Haggis, chilli sauce and cheddar cheese as a combination - who knew?
Not even in my more inspirational moments in the kitchen would I have thought this one up but it’s on the menu at the Westfield Cafe, nestled nicely atop the Falkirk Stadium on the third floor.
If Carlsberg did cafes then this one would definitely be a contender I think.
I used to visit a lot of cafes in my previous life as a land surveyor’s assistant - a ‘chain boy’ as they were known in bygone eras as land measurements were taken with stretches of chain before digital theodolites were invented.
So when I think of a cafe it’s usually fondly of a greasy spoon with net curtains where a large, harassed-looking but boisterously cheery woman called Betty or Senga would take our orders.
It would also be square sausage rolls or chips, pie and beans that would be consumed in those days. A hearty diet for a healthy hard-working lad who walked at least 10km a day on the job.
But cafes, and their menus, have changed since the early 1990s when I was travelling to Scotland’s towns and cities measuring up their vacant land or buildings for new developments.
The Westfield is definitely more suited to my present, more refined cafe tastes. The decor is very modern, mostly purple with dark woods. It’s like a smart function suite.
The spacious room has a view on to the football pitch at one end where the salad bar is and a bird’s eye view of Falkirk at the other.
My colleague Chris, a carnivore from the Kingdom (he’s a Fifer), and I went for lunch and were both impressed with what’s on offer.
It’s very modern, comfortable and colourful. If it was in Edinburgh or Glasgow you’d be paying a fortune, but prices are very good, really good in fact. Much the same as you’d find in your average cafe, but with a bit of luxury.
It was a lentil and ham soup for starters for both of us and it went down a treat. It was thick and tasty and came in a decent sized bowl with warm, very slightly toasted bread which the butter melted into.
We both ordered paninis too, mine was gammon and cheese while Chris chose the haggis, cheese and chilli sauce one.
They come in two halves so we swapped a half each and after the first bite we both looked at each other and nodded our approval of the taste. They were also fresh and crisp.
Catering manager Allison Ross told us the filling used to be for baked potatoes, “but it didn’t really take off”, so they were put in the paninis. An inspired move.
Next up was caramel shortcake and a rocky road which were good quality and finished off the lunch well.
Whilst taking a peek over the pitch after lunch I thought Elvis’ team could do with some inspiration at the moment. They could well find it in here.