Guid mornin! How ye lads and lassies? My son has been studying other countries and cultures this year and he really enjoys the way the Scots talk. As part of his study on the British Isles, we wanted to take him out to have some authentic fish and chips. After searching out the top rated restaurants in St. Louis, we decided on the Scottish Arms.
This restaurant is located in an area called the Central West End in St. Louis. The building has a unique stone facade and the interior is mostly dark woods, mirrors and low lighting — pretty typical of your average pub. It’s a lovely place! (The only bad part about dark wood and low lighting is how it affects the quality of my pictures.)
The Scottish Arms menu had several interesting Scottish dishes we haven’t tried before. We decided on the Highland Gathering, Rarebit & Grilled Bread and the Fish & Chips. It’s common for us to order 2-3 dishes and then share everything so we all get to try more things. Honestly, it’s my favorite way to eat in a restaurant. I don’t want to be restricted to picking only one dish when there is so many delicious things to choose from!
Let’s talk first about the Highland Gathering appetizer plate. This had several Scottish delicacies, most notable the Haggis Fritters. I never in my life planned on trying Haggis but here we were about to tackle the demon. The big bonus of this appetizer platter was the various sauces served with it. There was a whiskey sauce to be used with the Haggis Fritters. I have to admit that I actually didn’t mind the taste. It was not as awful as I thought it would be based on hearing what goes into Haggis and the whiskey sauce pairing was superb. Here’s the thing…if you like chicken livers, these Haggis Fritters were spot on with a similar taste and texture. The rest of the platter was a treat as well. Our family are big fans of Scotch eggs and meat pies plus who doesn’t love some cheesy bread, but the surprise here was the apricot preserves that were served with the bread. Yummy!
Speaking of cheese and bread…we were next introduced to Rarebit. This British Isles dish is a cheddar ale dip usually served with toasted bread points. The dip is strong in taste because it contains a dark brown ale. For those of you who like dark beers, this is your appetizer. I enjoyed it in small quantities as I’m not a fan of beer and definitely not dark ale.
Hail to the infamous fish & chips known throughout all British colonies! The Scottish Arms serves one of the best in the St. Louis area and definitely the biggest portion I’ve seen. The fish is a North Atlantic haddock dipped in a brown ale batter and served alongside some pub worthy chips (french fries to us Americans). This dish was also served up with the traditional green peas. The fish was a flaky, tender texture that just melted in your mouth. Again, it was not my favorite batter because of the brown ale but that is a personal opinion. My husband absolutely loved this dish!
One little bonus of the Scottish Arms that I need to brag about is their coffee service. We were there on a cool day and my husband asked for a cup of coffee. Instead of getting a small cup of diner coffee that cost $2-3, they brought him an entire french press service. He enjoyed three cups of coffee for $5! We ended up asking our waitress about the type of coffee they use because he really liked the flavor. As it turns out, the restaurant uses a coffee called Park Blend roasted by Park Avenue Coffee in St. Louis. You can purchase this and many other great blends on their website: https://parkavenuecoffee.com.
All in all this was a great trip to the Highlands and if you’re in the St. Louis area, we would highly recommend the Scottish Arms for your next foodie adventure!