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Avo very healthy new year; Enjoy sin-free meal at Scotalnd's first avocado restaurant.

Byline: Anna Burnside

Vigilant readers may have noticed that the Teenager has not accompanied me to a restaurant recently.

This is because she is in Australia for a year. But she nearly didn't go, purely because Scotland's first avocado restaurant was due to open after her departure.

She loves avocados.Eating them. Adding them as emojis to her text messages. Buying daft gizmos shaped like them. So it felt almost treacherous to take Old Pal to Avo Avo instead of her.

But I forced myself. Then live-texted her our lunch.

Message one: the restaurant logo.

Message two: "We are here (avocado emoji, smiley face wearing a hat emoji, thumbs up emoji)."

Message three: picture of the avocado soup.

First message from her: "DON'T LIKE U NO MORE."

Avo Avo, for those who still think an avocado is an unusual knobbly article served with prawns in its centre, is the latest niche eating place on Glasgow's Finnieston strip.

It celebrates the clay-fleshed fruit in all its many guises. There is an educational mural on the wall and lovely waiting staff who advocate for avocados at every opportunity.

Anyone whose new year's resolution is to eat more healthily can glow in the knowledge that they are about to pig out on monosaturated fatty acids, vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. Yum yum.

Avo Avo's menu is a clever combination of healthful dishes for those whose bodies are temples, and OTT treats for crazy fools.

The soup, for example, is the kind of dish punted by annoying bloggers in expensive yoga leggings. It's a cold concoction of avocado, coconut milk and something called cucumber punch. We also detected garlic, truffle oil and a peck of chilli. It was absolutely sensational. Like a deluxe hybrid of guacamole and vichyssoise. I would happily have gone swimming in it.

Unfortunately, it raised my expectations for the rest of the meal. My Avo Avo Tastic Mac and Cheese was less successful. The trad version relies on a scorched, bubbling crust for much of its visual appeal. Without this, the Avo version looked a bit wabbit.

The avocado added texture rather than flavour to the cheese sauce. In most cases, this texture is a joy. In this context, it was a bit slimy. Its presence detracted from, rather than enhancing, the dish.

The overall effect was not unpleasant but it was far less impressive than the soup. It also looked a bit lonely on the plate and could have done with some colourful salad to cheer it up.

Old Pal's avocado salmon burger was miraculous construction. A whole peeled, stoned avocado stood in for the bun. Inside was a salmon steak. The whole thing was skewered together with a cherry tomato on the top.

She eyed it anxiously: "Am I meant to pick this up?" The waitress assured her that deconstruction was the way to go.

Burgers are not meant to be dainty but this was a bit of a clumsy plateful. There was a lot of avocado, a big hunk of fish and some tortilla strips. The garnishy bits were mainly lettuce, wafers of raddish and, curiously, blanched broccoli.

Having to take it all to bits to eat it added to the feeling that this was not a very coherent dish.

Vegans have been using avocados in cakes and desserts for years. According to the wall, they can stand in for butter in any recipe.

Not sure if that's what they were doing in Old Pal's avocado and lime cheesecake but it was a very eatable. Like sweet guacamole on a biscuit base. It came with vanilla ice-cream, which seemed a waste of an avocado opportunity.

My chocolate peanut butter cake bar, for Avo Avo's vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free customers, also appeared to be Bill for two: Food: 6/10 - Amazing soup there's promise the kitchen.

avocado free. Perhaps they should have a crossed-out avocado logo on the menu, to warn true believers that they are about to order something avo-free.

It was a hefty hand-knitted version of a Reece's peanut butter cup. A pretty plate dotted with blueberries could not make it elegant but it tasted solidly of chocolate and peanut butter, which is never a bad thing.

We rolled out of Avo Avo looking rather like avocados. This food may be healthy but it's not light. It is fun but, over three courses, the joke wears a bit thin.

So my new year's resolution is to stick to the soup, or the intriguing breakfast dishes, at Avo Avo. And keep it quiet from the Teenager until I'm back in her good books.

Tel: 0141 248 1741 Website: www.avoavo.co.uk Disabled access: Yes Open: Monday to Saturday, 9am-8pm; Sunday; 10am-6pm Bill for two: PS48.55 Food: 6/10 - Amazing soup shows there's promise in the kitchen.

Decor: 2/5 - Thrown together without much thought. Service: 4/5 - Thoughtful and warm.

Toilets: 3/5 - Basic. And why no avocado suite? Value for money: 3/5 - Pricing a bit erratic.

Anna's Hot Plate leaders' table .BASTA PIZZA 21/30 561 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow G11 6HU .WHI TE HORSE 21/30 266 Canongate, Edinburgh EG8 8AA . Brodies 20/30 1-2 Altrive Place, Holm St, Moffat DG10 9EB . The Citize n 19/30 24 St Vincent Place, Glasgow . HARMONIUM 19/30 60 Henderson Street, Leith EH6 6DE . The Iv y On The Square18/30 6-8 St Andrews Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD . Pie & Brew 19/30 129 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 2SZ . NAM TUK 18/30 2 Partickbridge Street, Glasgow, G11 6PL . DYNASTY 6/30 162 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4EE

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SUPER TASTY SUPERFOOD Avocado salmon burger and, top, avocado and lime cheesecake PICS: VICTORIA STEWART
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 30, 2017
Words:959
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