations: spaghetti with Italy; coq au vin with France; hot dogs with the United States; and smorrebrod with Denmark.
But it seems that a relatively new bar diner in Edinburgh’s Leith is getting something of a reputation for dishing up excellent variations on the latter two.
Yes, that’s right, it’s all gone a bit Stateside and Scandinavian in Scotland’s capital.
However, it’s really not surprising this area has such a foreign feel as the port brings ships and their crews from all over the world.
A former working man’s pub probably frequented by a few of those sailors, in its new guise The Flying Dog is an attractive place to visit whether you want to eat, taste the selection of wines and continental beers on offer, or enjoy a Fairtrade coffee in understated surroundings.
Both the hot dogs and the tasty open sandwiches make a filling meal with a wide range of options. And the very accommodating owner is happy to tweak the fillings to suit all palates.
Add to each a dish of the signature chunky chips and beetroot coleslaw and you will have a meal that will definitely leave you totally sufficed ... at least until you are shown the delightful desserts on offer.
We decided to go for one hot dog and one sandwich to share and the signature Flying Dog sounded very appealing – and I can confirm, it tastes as good as it looks.
For those for whom hot dogs conjure up the image of a sausage in a bun, this is on a completely different gourmet level.
The rolls come from The Manna House Bakery which was named ‘Edinburgh’s best artisan bakery’ in 2013 and are light and fluffy. The ‘dog’ is made from 80 per cent quality pork, while the home-made chilli is just the right consistency to stay on the roll. Topped with melted cheese and jalapeno peppers for an added kick it was a fabulous treat.
We plumped for the oak smoked salmon and prawn sandwich which was served on soda bread with a garnish of salad leaves, tomato and cucumber and the homemade vinaigrette was another nice touch.
But despite my protestations of being full, the sight of New York cheesecake and Mississippi Mud Pie was too much and we settled for the latter – to share you understand.
Crunchy biscuit covered in an intense chocolate mousse with lashings of cream on the side was a fitting end to a lovely lunch.
Two minutes walk from the more established Leith Shore, this is in a street that has some notable eateries for neighbours but definitely holds its own.
The Flying Dog, 24 Henderson St, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6BS, 0131 467 7712