What we thought of the Pitstop’s new menu after the tartan facelift

The Pitstop on the A96 has been a unique attraction for foodies around the world for over two decades.

What is The Pitstop, you might be wondering?

Well, it’s a roadside cafe that offers people the opportunity to enjoy healthy, freshly prepared and affordable food inside a stationary bus.

Yes, you read that right.

My colleague Julia Bryce and I visited The Pitstop in January after hearing that its owner, Roy Minty, was saying goodbye to the business after 24 years and selling it to new owners.

The Pitstop’s new tartan exterior.

We had also heard that it served the best breakfast in the northeast.

Since then, two pairs of owners have taken the reins. The latest is the McMillan family, who have already had a huge impact on this unique restaurant by (slightly) revamping its menu and giving it a new tartan exterior.

The two of us are absolutely in love.

All the food available at Pitstop is £7 and under, so it’s perfect for all budgets.


The results

So what did we think of The Pitstop and its offering on our long-awaited second visit?

Salt and pepper chicken with fries and curry sauce

Julia and I started off on a high with this dish.

We couldn’t even begin to count how many juicy pieces of chicken there were on the plate – and considering its price, it’s exceptional value.

The meat was surrounded by a thick, crispy batter, which had hints of curry and a salty, punchy flavor.

Also among the mix was an assortment of vegetables – including red and green peppers – providing a light kick and zesty freshness.

The fries were a solid accompaniment, while the curry sauce had more of a korma feel rather than your traditional Chinese style curry sauce which is often served with salt and pepper chicken.

Salt and pepper chicken with fries and curry sauce.


Carl: 4/5

Julia: 4/5

To taste

Carl: 4/5

Julia: 4.5/5

Beet and oatcake stovies

If you know me, then you’ll know that I’m a big fan of stovies. And while many may disagree, they are difficult to perfect.

Too many times I’ve slipped into watery pans or, at the other end of the spectrum – and arguably the worst of the two – dry pans. But The Pitstop has a thumbs up from both of us.

They had a nice thick consistency and there were more than enough cubes of beef and potatoes to go. The beef held up well too and didn’t fall off/flay.

Julia also complimented the cold beets and oatmeal cakes. It sure is a traditional trio that goes incredibly well together.

Beet and oatcake stovies.


Carl: 3.5/5

Julia: 3/5

To taste

Carl: 4/5

Julia: 3.5/5

Macaroni and cheese

Mac and cheese from The Pitstop had a rather nostalgic feel to it.

It was creamy and there were no artificial flavors – all for a superb macaroni dish.

The heavy layer of cheddar cheese on top of the perfectly cooked pasta was a fantastic addition and elevated it even further.

Julia and I also agreed that the portion was excellent. It was smaller than the other dishes, but much more filling.

Macaroni and cheese.


Carl: 3/5

Julia: 3.5/5

To taste

Carl: 4/5

Julia: 3.5/5

Baked potato with cheese and beans

Self-proclaimed baked potato lover Julia was looking forward to this one – and she certainly wasn’t disappointed.

I rarely dive into it, though, but I knew what to expect.

Like the pasta, our baked potato had been cooked to perfection. The butter was also apparent in the mouth, which made the taste experience even better.

Cheese and beans were also in the game. We all know you can’t go wrong with this combination, so this was a winner.

But the star of the show had to be that crispy potato skin. It was sweet, savory and had a nice subtle chew.

Baked potato with cheese and beans.


Carl: 3.5/5

Julia: 4/5

To taste

Carl: 4/5

Julia: 4/5

Although we recommend you try them all, the dish that we liked at the Pitstop was the salt and pepper chicken with fries and curry sauce, which scored 16.5/20.

Can you think of any local places or dishes you would like the Food and Drink team to try?

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[What we made of the new menu at The Pitstop after tartan facelift]


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