Simple and laid-back

The Ballencrieff pub in Bathgate
The Ballencrieff pub in Bathgate

A quick trip to the Ballencrief in Bathgate was a simple way to kill some time before catching a show with a friend.

The pub has recently been done up and the setting is quite plush, considering it’s an order at the bar type of affair.

The menu is very extensive and has lots of money saving deals and combo ideas to make your breakfast, lunch or dinner even more economical.

As a vegetarian, I was pleased to find a whole section dedicated to people just like me, and opted for a Quorn quarter pounder burger.

Now, you may not know much about Quorn but it’s quite unusual to see it on the menu in any restaurant, so it was a nice option to have.

We sat in a cosy and comfortable corner booth which had a good view of the street outside to allow plenty of people watching to take place and both of us commented on how lovely the new colour scheme was.

The interior has undergone a subtle transformation since the last time I paid a visit and with muted purples, browns and lots of different patterns and textures, it was easy to feel at home and relaxed.

It was also quiet enough to be able to catch up without being interrupted, which is something I like in a restaurant. Sometimes over enthusiastic service can be too much, not to mention loud customers which can occasionally be a problem in pubs but the atmosphere was just quiet enough without being painfully silent.

The meals arrived quickly and service was efficient meaning we could eat and still have time to spare before our show.

The burger was served in a bun with fresh salad and a pot of tangy burger relish with a side of chips. It was simple and tasty. Exactly what you’re looking for when you go for a quick pub dinner.

My friend went for a chicken, bacon and barbecue melt ciabatta which was served with spiral fries that were extremely moreish. It was just 50p to upgrade to spiral fries from chips, which I would suggest is worth it if you are after something a little bit extra.

There wasn’t quite enough time for dessert but the urge to try a cookie pizza to share was strong.

It’s a cookie base, served with chocolate brownie chunks, chewy marshmallow and toffee sauce, topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

I can only hope for the sake of my waistline that there isn’t enough time for dessert on my next visit to the Ballencrief.

In saying that, there is a low calorie section of the menu, which includes a Spanish style chicken and giant couscous salad.

There’s also a chicken skewer salad on offer and a rump steak and mushroom salad, all of which don’t sound as though you’d miss the lost calories.

Meaning there’s plenty of room left for that dessert at the end.