burger

Being Bad At Five Guys

Cheating on someone is a horrible business. There’s this overwhelming guilt that keeps feelings cooped up inside- feelings of worthlessness and shame. How will I ever go back? 

Today I am forcing myself to be brave and put into words what I did. Here goes, please don’t judge. 

 I cheated on Bread Meats Bread… I cheated on local and I cheated on Glasgow as I knew it… I went to Five Guys for lunch. I’m sorry, really sorry. 

In my defence, we were going to go to Bread Meats Bread but the queue was long and we were pushed for time. Five Guys had been on my will-I-won’t-I radar for a while so we just did it. In my account of our visit I will be as objective as I can be & throw my guilt aside. 


  

We stepped in through the unfamiliar doors to a big menu on the wall and a counter to order at. There was no queue so we could order immediately after choosing. As you can see from the menu, you choose a basic burger type or hot dog then customise it. I asked for a cheeseburger with mayo, pickles, ketchup & onions. As much as I like vegetables, too much in a burger can make the whole experience fall apart. Fries – the only side they seem to do- completed my food order & I went for a refillable drink to wash it down. 
They gave us cups for the self serve so we helped ourselves. I like a cheeky cherry coke on occasion and this was one of those days. We then waited at the service area for our number to be called. It was nice to watch them making the burgers & quite atmospheric listening to the chefs shout back and forth. I guess it added to the American burger joint feel that I’d expected. 
  
There are three floors of seats and, as the ground floor was pretty full, we chose to go upstairs. This was the biggest mistake we made because it was VERY loud. I felt like I’d gone back to the school canteen. Between the noise of other diners (many under 20 years old & giddly on too much refillable coke) & the shouting from the kitchen downstairs, I developed a headache. A burger tends to be my hangover food but there’s no way I would choose somewhere so noisy the day after the night before so it gets crossed off that list. I went down to the basement to the toilet and it was somewhat quieter down there but I imagine with such a low roof it only takes a couple of tables of teenagers to turn rowdy. I’m only 31 so it makes me feel old writing about the noise but it just shows how loud it is – my mum would have walked straight back out. 
  

On to the burger and fries. The burger itself consisted of two thin patties and they were still juicy with lots of oozy cheese. The bun held together but didn’t have the sweetness that I prefer from a brioche. I still really enjoyed the burger and would give it 8/10. The fries were crispy outside and soft inside – a good effort indeed. One regular sized fries is enough for two people so don’t buy two or you’ll be left with lots or have to be rolled out of there. 

A couple more sides – maybe some onion rings for instance – would have added to the experience. 

  
I was disappointed to see that the fries are cooked in peanut oil considering how many people are allergic to nuts. There was no alternative to this on the board so I assume that there is none. They also give out free peanuts & they were placed in boxes with scoops around the place. If you’ve ever been on an aeroplane & it’s come over the tannoy that nuts are not being served due to another passenger with a serious allergy then surely you’ll see the flaw in Five Guys plan. Everyone loves a freebie and a novelty idea but when a reported 1 in every 100 people in the UK are allergic to peanuts* it seems nonsensical. 
  
So my visit really was full of peaks & troughs. The food was a high point but the noise and peanut thing was a real low point for me. It’s such a shame as the food was a solid effort. After speaking to a friend who thought the same thing maybe Five Guys need to look into creating a more comfortable atmosphere in the stark white building. 

I’ve been dithering about if I’d go back or not because of this & I guess it depends on availability of seats at the other nearby places on burger street. Maybe they have got their target market and I’m not it but students must have more money now than they used to if they’re to keep this place going. Parents might like the noise so they don’t feel self-conscious about their loud kids too. It falls more into the takeaway category for me but is a pricey takeaway at £13.25 for a cheeseburger, small fries & drink. 

*Source: http://patient.info/health/nut-allergy

Buddy’s

Trying to catch up with Glasgow burger places is exhausting – me and my expanded waist are officially over it. I’ve found my favourites and I’ll go to them but that’s it. I still have a short post to do about TriBeCa but as of now I’m hoping that my willpower will kick in. There’s only so many ways to describe a burger and anyway, James Vs Burger is much better at it than I am. So this is one of my last burger posts for a while. Several food lovers had recommended Buddy’s in Shawlands when it was a takeaway and they now have a dine-in place nearby so it seemed a logical pick for an informal catch-up with Southside friends.

