The Poachers Lounge

The Poachers Lounge

Castlecary Village, Castlecary Cumbernauld, G68 0HD. Tel: 01324 840233.

THE sun was high and the breeze was a whisper and the day was stretching out before me.

The mood was mellow at Tec Towers when the dulcet tones of Toots bellowed across the room.

"Tec, I've got the lunch time munchies, something hot and tasty and quick with it," said the light of my life.

I'd been mulling over Juan Carlos' leap and whether or not Felipe helped him along - did the old boss jump or was he pushed?

But the rat-a-tat-tat of the Moll's fiery talons on the highly polished dresser stopped me in my tracks.

"I'm waiting," she trilled, "it's not easy to look this good before the sun even glances at the yardarm."

In her fur and heels The Moll looked like a million pesos, but until the Spanish problem was solved Tec was barrasic.

It was time to think quickly, the light bulb moment saw us jumping into the Buick and heading north.

An old snout had once passed on the name, it was whispered in circles where people where in the know.

The Poachers Lounge, out in Castlecary, a place where homemade really meant burgers came in funny shapes.

The welcome was low key but the service was bright and cheery and Toots was almost chewing up the scran scan.

Not one to wait on ceremony my angel plumped for a corner seat and glared at the waitress.

It was hard to choose between the homemade burger and the legendary steak pie.

People still talk in hushed tones of the lashings of rich meaty gravy, succulent steak and crispy pastry. And as part of a special lunch time £10.95 two course deal there was a choice of a starter or pudding.

The starters landed on our table: steaming pea and ham soup and crunchy garlic bread.

Both were tasty and satisfying.

But The Moll was hankering after more.

And she was eventually mollified by the chunky, mouth watering meat and while I was tempted it was the burger that tickled the fancy of your Tec.

Forget the prepacked, standardised lumps of pseudo meat claiming to be a burger and dished out by the truckload by supermarkets, with the Poachers burger you could almost imagine the cow it came from.

A big piece of ground beef, well seasoned and in a tasty bun, salad and chunky chips - a feast.

We were both motoring, the Moll had even managed to lose the scowl as she lost herself in the magic.

It was a chance to take time out for a glance around and the decor gave a me a nostalgic twinge.

From the red telephone box in the corner to the hunting prints on the wall, I felt myself slipping back 20 years to my first visit and not as the Tec.

"Oy what's for pudding," the growl broke my reverie - so much for memories.

A quick glance at the menu and there was no argument, a sticky toffee pudding had Toots name emblazoned on it and she devoured it

Now, while the Castlecary Restaurant might be more high profile, its smaller relative has a lot going for it, as I'm sure the locals would readily agree.

And while the place might not have been buzzing with activity, the service and food were first class and if the Moll hadn't had a hot date with her beautician we might still be there.

But the Buick beckoned and my mind slipped back to the Spanish question and we headed back to the big city.

STARTERS: Garlic bread £2.50

Pea and ham soup

MAINS: Two course deal: Beef burger and chips + sticky toffee pudding £10.95

Two-course deal: Steak pie and chips + pea and ham soup £10.95

DESSERTS: Sticky toffee pudding

DRINKS: Bottle of Turner Road Three Rivers Cabernet £15.95

Irn Bru x 2 £2.70

TOTAL £43.05