glasgow 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

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I Miss Bread Meats Bread!

So the flat is no longer ours, we’ve started our jobs up in Inverness & unpacked enough boxes at my folks to do us until we get in the new house. Being up here has some perks – I spent last night at a friends drinking wine with the girls – but I’m yet to find a new Bread Meats Bread. If someone can point me in the direction of a pink burger in a brioche bun I will be running straight there.
Fine, I admit it, I’ve become a burger snob. It’s Glasgow’s fault for giving me such an amazing range of good-quality burger places. So until I find somewhere up here like that (or make a Glasgow trip), I’ll reminisce over my last visit to BMB.

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The last few times I’ve been here I’ve had a fullhouse burger or a smokey and this occasion was no different. You’ve heard it all before but I wanted to write about it again for new readers – and I guess when I feel that they are doing what they do so well, I want success for them. Anyway, the burger was a pinky medium (you can ask for it cooked through), the cheese was all gooey, the slow cooked meat was peppery and tender & the brioche bun kept the whole thing together.

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The cheeseburger next to me was going down equally as well & ‘the wolf’ across the table was being savagely wolfed down.

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The side orders are big enough to feed more than one so a chips and a sweet potato fries was enough for the four of us. If you have tried sweet potato fries yet then do it without hesitation. We added some onion rings too just because we couldn’t resist.

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Their house draught beer (Beer M Beer) is Scottish lager and a 2 pint jug will set you back £7. They also have bottles of two of my favourite beers – Samuel Adams and Blue Moon.

I write this full of hope that someone, somewhere will read it and open up a similar one in Inverness. If you’ve got the money I’ll run it for you! I know that I’m not the only person that raves about it and it’s well deserved. I miss you Bread Meats Bread.

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.

Meaty Mains At Meatbar

As I’ve said previously, the first time I visit a restaurant I am always full of hope – I want to enjoy it, have a new favourite and I’m willing them on to deliver the goods. On my second visit I am crossing my fingers that it wasn’t just a one-off and that I’m as happy as I was the last time that I left. I suppose it’s a bit like looking for a house though because the first viewing is all excitement and the second one is still excitement but also about practicality & checking other things.

With that said, last month Mr S & I returned to Meat Bar one rainy night after work because we had been hankering after the French Dip ever since. We snagged a booth again so we were off to a comfy start.

 

This time we also opted for starters as they all sounded as good as the main courses. We had the pit-smoked bourbon chicken wings with BBQ sauce and the crispy pig’s cheeks with piccalilli style veg. The chicken wings were – dare I say it – perfect chicken wings. They were meaty and tasty and the sauce had a lovely BBQ tang – definitely one that we would order again.

 

IMG_0698Wings £5

 

When I was choosing my starter I asked about the pig’s cheek and he described it to me as little cakes so I knew what to expect but I think the menu could do with some clarification on this. I thought the starter was nice but it just did not really do it for me. There wasn’t a lack of flavour or anything – I just was not crazy about the dish. I think I would have preferred the meat to take centre stage but the spices and piccalilli veg took over on the taste scale.

 

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Crispy Pigs Cheeks £5.50

 

This time for main course we sampled the classic beef grinder burger (£7 + £1 for cheese) and the french dip smokehouse sandwich (£9). The french dip sandwich was as it was the first time – tender brisket beef with those onions – just delicious. I like that the bone marrow gravy comes on the side so that I can add as much or as little as I want. The only downside was that last time I am sure that the bun was toasted but this time it didn’t appear to be and it did affect the taste slightly as the bun couldn’t quite hold its own. Next time I will just make sure I ask for it to be toasted because I’m not sure if it is meant to be or not. The house slaw was as refreshing as last time and I’m glad that they serve it with this.

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I completely agree with James VS Burger that the classic beef grinder burger is a tasty patty indeed. We both thought that it was full of flavour and the gooey cheese (add on £1) was delicious in it. Next time I think we’d go the whole hog (no pun intended) and add the pulled pork too for an add on at £2. Another menu item that I would be happy to recommend to people and will order again.

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We chose the same sides as last time – the triple cooked fries & the dry rub crispy onion rings. The fries were crunchy on the outside & soft on the inside – excellent. The onion rings were not as good as last time but still nice. They were more in bits this time but last time they were big rings so I felt there was more crunch and outside rub than there was onion.

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We were incredibly full again after our main courses so went without dessert. I had meant to try one of the meaty cocktails this time but decided against it on a school night.

 

 

So after our second visit we were full, happy and looking forward to our third. There were a few niggles – when isn’t there – but nothing even remotely big enough to put me off going again. One day I will try a meaty cocktail, one day.

 

 

 

 

My First time At Meat Bar can be seen here

https://girlaroundglasgow.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/meat-bar-all-about-the-french-dip/

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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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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