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20140529-183458-66898020.jpg(Excuse the messy menu)

Buddys has an American diner theme to the decor. As you can imagine, the menu is all burgers. I had a Buddy’s Special – a beef patty, mushroom, onion, cheese & bacon. It was smaller in size than many burgers I’ve been served recently but the texture and flavour were superior to a lot of those so I preferred it.

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Mr S chose a Western Burger – beef patty, BBQ sauce, bacon & a giant onion ring. He rated it highly but said it wasn’t very big. Although he did think that if it was bigger then it might have not been as juicy.

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Fries were probably bought in and frozen but fine for the occasion.
The side of chicken wings was a big portion and I’d order them again.

A good addition to Shawlands, making sure that locals don’t need to go into town for good food.

Buddy's BBQ & Burgers on Urbanspoon

Bread Meats Bread – More Than A Fleeting Trend

I attended the opening night of Bread Meats Bread in October and you can read about the night here https://girlaroundglasgow.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/i-meet-bread-meats-bread/

Glasgow is full of new burger places and the blogging world are lapping it up. I managed the whole of January without a single burger so in February I was ready for a Bread Meats Bread outing. I have been back several times since it opened and I’ve watched the inevitable changes that come with a new restaurant learning. They have just changed their menu to account for this and there is one change in particular that I love – bacon fries. They have also now got their alcohol licence so we have been sampling their house draft beer, Sam Adams and Blue Moon and they all got the thumbs up.

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I like that you don’t automatically get fries with the burgers because it makes the meal more of a sharing event. Every time I have been, regardless of who I’m with, we have shared sides. This time we ordered a main each then shared sweet potato fries, bacon chips and a classic poutine between four of us.

The new menu

The new menu

The new smokey burger was a hit with the table. It consists of a house blend burger with swiss cheese, purple slaw, bbq sauce and smoked meat of the day. They let you choose from a meat selection for meat of the day and at our table we had a salami, a pulled pork and a beef brisket. We were also asked how we wanted our burgers cooked and we all said pink. The burger patty was tasty and the toppings were well received.

Smokey burger with pulled pork £8

Smokey burger with pulled pork £8

I was the only one at the table not having a burger in favour of bbq pulled pork on a brioche roll with purple slaw and bbq sauce. It was a similar product to theirs but, after trying the pulled pork previously when it was a special, I wanted all the pork I could get. The in house smoking does wonders for this and it is pulled to order – so tasty. My only criticism is that I’d have liked a touch more bbq sauce. I really like the homemade coleslaw as well, none of this tasteless gloop that I’ve been served by other unnamed establishments.

BBQ pulled pork sandwich £6

BBQ pulled pork sandwich £6

The new and improved fries were fantastic. I have loved the sweet potato fries since they opened but I was told that they have tried and tested different methods and the new sweet potato chips are thinner and crispier. They still come with the spicy mayo that I enjoy thank goodness. Then there was the poutines – this is my second taste of the classic poutine here and its like a fancy chips, cheese and gravy really. I liked them the first time but the gravy was stronger this time making them more flavoursome. The cheese curds are almost lighter than normal cheese somehow. Now on to the star of the show that was the bacon chips. Not only was there bacon on the chips but there was also bacon mayo… bacon. mayo. I was tempted to nip in after work a few days ago for some of this wonderous invention but I stopped myself & forced my legs to run for the bus, cursing myself the whole way home.

Poutine £4, Bacon chips £3, Sweet potato chips £3

Poutine £4, Bacon chips £3, Sweet potato chips £3

I can also vouch for the classic grilled cheese with soup that I tried on a December visit. It’s like a cheese toastie but on a tastier scale and you can dip your cheese in the rich tomato soup for comfort food fulfillment.

Grilled cheese £3, £1 extra with soup

Grilled cheese £3, £1 extra with soup

They didn’t have any brownie when we were in (sob) and the photo I took last time is lost somewhere in my food photo vault but it looks like a brownie in a cup with vanilla ice-cream! The brownie is very gooey and soft. A fully cooked brownie is a gripe of mine that goes hand in hand with my dislike of macaroni arriving as another pasta shape, over-filled white wine glasses and cheddar cheese on pizza – all no-no’s in my book. It is a bold statement but Bread Meats Bread’s brownie is the best brownie that I have eaten in Glasgow.

Bread Meats Bread is casual eating at its best. You cannot book which can be bad but is also good because you don’t get turned away on busy nights. It provides me with comfort food and hasn’t let me down yet so I have great deal of affection for the place.

