These days pubs are closing down in towns and villages across the country, so it is very good news when one is saved and refurbished. Very good news indeed when it is just down the road from your house!
The Canalside Pub and Grill has been transformed into a modern comfortable bar and restaurant. There is ample parking to the side of the building or just down the street, although I'm sure many will just walk up from Callander Rise and cross the canal.
The staff were friendly and accommodating, quickly sorting out our drinks order and passing our menus. Mini-SFR was kept amused with colouring in and was just as welcomed as the grown ups in the group. The menu is all traditional pub classics with the odd twist. The specials board, (possibly the greatest specials board ever in the history of specials boards) is even twistier, which is probably why we both ordered our main courses off it.
Starters were pub grub classics, Pate and deep fried Brie. Both were exactly what you would expect, good sized portions, traditional but with cheeky twists, like the pickled vegetables, all in all top quality starters.
Likewise the main courses consisted of top notch ingredients skillfully created into great dishes. The selection of three 4oz steaks served on a board with chips and accompaniments was the steak of the day on the special specials board, and boy was it good. The steak of the day selection by itself is a great reason for visiting the Canalside, various cuts of cow are ‘special recipe’ seasoned and cooked over hot coals, it tastes as good as it sounds. The venison sausage casserole was also a blinder, with rich sausages (again well sourced quality ingredients) and loads of them cooked with vegetables and simply served with mash.
Price wise it's all very reasonable starters are in the five to six pounds range, mains around a tenner and the steaks are higher at a typical twenty quid. The service was friendly and professional throughout the meal, with little members of the family just as well looked after as the bigger ones. The Canalside Pub & Grill is a very welcome addition to the Central Scotland restaurant scene, definitely worth a visit.