It’s a chain which brings to mind corporate city types, most of them in London, grabbing a saintly salad a necessary few after-work drinks.
It’s probably fitting, then, that Glasgow’s first branch of The Slug and Lettuce has opened on St Vincent Street — but don’t let the location fool you.
Step inside and it’s a pleasantly quirkier than expected; a flashy bar, sure, but complemented by hanging decanters-turned-lamps, plush 70s jewel tones and mirrors, mirrors everywhere. In short, it was a little cosier than I’d expected — which was no bad thing.
My first mistake was taking the car along. Having invited along a friend who has been off gallivanting the globe for a year, a catch-up ensued that would only have been made better by cocktails.
Still, S&L is running its extensive cocktail menu at half price Friday-Sunday, so a return visit may be in order.
No doubt still on hippy traveller time, she indulged and tried a Long Bramble — a Bombay Sapphire gin concoction that was delicious, although the volume of crushed ice around it got in the way of imbibing just a bit.
I opted for a virgin version of the Bambini Bellini; cranberry juice, peach puree, fresh lime and lemonade - a zesty refreshing combo without the risk of a hangover.
Having had her fill of Aussie barbecues and grub on the go, my companion opted for comfort food at its best; a warming, creamy hug of a chicken pie with smoked cheese and bacon sauce. The meat was moist, the pastry crisp and buttery mash went down a treat on the side, as did wilted spears of asparagus.
The call of a relatively healthy Lebanese flatbread got the better of me, and I opted for the smoked salmon topping; a crisp, herby base with generous flecks of fish and dill creme fraiche on top, although the advertised avocado was swapped for fresh peppers — sad news for this avo obsessive.
Still, it was tasty — and sort of guilt-free — paired with a hefty portion of thin and crispy sweet potato fries.
Of course, all that healthy eating went out the window when it came to dessert.
Having totted up brownie (sorry) points with my main, I went all out with a chocolate and salted caramel bar; layers of ganache and gooey caramel stacked and drizzled. The chocolate was rich, the caramel properly salted (not a claim you can often make about the trendy ingredient) and it made for one indulgent end to a meal.
On the other side of the table, caramel-drenched waffles went down a treat too, for the most part — although my worldly-wise friend found the middle of them a bit too cold and chewy.
It has to be said that the service at The Slug and Lettuce was very good; polite, friendly, welcoming — often what’s needed after a long day at the office.
It wasn’t a perfect sweep, but with a few more cocktails (half price ones in particular), I’d happily eat it all again — making The Slug and Lettuce a reliable and welcome addition to Glasgow’s city centre food scene.
Tostada flatbread with Severn & Wye oak-smoked salmon - £8.65
Sweet potato fries - £2.50
Chicken breast open pie with buttered asparagus and mash or chips - £10.25
Chocolate and salted caramel bar - £3.95
Warm waffles with caramel and ice cream - £3.95
The Slug and Lettuce
150 St Vincent Street
0141 229 0607