Bread Meats Bread on Urbanspoon

I Meet Bread Meats Bread

Glasgow has seen a flurry of American-y restaurants open this year and I’m making a plucky effort to get my way around them all. It’s battle of the burger, menus, quality beer and triple cooked fries. The latest restaurant to join this trend is Bread Meats Bread, which is in a fab location just off Buchanan Street. Over the last few weeks I’ve been peeking in through the window every time I pass but they had it well hidden until the launch day. On Tuesday night I finally got to see the place at the launch & weigh up my opinions on the newbie in town.

Exterior

Exterior

I arrived early on the night so that I could take a few photos and bag us a good seat. The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows along two walls & is on the corner of St Vincent Street and Renfield Street so there’s a real city vibe when you’re sitting inside. There’s chunky tables and booth seats made by Glasgow Wood Recycling, which is a social enterprise that create furniture by hand from locally reclaimed timber. I loved the big cow on the wall that screams carnivore to me (not actually) and the animal details in the seating.

Interior

Interior

But lets face it – the food was what’s bringing us there and I was just hoping that it was going to live up to my high expectations after so much chat. After being given some fizz and chatting to the lovely staff, we starting scrutinising the menu.

Menu

Menu

Burgers are split into three sections – house blend, red label (made with spicy n’duja sausage) and black label premium. There’s even a surf and turf burger that combines the black label premium burger with lobster meat. We tried a variety of sampler sliders to get a good overview of their products. The Spartan red label was my favourite with cooling tzatziki to mellow the n’duja. The house burger was also rich & satisfying but the boys favourite was the black label burger.

The Spartan

The Spartan

Breaking free from the usual bun, BMB have the trendy bun of the moment, brioche, along with the potato bun (my favourite) and the pretzel bun (holds toppings well). We tried them all and liked them all, and when I go back for a proper visit I’ll find out if they survive a full burger without breaking. We learned that all of the buns are made at Bavarian Bakery in Kirkintilloch & the owner was at the launch checking how they all went down.

After the burgers we got to sample some sandwiches from the menu. First came pastrami on rye bread with mustard – the pastrami was so tasty and my only criticism is that I would have liked it sliced a bit thinner.  We tried the beef brisket with cheese & house gravy and it was tremendous. The beef was falling apart and the cheese & gravy flavours matched perfectly – definitely one of the favourites. Next came a gourmet (hot) dog sampler that we really liked. By this point we were truly convinced that all of the meats would be delicious.

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During the meat-fest we also got to taste the triple-cooked chips and sweet potato chips. The sweet potato chips were described by one of my party as ‘immense’ so that sums it up really.

Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Chips

The menu also has pulled chicken sandwiches, a meatball sandwich & porchetta ciabatta sandwiches. I’m also interested in the grilled cheese with the soup dip – it sounds so American and a great lunch treat. But the thing on the menu that I want to try the most is the poutine. It is basically chips, cheese curds & gravy and is extremely popular in Canada. I’ve never had cheese curds before and I love trying new things so hopefully a new indulgence for me.

Love the seat decor

Love the seat decor

The menu poses a big problem for me – there’s so much savoury food that I want that I don’t know how I’ll ever fit in a dessert. Even if we share one between four, or just have an ice-cream cone, I am determined to try one. The smashed caramel brownie & the glasgownut (a doughnut and croissant mash-up) both sound too good to miss. I’m sure they’ll go delightfully with a bottle of Blue Moon or Brooklyn lager.

Favourite beers

Favourite beers

In short, we were very enamoured with Bread Meats Bread and, before we’d even left the building, had planned our return trip on Sunday. Fingers crossed we’ve got a new favourite.

Allangrange Arms – Worth The Walk

For those of you who don’t know me, I was born & bred in Inverness and my family still live there so I make regular trips up the (dreaded) A9 for visits. In some ways not living there can have its benefits. I get to go home to mum and dad’s to be looked after, I appreciate the place more & I’ve lots of people to test restaurants for me so I know where is worth a visit. Last time I was up mum had chosen a secret place for dinner & all anyone would tell was that it was out of town. I learned in the car over that we were headed to Munlochy, which is just over the Kessock Bridge and up some windy roads. It’s an area that mum discovered out walking at the nearby Ord Hill, and I saw for myself a few days later the fantastic views over Inverness.

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View from Ord Hill

If you don’t know the area then I’d make sure that you have a map or sat-nav at the ready. Once you get to Munlochy though, The Allangrange Arms is on the main road so nice & easy to find. A plus with eating out of town is the plentiful free parking which we took advantage of. There were lots of outside tables that looked perfect for summer afternoon but this certainly was not a sunny afternoon so we toddled inside. It was quiet on the Monday night that we visited but where isn’t on a Monday? Especially up Inverness way, where most people seem to save going out for the weekends (trust me, everywhere is packed on a Saturday).

