Avo Avo

946 Argyle Street, Glasgow

0141 248 1741

Brunch/lunch: £6.50-£24

Food rating: 5/10

YOU won’t find me in the queue to give millennials a kicking. "Hipsters", "Generation Rent", "snowflakes", they’re criticised for being vacuous, mollycoddled "bank of mum and dad" dreamers so ridiculously refusing to buckle down to real world requirements that they collectively constitute a carefully curated f***-you to every citizen who keeps the wheels of the economy running. According to Australian millionaire property mogul Tim Gurner, the reason they can't get on the housing ladder is they're too busy treating themselves to expensive brunch. “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” he said earlier this year.

But I see the battle of the generations differently. For me it’s the baby boomers and their parents, with their pensions and property, who’ve damaged the planet, embraced destructive globalisation and rampant consumerism, abandoned craft skills, culture and community for neo-liberal, workaholic lifestyles and the corporate lure of wealth.

Avocados, along with well-tended beards, are always guaranteed to wind up the anti-hipster crew. My problem with avocados is different, it’s that they are so tediously bland, a texture, rather than a taste. Avocado only gets interesting for me when it’s spiked with lime, coriander, chilli, any ingredient that lends personality to this nonentity of a tree fruit. I see the opening of Avo Avo, a café dedicated to the avocado, as evidence of Glasgow’s habit of being up with the latest fashion; I’m just disappointed that it doesn’t make a better job of exploiting the avocado’s gastronomic potential. A quick trawl through recipes from countries where the fruit is cultivated would easily uncover gems. But Avo Avo seems to think that un-embellished, straight avocado is compelling in its own right. We’ll have to agree to differ on that one.

Avo Avo isn’t big. Reggae music is punctuated by the startling noise of the blender. One wall gives a primary school-level geography lesson on the scaly fruit in Mexico and its history as "the Aztec symbol of love and fertility". A cheery baby wearing an avocado-green bib at the next table is gurgling away, presumably delighting in her green feast. Perhaps this very cute child would appreciate our cold avocado soup, a whizzed up eau-de-nil mush of oddly sweet avocado, coconut, and cucumber, but it’s way too plain for me. And this is a heads-up for the dishes to come, all of which are so neutral, so under-seasoned, or even not at all seasoned, that my appetite shrivels. It’s the isosceles triangle-shaped tortilla chips that help me get down the soup, largely because they’re warm and salty. Commendably, Avo Avo makes its own tortillas.

We can’t taste the cheese, let alone the avocado purée in the "Avo Avo Tastic Mac and Cheese" because it reeks of truffle oil. This is a dish for people with denture difficulties: the pasta is so overcooked it dissolves. Tired rocket, wilting with the pasta’s heat, sits on top of its crown of avocado chunks. This dish costs a steep £9.95. The Avo Avo beef burger is even more brazenly priced: £13.95. Hand it to Avo Avo, the avocado halves, which replace the usual wheat bun, have attained the perfect degree of ripeness, but the beef patty is small, and once again strangely sweet. Its accompaniments call for an earnest commitment to health over flavour: chopped tomatoes overloaded with raw red onion; near-raw broccoli florets; chewy, wilted kale with fibrous stalks attached. They’re all "au naturel", no obvious dressing, no spices, no dressing, no lemon. It amounts to a potentially promising concept for a dish, half developed. The combined greasiness and dullness of the Avo Avo fries (slices of avocado deep fried in breadcrumbs) kills my appetite stone dead.

I’m perked up by the prospect of lime cheesecake. At last, something with a bit of zip to it, I hope. But we’re back to this monotone, no-flavour thing: the cheesecake has lime zest, but no obvious lime juice, nothing to bring its bulk ingredients to life. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bar is a mincemeat pie-sized serving of salty peanut putter under a lid of dark chocolate so dense I have to chisel through it, and an arid, tough-jacketed muffin that’s gritty; perhaps rice flour explains it. Needless to say, avocado comes on the side.

Well, as I said, I’m fine with the hipsters, it’s the avocados I find challenging.