Stirling Eats: Ground House

I reckon I instagram a coffee-based beverage at least twice a week, and that’s just a law of averages based on the fact I drink at least 3/4 cups a day. That might sound excessive but I have a good old fashioned caffeine addiction and I simply don’t function in the morning without it (or the afternoon…)

My problem isn’t just that I need lots of it, it’s that it has to also be good. I’m a bit of a coffee snob. My name is Lauren and I hate instant coffee. Hi Lauren. Luckily for me, Stirling has a little haven of lovely, good quality coffee – The Ground House.

I’m still struggling to not call it Beanscene as that’s what it was all through my teenage years. I spent hours and hours in there having ‘girly chats’ with school friends or ‘dates’ with floppy haired boys. It hasn’t really changed at all, just scrubbed up a bit with lovelier staff and a cracking menu. Oh and I still go on dates there…

The whole place is decorated like you’re actually inside a cup of coffee, with the addition of some fairy lights and colourful chalk boards. I don’t have many photos of the rest of it because it’s always busy and I don’t want to take photos of people I don’t know…

Everything is pretty damn reasonable price wise, especially for how lovely the coffee is. Food wise, get a Ground House Dog – oh my god. A huge, very tasty hot dog in a bun with bacon, jalopenos, cheese and chilli….mmm. In Summer they have a great outside seating area on King St, I’ve spent many an afternoon baking in the sun with an iced latte.

Just a tip, don’t try and convince yourself you’ll manage one of their incredible cakes after that, go for one or the other – you’ll just let yourself down. They’re always fully stocked with the most ridiculously opulent brownies, home baking and tray bakes. You’ll never find a dry bit of millionaires shortbread though, everything I’ve tried has been really more-ish and tasty.

I realised whilst writing this, that I’ve dotted a few photos with my favourite iced latte (poured over ice, not blended, no syrup or sugar) but I’ve only one photo of an actual flat white. Ohhh their flat white. The best way to enjoy their smooth coffee – delivered roasting hot and straight to your table from a lovely, cheery staff member. Apologies that I’ve not got more photos of them. I suppose I’ll just have to get back in there and have more coffee, what an absolute shame…

Check them out on Facebook here or pop in next time you’re in town and dare to think of having a chain coffee!

Stirling Eats: Monterey Jack’s

Standard ‘here’s my face at the start of my blog’. As you may have noticed, I no longer live in Glasgow (and haven’t done so for nearly two years!) and I’m back in my hometown of Stirling. Blogging here is pretty difficult because there are no regular events, the newest place that’s popped up is a Spoons and the range of restaurants is very poor. I’ve managed to find the gems in amongst the pub chains and I’ll be sharing them on here over the next few weeks. I’ll probably have to move once I’ve reviewed them all, otherwise I’ll have no more restaurant content…

First up we have the ever-popular ‘Americana’ style burger bar, Monterey Jack’s. You couldn’t move in Glasgow for burger restaurants and this has spilled over into the Stirling bubble. Thank god though, I was sick of floury frozen buns and dry thick burgers from chains and pubs. MJ’s fit the bill perfectly here, they’re reasonably priced (this is a student town), their burgers are seriously tasty and the fact they deliver is a game changer for hangover days.

Situated in the old Stirling arcade, the owners have done a great job at adapting the oddly shaped long restaurant into a really cosy, well decorated venue. Comfy benches, eye-catching chalkboards galore, oh and the music will have you jiggling about in your seat. The menu is actually quite big choice-wise, but streamlined down to burgers, hot dogs, nachos, pizzas, tapas (american style) and salads.

There’s a great cocktail menu, although everything is very sweet so just a warning for those that prefer a drier hit. I imagine they’ll knock up whatever you fancy though, and of course everything comes in the oh so fashionable mason jars. At 2 for £8, they are definitely the cheapest and tastiest in Stirling.

I’ve been in a few times and I always go for a milkshake or a blueberry mojito, oh did I mention this was not a restaurant for days when you’re trying to be good?

The blueberry mojito is super sweet but so fizzy and tangy at the same time. The milkshakes are trial and error, above is the cookies n cream, but because they’re made from ice cream, it just tasted like vanilla with bits. Go for chocolate or strawberry!

Food wise, I’ve been a few times and sampled most of the menu but the burgers always win. My favourite is The Mounty, a gently spiced beef burger with amazingly crispy, sweet smoked bacon, onion rings, monterey jack cheddar and a drizzle of maple syrup. (I told you it wasn’t for diet days…)

My Mum came along last time and had The Sicilian, the same gently spiced patty with pepperoni, sun-blushed tomatoes, mozzarella and balsamic glaze. The buns are a really delicately sweet brioche that hold together really well and they’re just the right size to fill you up and not leave you struggling.

The burgers don’t come with chips, but at two for £11 you can’t really complain! We ordered some skinny fries (like what MacDonald’s fries should be like) and a house salad which was massive. I’m yet to make it to dessert in there but I hear their american style pies are incredible, plus I MUST make it up in time to head to their breakfast service, the pancakes on their Facebook page look unbelievable. It’s an ideal little date restaurant and I’d recommend firing in a booking on the weekend, ask to sit inside though as the courtyard seriously lacks atmosphere/good lighting.

*A little disclaimer, if I’m ever given a free meal because of this blog, I’ll say. All reviews in Stirling so far have been paid for by myself or were treats with my Mum!