A slice of history with your hot dogs and Smorrebrod

Having an idea where to go for a laid back, filling meal when on a trip is a great idea. 24 Henderson Street, EH6 7BS.
Having an idea where to go for a laid back, filling meal when on a trip is a great idea. 24 Henderson Street, EH6 7BS.

Let’s face facts, the Scottish summer is short and unpredictable but luckily there is so much going on around the country that last minute short jaunts are the order of the day.

Auld Reekie was the latest stop in our bid to find the perfect afternoon stop whilst on such a trip. Be it sightseeing, show grabbing or simply trying something deliciously different, the Flying Dog in Edinburgh is well worth a shot.

On the corner of Henderson Street in foodie haven Leith, the Flying Dog sits on an intriguingly historical site.

As Trusty Mother (TM) and I scanned the enticing but not overly complicated menu, director Vivienne Lennox, filled us in on the ancient crypts in the basement and the site’s links to the Knights Templar, a curious twist to an often generic venue.

There is a nod to Americana but exposed brickwork and well thought-out wall art hints more to modern Leith eateries than tacky diner.

It’s hard to imagine a hot dog that’s not just a pallid ‘sausage’ plopped in between dry bread, hidden beneath mounds of vinegary sauce and tasteless onions. But somehow the Flying Dog manages to resurrect the uninspiring cinema snack to one of gourmet standards.

The Flying Dog, £6.50, arrived squashed between a flavoursome squishy, bun courtesy of the Artisan Bakery, which delivers the rolls fresh every morning. There was a warm, deep flavour in the hot dog, instantly recognisable for the features we all love to hate in a dog but assured by the 95 per cent pork guarantee from Vivienne. Topped with rich chilli, melted cheese and jalapeno peppers it sits on the menu between nine other variations.

The flip side to The Flying Dog is a choice of Smorrebrod, Danish open sandwiches. Hearty and clean TM went for the traditional option, piled high with sweetly cured herring atop the rye ‘brod’, also £6.50.

The healthy salad, in size and nature, was a sympathetic side.

Although a tad confusing in style (is it a diner, a restuarant, American, Danish?) what really comes across is a genuine care for the product.

It’s a brave move to put all your eggs in a hot dog basket but with quality and the laid back atmosphere you could easily wile away hours planning your way around the city.