When I went on holiday to Salou in 2009, I discovered something I hadn’t encountered before – churros.
For the uninitiated, these are the Spanish versions of doughnuts, but rather than being taken into a round form, they are cut into sticks before frying.
There’s a stall in Salou, just off the main shopping area, which does these sweet treats, and nothing has ever matched up to them, no matter where I’ve tried them. Whether at the hotel in which I stayed, in restaurants in Spain and back here in the UK, I haven’t been able to find anything that compares.
Until now. Loop and Scoop is Scotland’s only ice cream and churro bar, having opened its first outlet on Glasgow’s Great Western Road in 2017, and this has been joined by a second site in Bearsden at 157 Milngavie Road.
When given the chance to sample the new eatery, it was impossible for me to say no, in my determined quest to find good churros in Scotland.
I was accompanied on my visit by my junior diner, a notoriously fussy eater, but, like myself, has a taste for churros and all things sweet.
The restaurant was easy to find – if you come through the Clyde Tunnel, just keep going in a straight line! – and there’s take away options with limited seating available.
I was immediately impressed by the decor, as it is instantly recognisable as a traditional ice cream parlour, but takes the concept to the next level with bright colours – ideal for the Instagram generation and their pictures.
The central concept of the churros – which gives the chain its name – is a churro that loops up and over a tub of ice cream.
What can I say about the churros? Well, put it this way, I was in heaven. I like a churro that’s cooked enough to be crispy on the outside, but the inside is still soft and doughy, without being laden with fat and oil. There’s nothing worse than a churro that looks perfectly cooked on the outside, then biting into it and getting a mouth full of grease.
That’s not a problem with Loop and Scoop. These are churros done the way they should be. These are the closest I’ve had to that stall in Salou which is so beloved to my family.
The churro itself is pleasantly sweet, and goes perfectly with the ice creams on offer. They can be sugared or coated in cinnamon, depending on your taste, and come with a choice of dipping sauces too – Nutella, Belgian chocolate, salted caramel, peanut butter, Biscoff, white chocolate and dark chocolate.
We picked the Nutella, Belgian chocolate, caramel and peanut butter, all of which were perfect – goopy enough to go with the churro, without being too sloppy to go everywhere.
We ordered a few ice creams each to sample, with all of them being made specifically for Loop and Scoop, so junior diner picked a trio, with strawberry, mint choc chip and mango.
She was very pleased with these – several minutes of silence ensued as she tucked in, happily, which is always a good sign. If junior diner isn’t enjoying her food, then she’s hold a conversation. The mint choc chip was a pleasantly strong taste, the strawberry had a fresh taste to it, while the mango was her clear favourite, with a texture as soft as a sorbet.
I decided to push my luck and try four of them – Bueno, Bounty, Oreo and raspberry ripple.
Buenos are my favourite chocolate bar at present, and this ice cream was heavenly – absolutely moreish and I could happily have had four scoops of it. The raspberry ripple was an obvious choice, and reminded me of childhood with a soft white vanilla drizzled with raspberry sauce – an absolute winner. The Bounty ice cream was perfect – I’ve had ice creams purporting to be coconut flavoured in the past, and somehow failed, but here, it’s absolutely what you would hope it would be, with bits of coconut throughout it. And as for the Oreo – yes, perfect. I can’t say much more than that – chocolate and biscuit combined to perfection.
We also sampled some of the filled churros – a hollow churro which is on offer with four different filling, with Nutella, dulce de leche, peanut butter and Biscoff. We tried one of each, and these are just incredible. The warm outside beautifully melts the filling, and the contrast of crunchy churro and soft filling is so rewarding.
We ordered milkshakes with our churros, and were everything that they should be – made from the store’s own ice cream, I opted for the chocolate, and was perfectly sweet, while my junior diner picked the strawberry and she was delighted when she discovered she found the strawberry seeds in her drink. It tasted very fresh too.
Loop and Scoop’s new outlet has opened in perfect time – ice cream is an eternal summer favourite and, in a summer when I can’t go to Spain, the churros have brought a taste of Iberia closer to home. And a trip into Glasgow is far cheaper than a flight to Salou, just to get to that churros hit.
Loop and Scoop, 157 Milngavie Road, Bearsden, G61 3DY.