Rascals doesn’t look like a burger joint. Nor does it sound like one, its name more akin to that of a soft play centre. That’s OK though: it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
What’s on the inside of Rascals? All sorts of things, none of which could be described as being synonymous with a burger outlet. There’s faux laminate flooring, walls painted in shades of grey, some Ikea mirrors hung at a jaunty angle, mini TVs sunk into the wall at regular intervals (so you can watch BBC News while you watch BBC News), a fruit machine and one of those games machines that is just easy enough to make you think you’ve a chance of winning, but just hard enough to ensure you never do.
tl;dr Rascals looks like a Wetherspoons.
Rate my burger
Judging a restaurant by its decor is like judging a book by its cover: it’s wrong but it happens all the time. The pub-cum-diner is reminiscent of The Hanging Bat: a once-generic bar that’s been partially transformed into something more authentic. There are bare lightbulbs, an upholstered bar and the definition of ‘rascal’ engraved on one wall. Plus we have all the other junk listed above.
If you’re wondering why Ed Uncovered only seems to review burger joints, by the way, it’s less to do with my love of beef patties and more to do with being a skint writer. I should be reviewing fine dining establishments, but I’ll settle for a £5 burger once a month. After all, it’s not like I have a choice.
Meat and stuff
I’d heard good things about Rascals – things involving epic burgers and sumptuous fillings. With names such as Mexican Mouth Melter, Heat Wave and The Belly Filler, the burgers sure sound like they mean business. I eschewed them for the humble beef burger, however, from the Feed Me For a Fiver lunch menu.
While Backstreet Boys sung ‘I Want It That Way’, I supped a pint of St Mungo and gazed out the window, the playlist as fresh as the decor. My starter of chicken goujons arrived and, while Miley wailed about wrecking balls, I dug in. The goujons turned out to be chickeny, crunchy and all the other things a man looks for in a fried starter. Son, I am impressed.
My beef burger (no capitals) came lanced with the obligatory skewer to prevent the contents from spilling errwhere. It was a superfluous gesture: this was a plain burger with no extra filling. I could have balanced it on my head and pogoed across North Bridge without it toppling.
To the tune of We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, I got to work. Ever since discovering the goat version of the song, I’ve had a soft spot for Taylor Swift, so could have no complaints.
Tasting notes? The burger and brioche were spot on, as was the jalapeno and pepper relish. The chips, alas, were crap. Well, not crap: they were just chips. In an era of hand-cut, chunky, sea-salted artisan chips, these babies just didn’t cut it. As the accompaniment to my £5 burger, they were reasonable enough, but if you were to fork out £15.95 for the King of Burgers (triple burger, cheese, two slices of bacon and chilli) you’d still receive the same chips. Son, I am disappoint.
You know that thing you do after your meal, lazily picking at the chips left on the plate? Yeah, I didn’t do that.
In January, I’m writing a feature on Edinburgh’s top five burger places. Fix your chips and hook a brutha up, guys, and I’ll return to sample one of your capitalised burgers. If you like, I’ll even bring my iPod.