One of the first places we visited when we moved to Falkirk was North Star. They bill themselves as being “Home of the Righteous Drink” but given that they specialise in both espresso and cocktails, it’s unclear whether they consider caffeine or alcohol to be the more righteous.
It’s no secret that I’m a lover of cocktails and coffee and once I’d heard they also did a pretty mean pizza, the deal was sealed. I think we were there within a week of moving in and I quickly declared that “I like this place.” It’s a funky little bar with a pretty well-designed style and a love of live music. It’s comfy, welcoming and relaxed.
Since then, we’ve actually been back relatively little. Not for any particular reason, but we still feel very new to the town and we wanted to get to know more places. We took advantage of the fact that they deliver once or twice but didn’t end up back in the bar until last week, during an impromptu visit one evening when neither P nor I happened to have any plans.
We showed up, got comfy and looked at the cocktail menu. Monday to Thursday North Star offers a deal which results in all cocktails being slightly less than £5. That’s not to be sniffed at and I was keen to try as many as I could without jeopardising my chances of making it into work the next morning.
I started out with the Long Island Iced Tea. This is always a favourite of mine and if you know anywhere that serves it with actual tea rather than cola, let me know because that’s both rare and brilliant. North Star opts for the cola but, to be fair, it’s not as if I’m drinking it on the beach. Theirs packs a punch without being entirely overwhelming and it’s definitely one I’d go for again.
At this point, we decided we really were staying and should probably order food. They have a pizza deal to go with their cocktails deal: Buy one get one free on small and medium pizzas when sitting in. I picked up a medium chicken mystic pizza (chicken, mushrooms, red onions and sweetcorn) while P went for a margarita but asked to add ham. North Stars pizzas are cooked in a real, wood-fired pizza oven and the bases are stretched wafer thin. They’re crisp, flavourful and very morish. The only problem with the buy one get one free offer is it tempts you to order a medium when you could probably manage a large, but maybe I’m just greedy.
I ordered a Dark and Stormy to go with my pizza and found myself getting more and more impressed with the cocktail menu here. I’m always one to complain about too many places doing overly sugary mixed drinks that are only a half step away from alcopops but North Star have a decent selection of less saccharine drinks, which suits me perfectly.
That said, I was feeling the need for something sweet to finish the meal, so I decided to try their strawberry frozen margarita before heading home. It was yummy and refreshing (and also available in a raspberry variety). Oh, and there was a lot of it. As is right and proper. I mean sure, I wish they offered a regular berry-free margarita, but this one hit the spot.
While I definitely do want to continue exploring Falkirk and finding all the best places, it’s going to be hard to knock North Star out of my top ten.