MacNiven’s Pub

The sting has worn off since MacNiven’s took over the space previously occupied by Brother Juniper’s, and how lovely to discover that pub food can, in fact, be tasty and not heinously overpriced!

We went on a whim with two out-of-town friends on a beautiful afternoon, so the atmosphere was open, breezy and (understandably) not crowded. We were given our choice of seats, and the waitress was quick to grab drinks. Sadly, no one opted for beer (though if I wasn’t pregnant at the time, I so would have picked something out of the 120+ options they offer.

I went for the grilled chicken sandwich with schezuan sauce and steak fries. Typical, nothing special, but tasty. If anything, I would say it was even a wee bit on the greasy side, but consider the source of that comment: any oil is too much oil, when you’re me. I think most normal people would find it just right. The fries in particular were chunky and crisp on the outside…just the way I like them.

Chris ordered the roast beef MacHatten, which was a slice of thick white bread topped with about half a pound of mashed potatoes (anyone for carbs?!) and a heap of thinly-sliced, lean roast beef. The entire plate was covered in brown gravy, something that just doesn’t get made at our house. I can vouch for how good it was (I helped), and it just right. Not too salty, just enough zip.

Jaysun went all traditional and ordered the fish n chips. A little one the greasy side, but what do you expect? He seemed pleased with his food, except for the fact the was charged extra for an additional dish of tartar sauce.

Louisa’s veggie club sandwich was probably the hit of the table, and the spicy aioli, she said, was excellent. Avocado, sprouts, bell peppers, red onions, and more all topped white toast and came with a side. She tried the sweet peppered neeps (mashed turnips) and enjoyed them a lot. They gave her a very hearty portion and she wasn’t able to finish, but she gave her approval.

One of my favorite parts of the meal was visiting the ladies room. Who are the two sexiest Scottish (or played a Scot) men you can think of? Yep…the walls were covered with photos of Mel Gibson as Braveheart and Sean Connery as 007. Chris said the men’s room also had Bond photos, but in there it was more about the cars and the picture of Halle Berry. To each his own.

All in all, I’m glad we tried MacNiven’s and sorry we waited so long to do so. For a pub, they also offer a surprising number of vegetarian dishes, and I came thisclose to trying the vegetarian haggis. Maybe next time, as I’m certain there will be a next time. Well done!

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