THEY’RE talking about Japanese whiskies at the table next to me, £1000 bottles and also about The Balvennie, Founder’s Reserve.

We’re talking at this table about the enormous To Let sign hanging right outside Bread Meats Bread tonight. And what it means. “Not closing, just moving,” says the fresh-faced and chirpy young waiter when asked.

When and where, he’s not sure, maybe six months, probably somewhere bigger. Possibly not the greatest thing for a business to have outside, though, and when I see it tonight en route to find out if it’s true that Glasgow’s Bread Meats Bread now allegedly makes one of the best 50 burgers in the world, crikey, I almost do a cartoon u-turn.

To head instead to one of those new fish taco places popping out everywhere. But it’s Wednesday, it’s 9pm and through the enormous square windows I can see a warm glow, a lot of people, a rude healthiness: frankly it’s pretty busy.

They’ll sing songs one day about the great burger revolution of, say, eight years ago, of America’s Man v Food, of hipsters and authentic ingredients and the earnest race to make a better burger and of how little Bread Meats Bread here fought off the competition to become not just (almost) the last man standing, but part of a mini Scottish chain with a global reputation. Okay, they probably won’t.

But students will surely make documentaries – they already have. Although hands up, confession time: I didn’t really rate the burgers here when I came back in the day, but whether it’s Betamax v VHS, Windows v Apple or simply location, location, location there’s no denying this place has fans.

Mainly but not exclusively males tonight; all ages, whisky-loving middle-agers, I see a guy over there chowing down while wearing an actual orange-faced Doxa Submariner watch, a lone Japanese customer at a bench, a (very) young couple gazing at each other oblivious to the swooping and swiping at the open grill area above and behind. True story: I’ll walk out onto slushy St Vincent Street later just as a clutch of English accents go rushing by and a man will turn and without stopping look up and shout: “Hey, great name. But are they great burgers?”

At first I sit at one of those goldfish bowl bench tables that’s at the corner of St Vincent Street and Renfield Street and fight against BT’s relentlessly aggressive, greedy, overpriced internet pop-up nonsense from taking over my laptop’s wi-fi, but then a back-wall two-seater becomes available and I move to where I can see inside and not just out.

The menu’s been through a few hands by the time I get it, but they’ve been round the block in here, and it’s changed from what I remember too. More buttermilk fried chicken burgers, a plant-based burger from Moving Mountains with, er, genuine bleeding patties, hot dogs too.

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Their signature burger comes with nduja, pulled pork, BBQ sauce and Sriracha, which gets full marks for covering all the bases. I’m no fan of the pile-it-high,

bury-the-taste school of burgers so the £8.50 Cheeseburger is ordered, the small poutine (£4) and – simply because I’m curious – a Kimcheese Toastie at £6.50.

The toastie’s big, toasted properly, sticky, melting and served with a pile of green pickles. The Canadian-style poutine is all bland white curds looking like cauliflower, a ladle of brown gravy, a few golden chips sticking up like the masts of foundered chips.

The burger itself comes in a wrinkled bun, buttered I’d say, completely and properly toasted, melting cheese running down what looks like properly charred meat. They’ve got presentation down to almost an art form.

Taste? Kimchi toastie? Ooyah: overwhelmed by the taste of that pungent cabbage, and wet at the bottom. Poutine? Harmless and inoffensive.

And that burger? The right texture to the bun, clearly carefully prepared, but I find the meat dense, tasting of nothing much and a bit gristly in parts.

Bread Meats Bread

104 St Vincent Street


Tel 0141 249 9898

Hours 11am-10pm. Seven days.

Menu: It’s on an internet list of the world’s top 50 burgers, plus vegan bleeders, poutines, buttermilk chicken as expected. 3/5

Service: No complaints from me, freshly cheery, swift and the food reached the table in a reasonable time. 5/5

Atmosphere: Woody, hipstery, open-kitchen vibe, it’s part of a mini chain but still pulls off a welcoming feel. 5/5

Price: Slap, bang in primo territory in Glasgow’s city centre, those rates ain’t gonna be cheap but I thought the pricing was reasonable in the circumstances. 4/5

Food: Is it fast food with a bit of a hand-made spin? If so it’s all of that. Is it one of the world’s best burgers? If so, I had nothing that special to eat and the burger itself wasn’t for me. 5/10

Total: 22/30