Thursday, January 31, 2008
Hangover express and the dreadful closure of a great greasy spoon...
Up with the...well, not the lark. Starling, maybe, or stray pigeon, as I was in the centre of Glasgow. In a hotel, I might add, not in a shop doorway. Thence to Queen Street Station for the train back to Aberdeen, having hotfooted it last night down to the Dear Green Place for urgent consultations with curry and beer providers.
Sibbo's Delhi Dhabba in Sauchiehall Street is a small, family-owned Indian restaurant, unfashionable, never busy, always great. Best nan bread I've ever tasted. I was still full this morning, so breakfast consisted only of a large mocha from Costa, with the optional three chocolate flakes. That and an Innocent smoothie for my, err...health.
Feeling not too bad, actually,despite much Kingfisher lager and a quick tour of three Argyle Street pubs (The 78, the Ben Nevis (which is just like being in a Visit Scotland advert, all bodhrans, fiddles and Gore-tex) and the new Lebowski's, which is a bit groovy for the likes of me but very nice nevertheless. The threatened weather apocalypse never materialised, either, though it's on its way. A snap of snow-dusted hills north of Stirling was the best I could manage.
However...imagine my horror on arriving in Aberdeen, where they're busy converting the old railway goods yard into (yawn) a shopping mall with added cinemas, that one of the really great cafes, the Baker's Pantry in the bus station, was closing at 2.00pm 'for demolition'. Heavens! This is (was) a classic industrial-strength greasy spoon, opening at 6.00am, staffed by a fleet of really abrasive women. It was the Morton family's breakfast joint of choice on getting off the ferry. Great scrambled egg. Very brown tea. No cappuccino. No chance of it reopening in the new bus station, which is part of the planned mall? A curt shake of the head from the lady serving me. With, it should be said, a huge portion of home-made stovies for...a pound. On closing day, everything was a pound.
A tragedy. doubtless there will be a cappuccino bar in the new retail development. But I bet there won't be stovies.