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We had booked a table anyway since there was five of us and a lovely table it was. All rustic looking with some cute candles and round the corner so we weren’t eating our dinner right in the middle of the pint supping lot. This is essentially a local pub for some people & I’m sure it gets its fair share of regulars. It seems like the sort of place that Mr S and I would take advantage of regularly if we lived up that way.

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Table candles

We settled in and were given menus and offered drinks. We enquired about their ales on draft and within the selection was Happy Chappy Pale Ale from the Cromarty Brewing Co. This was the moment that I realised that I liked this place – local (tick), delicious pale ale (tick) & supporting little brewers (tick). Pale Ale is my newest alcohol love and Happy Chappy just so happens to be my favourite so far. The Allangrange also does buy one get one free cocktails Monday to Friday so we’ll try them next time.

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As for the menu, there were more specials than staples, which I was hoping was a positive thing meaning fresh & seasonal ingredients. It was a hard decision with the starters because they had mussels, langoustines and scallops. In the end my sister and I shared the pan seared West coast scallops served with a chorizo, saffron and herb risotto. The scallops were obviously fresh and the risotto packed enough punch to deliver on taste but not drown out the scallops.

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Scallops & Risotto Starter £7.95

The Cullen Skink starter was a winter warmer, thick with flavour and chunks of fish. My dad kindly let me sample some and I’d easily polish off a bowl with some crusty bread. So far so good.

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Cullen Skink £5.95

Mum went for the smoked ham hock with apple & spinach salad which was served with wholegrain mustard and Highland Crowdie sauce. It was presented well on one of those slate plates and mum ate the lot saying it was yummy.

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Ham hock salad £6.45

We ordered a bottle of red wine with the main courses as we were all having red meat. Unfortunately they did not have our first choice of Montepulciano in stock but their wine list had just been changed so that is understandable. We had a fruity Shiraz instead that was a very reasonable £15.95 a bottle.

For main course three of us ended up having the burger and two of us had the lamb shank. There was a vast selection to choose from including lobster thermidor, Cromarty brown crab, veggie curry & surf n turf but the Cullen’s all wanted the same things. The burgers were huge & consisted of a beef patty, sliced chorizo, pulled pork, bacon, cheese and onion rings all crammed into a bun. They were served with chunky chips and beetroot salad all on a long wooden board. Personally I don’t like being given these boards because there is not much room for moving things & putting sauce on the side but I was having the lamb shank and the burger fiends didn’t seem to mind too much. The burgers brought a lot of praise to the table but they were all wishing that they had swerved the starters so they had space in their bellies to finish it. The quality smoky bacon was appreciated & it’s nice that it was not just an afterthought. One out of the three of them commented that it was too wet so the bun fell apart but it maybe just needed a sturdier brioche bun.

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Burger £12.95

The lamb shank was another homemade pub grub triumph in my eyes. The tikka masala sauce was rich and flavoursome, the meat was falling off the bone & the potato chunks were crispy. It’s the ideal dish that I want to be served in somewhere like The Allangrange. My only gripe is that I would have preferred mash with it but that is just my personal preference and I still loved the dish.

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Lamb Shank £12.50

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Lyonnaise Potatoes

We were full but with my sister & I spurring each other on we had some desserts anyway. I went for the chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream. Unfortunately the brownie was quite dry and more like a cake minus the icing. Brownie to me should be gooey but it just wasn’t.

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Brownie £5.50

She went for the creme brulee, which was flavoured with honey and white chocolate & served with homemade shortbread. I was dubious about the honey and white chocolate complementing each other but it was actually really nice.

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Creme brulee £5.50

The favourite of the desserts was the millionaire shortbread cheesecake (£5.50) – it was just delicious and I was tempted to order one to take home. Unusually it arrived as a pile in a bowl as opposed to in a cake slice form and it was a gooey loveliness.

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Cheesecake

You’ve probably gathered from what has been written that I liked The Allangrange Arms a lot indeed. In fact, I wish that we had a pub near us that served food as nice as they do because I find most pub food to be rather disappointing. I found the location both endearing and inconvenient – endearing as it is a gorgeous spot but inconvenient because someone has to drive. I’m looking forward to my next trip up so that we can go back and wile away a Sunday afternoon next to the fire trying out their roast dinner. For The Allangrange is no longer a secret to me, and I plan to make the most of that.

