LANNA THAI RESTAURANT: CAN'T BEAT THAI FOOD
There was certainly nothing like the Lanna Thai Restaurant in Musselburgh when i was a young boy nearly 60 years ago, and i doubt if there was a Chinese or Indian either. The Thai family have managed this restaurant for 15 years and have a pre-theatre special for a reasonable price for theatre goers just across the road. There is a special lunch menu where you choose a starter, a main course, tea, coffee or desert.
S. LUCA, THE OLYMPIA CAFE: AN ITALIAN WHO MADE THE BEST ICE CREAM IN SCOTLAND
In the summer months when i was a young boy I remember Dad taking me for a knickerbocker glory at Luca's ice cream shop. That was back in the late 50's so when i visited Musselburgh almost 60 years later i just had to have an ice cream for memories sake, even if it was only 9.30 am. The shop had not changed, the counter with the ice cream display on the right, a few steps to climb where several tables were arranged for customers, and a staircase on the left with a few more tables upstairs.
In the late 1800s when Mr Luca Scappaticcio and his wife Anastasia arrived from Cassino, Italy he was a hairdresser and then became a pastry cook in the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. While working there a Swiss Sous Chef taught Luca to make ice cream and by 1908 he had saved enough money to open up his ice cream shop in Musselburgh which he decided to call LUCA as his surname was too long and difficult to pronounce. It was hard work as they had to walk 5 miles back and forth from Edinburgh each day, but the business became profitable and they were able to purchase some more of the surrounding property. Making ice cream in those days was hard work as they did not have the modern equipment that they have today. Ice cream was packed in dry ice and the family managed to buy a few vans that went around the Lothian villages and sold ice cream. During the second world war the men in the family joined the British army and went off to war but Luca himself was considered an alien and was sent to the Isle Of Man for 5 years, so his daughters ran the business. Luca's wife, Anastasia and her youngest son were interned at Peebles during the war. In the 50's they opened up another shop in Edinburgh and another in North Berwick. 84 year old Constanza Luca is the only remaining member of the second generation still alive today and still has an active role in the business.
Luca's is considered as the best ice cream producer in Scotland, and what did i order that morning ? A scoop of fudge with a scoop of chocolate mint. Delicious with large pieces of chocolate in the mint.
And for those of you who are not familiar with a KNICKER BOCKER GLORY. Ice cream, cream, fruit, meringue. Layers of these different sweet tastes are alternated in a tall glass and topped with different kinds of syrup, nuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
The Burgh Cafe: cheap and plain
This cafe is in the High Street. Seating is inside but there are also a couple of tables on the pavement. Service is quick but the dishes are pretty basic with chips , peas or beans added to the pies or burgers etc on offer. Certainly no haute cuisine here.
Favorite Dish: I only dared have tea and a scone with butter and jam which cost me £2. We had popped in to escape a shower of rain, but there were quite a few other customers.
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Caprice Italian Resaurant: Top Italian
Musselburgh has a few restaurants from around the world - don't most towns in the world these days?
It ain't bad food and probably the best feed you'll get in town. The Pizza's are cooked in a fantastic wood-fired oven out the back which you'll see if you go for the take-away option - 'Caprice 2 Go'
Favorite Dish: Half and Half is the best way to go if you are eating in. You can choose half of anyone of Caprices fantastic pizzas to go with half a dish of one of there great pasta/risottos.
The best combo is the Sorrento pizza with the Risotto al Funghi.