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Ron Mackenna: Burger Meats Bun, Glasgow

Four stars

Four stars

A full roll of kitchen paper on every table? Seen it. Drinks served in half-pint tumblers, burgers served in greaseproof paper, checked place mats and cool bare light bulbs? Seen that, too. And in the background, Bruce Springsteen breaking his heart over some Jersey Shore tragedy. Ho-hum. It's certainly a burger joint.

But so far … Cutlery in a tin, toy farm animals nailed to strips of artificial turf on the bare wooden backs of the seating, even more greaseproof-paper wrappers. Yip, seen most of that hoo-hah too.

Chicken wings fried to golden crispness - not difficult, so why don't most places do it? - covered in a Samjang Seoul sauce of bean and pepper paste, honey, garlic and sesame. Not seen much of that before. And hang on, these are good and different and spicy.

Everyone who is anyone is going brioche now. But at first bite, this crumbly burger in a shiny brioche bun has enough seasoning so you can taste the meat and enough quality to send juices rushing out of it and on to the wrapper. Pass the kitchen roll, Luca. This is different. For Glasgow, anyway. Inside, there's a slice of tomato, a cucumber pickle, some cheddar and a bite of burger sauce. And a lot of flavour. Maybe not pink inside but definitely tasty. Yes, I know: no deep-fried onion rings, no haggis strips, whisky sauce, hash browns or any of the junk that fills your average Glasgow burger in a desperate bid to bury the fact the meat is awful.

It's only day two after opening and already there is a constant queue of people drifting down into this basement. I hear Twitter being mentioned. I notice that many of the customers, unusually nowadays, are male.

Anyway, Debs orders the fiery burger with jalapenos, chipotle mayo and something called Toma Raschiera - I think they made that last thing up unless it's the Italian cheese of an almost entirely different spelling. Same juicy burger, though, same balance of meat-bun-meat-boom flavours. OK it's not yet quite the simple burger and bun that strange people like me dream of, but it's really not far off.

There are proper skin-on chips, fried to a proper crunchy crisp with a floury interior and a dusting of salt. There are even more chips, this time doused in Thai spices, green chillies, spring onions and laced with melted cheese. So wrong. So right.

Those buffalo wings? What can I say? Inexplicably, given everything else is good, they're utterly hopeless. Yes, the chicken is once again fried to a golden crispness but what flavour is this sauce? I'm getting vinegar and water, and that's it. By the way, a Diet Coke in here costs £1.50. That's extraordinary nowadays.

Two desserts are all they offer to finish off. Some cute chopped doughnut strips in a good but too-watery butterscotch sauce and a little culinary joke called Burger And Shake. This is a clever take on a macaroon that looks like a bun, with a chocolate filling that looks like a burger and a slice of fruit shaped to look like processed cheese. It's actually really tasty and while the shake in the little milk bottle that comes with it is good, it could and should be much colder.

Burger Meats Bun then, folks? Is this the latest incarnation of the Man v Food revolution that's blowing through Glasgow? Yesiree Bob, it sure is. Somehow the cult television show has encouraged people to raise standards of American food and it's paying off big style. Just a few yards up the road is The Meat Bar: same idea, slightly different take. Two quality burger joints side by side after years of mediocrity can only be good. And more are on the way.

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