Depending on the day, I love food as much or even slightly more than I love golf. When I have traveled for work, I have often been no less thrilled to discover some great local eatery than I have a nearby noteworthy golf course. And I tend to like my restaurants the way I like my golf courses: unfussy and accessible.
I have been fortunate to have dined in arguably the finest restaurant in Scotland: the Peat Inn, a few country kilometers west of St. Andrews. But it is not my favorite restaurant in the country. That distinction goes to The Lobster Shack in North Berwick, a tiny takeaway-plus tables setup that is not so much close to the North Sea as practically teetering into it in the eponymous town. Simply said, owners Jela and Ian Stewart run one of the best places for fresh seafood you will ever find.
Unlike the steamer-pot joints of New England, The Lobster Shack puts their fresh catch to the grill and serves it split down the middle, brushed with garlic butter. The shell acts as a skillet on the fire and rather than clean and white, the meat turns almost translucent. It exceeded even the best lobster I've had stateside, and the double-fried chips - Scotland's national vegetable, judging from its ubiquity on menus - were phenomenal.
What does this have to do with golf? My lunch at the Lobster Shack anchored my favorite all-time 36-hole day. I holed a 6 iron for eagle during my round that morning at Glen Golf Club, and after lunch took in North Berwick's ancient West Links with a member as the sun set. For golf, food and camaraderie, it's going to be hard to beat.