First off, I have to say that The Fig and Thistle was hands-down the best restaurant we went to in Scotland! It was a bit off the beaten path, on a side street. The restaurant is small and popular, so I recommend getting a reservation. We managed to get a table and were glad we did! We were seated upstairs at a little two-seater table. The ambiance is romantic. Low lighting with a candle on the table. However, there were several groups there, so I don’t think it only targets couples.
They had lots of Gluten free options and the waitress even brought out some gluten free crackers for me to munch on while waiting for our food.
I got the Prawn and Mango Salad as a starter and it was delicious! Very light, but packed with flavor. Sweetness from the mango, tangyness from the lime dressing, and a bit of spice from the curry.
For mains, My husband got the Linguine, which is not gluten free, but he said it was tasty. I got the Fillet Steak (without the mushrooms). I was super excited to get a dish with sauce on it. Between the gluten and the dairy intolerance, I rarely get sauced items. It was incredible! The steak was cooked perfectly, and was tender. The veggies were fresh and crisp. The hand cut chips were perfectly fried.
Honestly I was so impressed, that I had to send my compliments to the kitchen. We also debated going back the next night, but decided to try somewhere else instead. That place was good, but not nearly so great as the Fig & Thistle!
R&B’s is a casual restaurant and bar in downtown Inverness. It came highly recommended on the Find me Gluten Free app. I was most excited about it because it even stated “Gluten Free Options” on the window. The window! The menu was even marked with what items were available gluten free. However, from experience, I Made sure to discuss my options with the waitress. She seemed very knowledgeable about the gluten free options, but wasn’t sure about what items had dairy. She told me to just place an order and she would consult with the kitchen and tell me if I needed to order something else. She never came back, so I assumed everything was fine. Boy, was I wrong.
They brought out my Cullen Skink soup, which was obviously cream based. I decided to go with the flow and just take a lactase enzyme pill and eat it. It actually was fairly good. Like the New England clam chowder of my childhood. I took one bite of the “gluten free” bread and was suspicious. I had my husband try some to confirm it. Our waitress was no where to be seen, so I flagged down another and asked her if that was their gluten free bread. I got an emphatic “on no! that’s the regular bread.” Great. Glutened 3 days into a 9 day trip. The worst part is that even though she apologized, she tried to blame me. “You have to ask for the gluten free, or you get the regular.” Really? I had a long conversation with the waitress followed by an order, where I said “made gluten free” after each item I listed. So I had to say “cullen skink made gluten free, with gluten free bread?” My asking for the soup made gluten free didn’t imply that the bread that came with it should be too? Ridiculous.
After all of that, I barely ate the pan fried fish with vegetables, mostly because it looked like it had more dairy on it. Also, frankly, I just wanted to get out of there, so I could find a pharmacy and buy every digestive aid imaginable.
I hate giving the entire restaurant itself a bad review, mostly because I’m sure the waitress put the order in wrong. There may be nothing wrong with the food or the cooks. It would be incredibly bold to advertise your gluten free options in the window, if you can’t actually cook them properly. Regardless, the waitstaff needs better training. This was the ONLY place, on my entire trip around Scotland, that I got sick eating at.