Eatery Hopping: Maxi's, Edinburgh

There is an interior design company based in Edinburgh who seem to have been refurbishing just about every single café the city has to offer. No complaints here - Splintr do truly wonderful things.

I enjoy being in these spaces almost as much as I enjoy eating and drinking what they have to offer (almost... the almost is very important), so imagine my unbounded joy when this previously cramped and relatively uncomfortable café in my local patch revealed its facelift. (Hint: much joy.)

And lo! More joy, when Maxi's was proposed as the watering hole of choice for a catchup feat. food. Pro tip: all the best catchups involve munching. But you probably already knew that.

The menu covers all bases, with a pretty drool-worthy breakfast selection too. Also, celebration time - breakfast is served until 3pm?! Breakfast food fanatics - this is the place to be. (Saying that, I haven't actually had any of the breakfast menu yums, so can't vouch for tastiness. But they sound solid.)

We had arranged to meet mid-morning so it was going to be a funny sort of brunchy limbo time, but by the time we were all actually present and correct, I was feeling the 'unch' of brunch much more than the 'br'. If that makes sense. Basically, it was nearer lunch time.

Lunch-wise, there is a very decent spread (likewise for veggie options) which is probably why it took us many many moons of dilly-dallying before finally deciding what to go for. If I had had my wits about me, I might have taken photos that actually show more of what was in the roll finally chosen by two of us, but said wits had been left at home, so I didn't.

This was one of their 'fresh filled rolls' (of which there are four, one of which is on not a roll but focaccia, omg (although just a heads up, Maxi's - focaccia is spelled wrong on your menu.. awks)). Since my photography skills are less than helpful for this one, have the menu description instead: 'twas soft goats cheese, fig and date chutney with peppery rocket and roast cherry tomatoes on a black olive sourdough roll. Yep. Yum.

The chutney was majestical, truly, but my one comment would be that the goats cheese was kinda overpowered by everything else. Maybe there wasn't enough of it, maybe the other flavours were just too strong, or maybe it was the overall breadiness, I don't know. Either way, still delicious. 7/10, would eat again. But probably won't, because focaccia (and the entire rest of the menu).

The soup changes daily, as does the smoothie (which I have also had and it was SERIOUSLY SO GOOD) and the tortilla, and I am reliably informed that this particular day's soup (butternut squash with carrot and coriander, in case you can't read/don't know that all images on here are always click-to-enlarge) was very delisho indeed. And it came with Top Notch bread.

It goes without saying that if there are bakey things in plain sight then it's only a matter of time until you eat them. This, however, was where the emotional trauma began. I love polenta cake (if you also think there is nothing worse than dry cake then polenta cake (or vegetable cakes... lemon courgette cake!) is quite honestly the answer to your prayers) and had set my heart on a squidgy and delicious looking orange polenta creation that had been in my peripheral vision the whole time.

I dug out my purse, joined the queue at the counter, and then watched in dismay as the very last slices were taken from my future. A tragic polenta cake experience if ever there was one. I'll never know if it was worth the melodrama.

The carrot cake I went for instead was nice, but nothing to shout about. It was a wee bit lacking in flavour generally, but the sponge:icing ratio was good good good which is not an easy task, so kudos there.

I'm not a hot cross bun person (at all. nope. I have tried to like them and every time they are just so pants.) but am told this one was muchos enjoyable. Also, we were here nearish to Easter (yes this post is looooooong overdue) so hot cross buns weren't entirely out of context.

Moral of the story: if you go here (which you should) then just order everything you want all at once, so that other people don't. And don't be disheartened by the sometimes less-than-warm service. And sit in the window seats if you want to people watch (or take advantage of the fab lighting for an Instagram post of your deliciosity).

And before you go, a quick thingy thing! Or a few quick thingy things, actually.
1. You can find me on page 37 of the Brighthouse Food Journal that has just gone to print and is available online here!
2. Voting for The Drinks Cellar's blog awards is now open, so.. yes.
3. Nominations for Saveur's blog awards are still open, if you want to do anything with that at all too! (please it would be amazing and lovely if you nominated me please please)

More info for the latter two in this blog post! Happy reading!

*All photos in this post are mine. If you wish to use any, please ask my permission and credit me!*


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