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“Disappointing”
Review of Chop & Ale House

Chop & Ale House
Ranked #15 of 48 Restaurants in Linlithgow
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Reviewed April 10, 2013 via mobile

Been here a few times and sorry to say our last visit was very disappointing. Both steaks requested to be 'medium' however they were black with charcoal and definately overdone! Both desserts were also very poor, even although their homemade cheesecake is normally so nice! Our bill was over £70 and when we complained our comments were dismissed as if we were making it up.

Overall, a bad experience, and we won't be back for the foreseeable future until we hear that the service and quality have returned to their usual high standards!

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3  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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241 - 245 of 324 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2013

We had recieved vouchers for Christmas, and the restaurant was a little expensive, so we decided to use them in the Chop and Ale House instead. It was my birthday, so was a special occasion, and we thought a good steak and some wine would go down a treat.
On arriving we were seated immediately, but right away the service was quite off-hand - we were pointed to a couple of different tables, and told we could choose. After sitting no-one approached us for over 10 minutes - quite a long time to wait, when the place was not full.
We waited for ages after ordering. Finally our waitress came to tell us she had forgotten to make our starters. Less than a minute later she arrived with these. I had orderd the Trout mousse, and this was rock hard and very cold. I think that they it had only just been taken out of the fridge, and then brought straight to the table. My husband's prawn cocktail was OK, but nothing special, and the prawns were small ones.
We both ordered steak, mine a t-bone ordered rare and my husband's a sirloin, cooked medium-rare. They had been cooked exactly the same, but this was not a major issue. The steaks themselves were good, but there was no option of sauces that we saw. Also, no choice of accompaniments - they came with chips (which were excellent), and a side salad. The salad was very sad looking - limp leaves pulled straight out of a bag, and half a tomato - orange, hard and not great. It's a shame when the steaks and chips are so good that there is not something better to have these with - how about grilled (good quality) tomato / mushrooms / onion rings?
Overall, the meal was far too expensive for the food on offer, and the service was very patchy. We were glad we had vouchers and were not using our own money. We were very disappointed.

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4  Thank Susie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I've been eating here for 20 years and I've always been a fan of the simplicity - great meat cooked well. I've looked past the nonsense: disregard for vegetarians, refusal to run a waiting list, pretentious owner. The last meal I had here was mediocre but that was 18 months ago so time for another visit. Unfortunately the burger I had for Saturday lunch a fortnight ago was appalling.

Two of us went for lunch. The scampi was good enough. The burger though, was bad. Whereas in the past they were a good size, thick and tasty, and cooked to perfection, thi. s was not. It was thin, ill-seasoned and undressed. I asked for medium-rare and got well-done. It came on a dry roll which smothered the dry meat. It was magnificently bland.

I could complement the chips but what's the point. The one thing that should be reliable above all else at this restaurant is grilled meat. They failed.

I was not particularly impressed by the staff either; not particularly attentive, not particularly friendly, not particularly helpful. But it doesn't matter. After the rotten beef not much does. They continue to trade on the reputation they earned years ago but there was nothing I saw or tasted to justify it.

Don't visit. Go to a good butcher, buy the best burger they sell for a fraction of the price and cook it yourself. You'll knock the socks off this place.

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6  Thank giliath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I have been a lover of the Chop & Ale for many years. I am aware that you cannot book (not really sure of the reason why?) however we arrived at 7pm on Saturday night (could not be avoided due to work) and we were advised of a 2 hour wait for a table of 4 - sheesh! It was my dads birthday so we decided to wait. The manager who was advising us of this was quite abrupt with us and it was as if he was expecting an argument?! We were not allowed to leave and come back so had to wait. We were told that there were 7 tables in front of us but actually as we watched people getting called to their tables there was only 3. We thought this was quite rude. Couples who were arriving behind us were being seated with only a 10 min wait.
We had to wait in the kitchen area as the queue for the waiting room was into this area as there was a large table in the waiting area already. This was awkward as kitchen staff had to continually squeeze past. After and hour and a half of standing there was a seat in the waiting area available to us.
We waited 2 hours exactly for our table (9pm) and when we were seated the service was very fast. The menu is very limited (I have included a picture), but to me this is part of the charm - when you go to the Chop & Ale you know what you are going for. We were sitting next to the bar and heard a waitress complaining about having to take drinks to a table with the bar tender saying "yes you have too"...
We ordered (pics uploaded):
Mexican Burger - Cooked Medium-Well by request (perfect). Mexican chilli topping is served separately in a small pouring jug so you can add as much as you like - it not spicy at all. The bun was so thin and not doughy at all I could hardly taste it so it was all burger - other restaurants need to learn from this!
Chargrilled Chicken (Spit roast) - very juicy and good
Rib Eye Steak - cooked Medium-Rare by request (perfect). Hardly any fat and a good size steak
T-Bone Steak - cooked Medium-Rare by request - had to go back as it was uncooked in parts and full of fat so the manager swapped it for a new one. When he brought it back he asked my dad to cut into it to check and again it was raw (not rare) the manager looked from about 4 feet away and said "sir, that is a perfect medium rare" - if we did not eat here regularly and eat every steak medium-rare we may have believed this but we asked for it to go back on the grill for a bit. The manager made my dad feel like an idiot telling him that next time he should ask for medium. My brothers Rib Eye was medium-rare and was actually cooked but still pink and every other steak we have had from here has been the same. In the end the 2nd T-Bone was just as fatty. The batch of steaks must've been the same. My dad hardly ate it.
All of the above were served with a side salad and coleslaw on the plate and a bowl of chips to share. The chips are amazing, just like chip shop chips!
The total bill including 4 x soft drinks was £100

I would absolutely recommend the Chop & Ale for the burgers but I would suggest getting there as early as possible on a Saturday night as it gets busy. If you are a couple of two you will not have a long wait as there seems to be plenty of tables for 2 in the restaurant. I love how warm and cosy the restaurant is.

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Thank Falkirk_Tiggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I have been a fan for a number of years and go here to enjoy the cosy atmosphere which is a lovely contrast to the many modern establishments. The tables are close together but that for me is part of the charm of this restaurant.

The burgers are always good with great toppings to compliment them. You get a good helping of chips and salad every time, no designer helpings here.

I don't take a starter since I know that they are large and want to eat all of my burger but when I have room for a dessert these are always enjoyable. The dessert menu is changed from time to time so favourites come and go but again the servings are always large (easily shareable).

I agree that the prices are at the top end for a burger, but I am happy with the prices for the quality, service and relaxed atmosphere that I have always experienced here.

Since you can't book there are times that I have waited in the area beside the toilets for a table, but have always been offered a drink and kept informed of progress on the tables when this has been the case.

I look forward to some warmer weather (ever the optimist) when I will be able to enjoy a burger at one of the outdoor tables.

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Thank LothiansJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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