Glasgow is having a meaty year of it, with many new openings being centred around burgers and meat in general. My twitter is full of buzz about Burger Meats Bun, Smoak food, James VS Burger and, most recently, the imminent opening of Bread Meats Bread. During all of the madness, Meat Bar popped up on West Regent Street ready to feed the masses yet more meat. With their chunky wood and leathery interior, I was hoping that the eating was going to be as serious as the decor.
First things first, I’d like to explain that we were having a birthday meat weekend for Mr S after healthy eating all month. I am a complete carnivore and had really missed red meat. With my hangover, it had to be somewhere very very meaty and I had been wanting to try Meat Bar for a while so we wandered into town to fill our bellies. It’s a casual place so we didn’t need to dress up and would be good for a catch-up with friends.
The starters on the menu all sounded appetising but I just wanted a big burger and nothing to delay that! The rest of the menu is broken down into sections – sliders, smoker, smokehouse sandwiches, steaks and grinder burgers. There is an ample selection of sides including fries, coleslaw, veg and mac n cheese.
Unable to decide, Mr S asked our waiter for advice. He recommended the french dip smokehouse sandwich, which Mr S had been looking at anyway so that was decided. I went for the grinder burger and was pleased to see that they serve their burgers pink so that the flavour isn’t cooked out of them.
My grinder burger started with a paprika dusted pork and beef patty then had chorizo & manchego on top and was finished with tomato compote and pickle. It was a thick, pink burger in a brioche bun (tick) and very nice indeed. I also really liked the coleslaw that came with it and I wish that more places would invest more time and energy into homemade coleslaw. It provides a welcome break from all of that meat so that I can tackle the rest of the burger revitalised.
The french dip sandwich was described on the menu as a homemade ciabatta containing brisket beef, swiss cheese, grilled onions, wholegrain mustard, horseradish & silky marrow bone gravy. To me it was just a big hug of meat in a bun that could banish even the worst of hangovers. We kind of shared food but I really just wanted all of that sandwich. The burger was nice but the sandwich was far superior – the meat was tender and all of the flavours meshed into a big tasty bite.
We shared two sides – triple cooked fries and crispy dry rub onion rings. The fries were crispy and of a high quality. But it was the onion rings that stole the sides show with their soft insides and crisp, flavoursome outsides. Not like those oversized, undercooked and soggy batter ones that I see too often.
I ran out of wind and could not even finish my burger so there was no chance of dessert. Even if we did go for dessert, two out of the three offerings contained nuts and Mr S is allergic to nuts so he would have been left with little choice unfortunately. Going with the whole American style theme, I would love to see a sundae on the menu. Nothing too crazy but a salted caramel brownie concoction would bring a big smile to my face.
I can’t comment on the drinks because we went for coke but the meat cocktails sound interesting (yes, cocktails flavoured with meat) and I’m sure that next time won’t be such a sober affair.