Here at James vs. Burger, we always believed that there weren’t enough bars in Glasgow named after great fictional famous drinkers but after you visit Lebowski’s, you’ll realise that it’s the only place you’ll need if you are looking for unpretentious, relaxed, laid back surroundings and hearty feel-good food. Named after Jeff Bridges’ legendary character ‘The Dude’ from the Coen Brothers’ classic film ‘The Big Lebowski’, Lebowski’s bar perfectly captures everything you love about the character and the film itself including the widest selection of White Russian cocktails that you’ll probably ever see. We dropped by on a rainy Thursday afternoon, but we weren’t there to drink – we were there for the burger.
We got to grips with the Lebowski’s burger – an aged rump steak patty that the guys at the bar are extremely proud of, and rightfully so. This is what a good burger is all about. The handmade from scratch beef patty was extremely juicy and cooked to perfection, making it dangerously easy to finish off such a big burger quite quickly – and when we say it was big, it was VERY big. It’s not the biggest burger served up there, however. Lebowski’s also offer a ‘Big Lebowski’ burger which consists of the burger pictured, but doubled in size. We’ll certainly have to return to attempt that challenge one day soon! All of Lebowski’s burgers come served with salad and a basket of their handcut chunky fries, however I was so impressed with the beef itself that I didn’t even touch the fries until the burger was finished and by that point, I was pretty full from trying all of the different toppings on offer!
Unlike other bars or restaurants which may offer ten to twenty different types of burger, Lebowski’s like to keep it simple. Manager Greig Duncan and Head Chef Tommy Johnston believe in letting the customer build their own burger, and this is where Lebowski’s really comes into it’s own. On offer is a vast array of toppings including mature lockerbie cheddar, smoked applewood, red onion marmalade, fresh chillies, garlic butter, aubergine, Ayrshire bacon, black pudding and haggis, just to name a few! You can also choose from various sauces and types of mayo including garlic, smoked chilli (which we’d HIGHLY recommend!) and jumbo pickle. If you’ve ever looked at a burger menu and were unable to find a burger where all of the toppings were to your liking, you won’t have that problem at Lebowski’s. The possibilities are endless here. We decided to sample all of the toppings and try them all for this review. My own personal favourite combination was the beef patty topped with the Ayrshire bacon, smoked applewood and the smoked chilli mayo. Absolutely delicious!
The bun was delicious too. Chef Johnston believes that Lebowski’s source their bread from the best baker in town and after sampling the bun, it would be hard to argue with him. It was lightly sweetened and full of flavour.
One of the reasons we decided to start up this project is that we firmly believe that some of the best food in the world can be found in Scotland and that the food scene here is criminally underappreciated. Many in Scotland will think of a burger as something you buy vaccum packed from your local frozen food store, poorly cooked from a high street chain-pub or from a fast food van. Lebowski’s is a prime example that you can find some of the best quality burgers anywhere in the world right here and are helping lead the way in transforming the Scottish food scene and people’s attitudes towards it. it is clear that the food is prepared with care and passion and it shone through with every bite.
We’ll definitely be stopping by Lebowski’s again to not only sample their ‘Big Lebowski’ monster burger, but their ‘Big MacBowski Burger’ too – a deep fried free range chicken fillet with a homemade tiger crumb, rolled oats and herb coating topped with bacon, cheddar and the smoked chilli mayo that we abolutely loved. Bar Manager Greig told us that both the beef burger and chicken burgers are always extremely popular with the customers and two dishes that the staff at Lebowski’s are very proud of. We’ll certainly be back for another review!
The Lebowski’s beef burger is easily one of the best we’ve ever had, showing that some of the best food you will ever eat can be found right here in Scotland. Chef Johnston has perfected the art of making a perfect handmade burger. In the past, I’ve had burgers that cost twice as much money and were nowhere as good. The juiciness of the meat, the size of the burger itself and the wide selection of toppings on offer make Lebowski’s a must for anyone looking for good quality food in relaxed, cool surroundings. Stop in, order a burger, customize it to your liking and enjoy one of the best that Glasgow has to offer. Don’t forget to grab one of the twenty white russians on offer too!
***** UPDATE – OCT 28TH 2012 – THE BIG LEBOWSKI BURGER! *****
We recently popped into Lebowski’s for a couple of after work white russians and to catch up with an old friend. After a couple of drinks, we started to get hungry and thought it would be the perfect time to sample the legendary BIG Lebowski burger, after wanting to return following our first review back in June.
Let’s just cut right to the chase – this burger is not for the faint of heart. It’s essentially the burger that we reviewed back in June but doubled in size. Two huge, thick steak patties, double melted Lockerbie cheddar, lettuce and pickle. I chose to add smoked chilli mayo and red onion marmalade, which I’d highly recommend. The marmalade and smoked chilli mayo comes in two seperate dishes, but I just spread them on the top half of the bun and then placed it back on top of the burger. The smoked chilli mayo is so good that we kept some aside to dip the triple cooked fries in.
The patties were well seasoned and excellently cooked. I did manage to finish the entire burger (only just!) but if the steak patties hadn’t been as juicy as they were, I may have struggled more. The Lockerbie cheddar flowed from the burger like a river of melted cheese – it was rich, full of flavour and messy – just how cheese on a burger should be. The red onion marmalade added a nice sweet hint to counteract the spicy mayo and these two extras together with the cheese and juice from the meat all melded together to create a burger of epic proportions. Presentation wise, it ticked all of the boxes too. This is one burger that will cause everyone around the table to get their cameras and phones out and start snapping away. Very impressive indeed!
The Big Lebowski was so good that we’d recommend going straight for this beast rather than starting with the regular Lebowski burger. The price tag may put a few people off, but remember that you are getting two massive handmade patties here. In our opinion it’s well worth every penny. As good as the Lebowski burger is, the Big Lebowski is simply the same burger but more of it. Get it with a pint of West 4 or Blue Moon and then wash it down with a white russian for dessert. You know it makes sense.
+ Well cooked, juicy and seasoned perfectly
+ Fantastic selections of toppings to choose from. Get the smoked chilli mayo.
+ Fantastic presentation
– Some may struggle with the size. For us it wasn’t an issue but this one is NOT for the faint-hearted!
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Lebowski’s is located on Argyle Street, just a few minutes walk from Exhibition Centre train station.
1008 Argyle Street
Phone: 0141 564 7988