Meat Bar – All About The French Dip

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.

 

Exterior

Exterior

 

 

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.

 

Grinder Burger £8

Grinder Burger £8

 

 

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.

 

French Dip Smokehouse Sandwich £9

French Dip Smokehouse Sandwich £9

 

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.

 

Triple Cooked Fries £3

Triple Cooked Fries £3

Crispy Dry Rub Onion Rings £3

Crispy Dry Rub Onion Rings £3

 

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.

 

 

 

Meat Bar on Urbanspoon

Yet Another Restaurant Trip Report on Burger Meats Bun!

Wow – I have never heard as much social media chatter over a restaurant as I have with Burger Meats Bun. Even before they opened last month, Twitter was full of discussions about this new Glasgow eaterie. The problem about creating such a buzz is that you have to live up to the hype or you’ll be slated…badly. So when I ventured along West Nile Street a couple of weeks ago I was excited but oddly nervous – could it actually be that good or is it going to fall flat?

 

 

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After locating the place in one of the basement spaces near Revolution & Amber Regent, I surveyed the outside. Bold red lettering made it eye catching but, I’ll be honest, reminded me a little of those old Wimpy signs. Not always a bad thing if it automatically makes people think burger. I can assure you that the food was a trillion times better than Wimpy and the food is ultimately why we were here.

 

 

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The décor is modern and a mix of tables and high tables with stools. We managed to bag one of the lower tables at the far wall and my friend started reading the menu. As per usual, I had looked on-line so had decided what I was having before I’d even left my house. My big cheese burger consisted of a beef patty, dale end cheddar & home-made burger sauce. We decided to share some maldon sea salt chips & cheesey chips, for variety purposes of course. She went for the cluckin BLT burger – confit leg meat, home cured & smoked bacon, mayo and salsa verde. We also ordered soft drinks, which arrived in their cans complete with straws. Perfectly informal just as I was expecting.

 

 

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My burger on arrival

 

The informal dining experience did not end there as my burger arrived shortly after all wrapped up. I had read other reviews beforehand so knew that this was the case and also thankfully knew to use the kitchen roll that was provided because the burgers are extremely juicy. As I took that first bite I suddenly understood what all the fuss was about with this place. The beef was cooked perfectly (I like a bit of pink in my burger), the cheese was gooey and the sauce provided flavour without overpowering it. I admit that I had been sceptical about the brioche bun because I thought it would have a sweetness but, in reality, it just meant that I could eat with my hands without the whole thing collapsing on the second bite. They had run out of pickle when we went in (they make their own. drool) but had put some kind of pickled cucumber-y tasting thing in the burger that I really enjoyed.

 

 

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Big Cheese Burger (£7.50)

 

The cluckin BLT seemed to impress my friend in equal measure. The chicken meat was flavoursome and a match with the bacon & the salsa verde provided a lovely contrast.

 

 

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Cluckin BLT burger (£7.50)

 

 

Our two sides of fries – one maldon sea salt & one cheese – were really well made delicious chips. They were fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and I suspect that they are triple cooked. They tasted so good that I don’t really care but just don’t ever tell me how many calories are in them.

 

 

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Cheesey chips (£2.50)

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Maldon Sea Salt chips (£2.00)

 

By this stage I had calmed down, nerves were all gone and I was stuffed. I may have been full but there was no way that I was leaving without trying the burger & shake dessert. It arrives on a wee tray with a small tonka bean shake on one side & a macaroon on the other. The macaroon is dressed like a burger with the macaroon being the bun, chocolate ganache being the burger, raspberry coulis ketchup & passionfruit gel as a cheese slice. It looks cute as a button when it arrives and it’s yummy.

 

 

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Burger & shake dessert (£5)

 

I like the quirky decor mixed with their minimalist vibe – on the back of a booth was cows in grass, there is a giant BMB logo on the wall and a lovely quote on another wall.

 

 

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logo

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After scoffing all of that food we sat and weighed up the place. Our burgers were £7.50 and normal chips are £2 so essentially it’s £9.50 for burger & chips – not very dear and that’s before taking into account that they are making the buns and everything fresh with top quality ingredients. We stuck to soft drinks this time but I have read that the cocktails are nice but small so I’ll try one out next time. Other than that my only gripe is that I personally would like to see full size shakes on the drinks menu. There’s nothing better than a strawberry shake with a juicy burger.

 

 

Burger Meats Bun on Urbanspoon