(*Note, ‘the Ivy’ has changed its name to ‘Distill’ since this review was published)
The Finnieston end of Argyle street in Glasgow is an ever-evolving collection of bars, restaurants and shops and over the last couple of years it has become home to some of the best hangouts in the city. The Ivy sits unassumingly on the corner of Argyle and Kelvingrove street and from the outside, there’s not much to see. Infact, you’d be forgiven for walking right past it without a second glance. However, if you are on the ultimate Glasgow burger hunt like us, you are going to want to pull open those heavy brown doors and head inside.
As you walk into the Ivy, you are greeted with the bar which is home to one of the best rum selections in Glasgow. There’s also some fantastic beer on offer too, however as Pamela and I were both suffering from a slight hangover, we opted to skip the drinks and head to the seating area at the back of the bar.
The Ivy’s menu is surprisingly diverse, showcasing a wide range of dishes from beer battered fish and chips to Falafel fritters and lamb tangine – it’s traditional food with a twist. Several of our readers had recently e-mailed us to recommend the burger at the Ivy, so our minds were made up even before we were handed menus.
The Ivy’s beef burger comes served with tomato relish, little gem lettuce, onion and beef tomato on a sourdough bun. The patty is seasoned with onion, mustard, parsley and marrow bone. The menu lists several other toppings available to choose from too, including bacon, black pudding, cheese, mushrooms and onion rings priced at £1 each. There is also the option of ‘a slab of foie gras’ as a topping for an extra £6. I opted for the cheese as an extra toppings and Pamela settled on both cheese and bacon.
The first thing I noticed about the Ivy’s burger was how impressive it looked as it was brought over to the table. The sourdough bun glistened and the melted cheese looked like it had been poured over the finished patty rather than melted on top. By this point, my mouth was watering. When I originally read the menu, I had thought that the burger may have been served with a bone marrow gravy similar to the behemoth burger at Nice’N Sleazy’s, however we soon discovered that the bone marrow seasoning was already part of the patty and from the second I cut the burger in half I was able to smell it and it smelled delicious.
The patty itself melted in our mouths and was extremely juicy – infact, you could actually see the parsley seasoning on the inside of the patty – always a good sign that a burger has definitely been handmade in house. The bone marrow and mustard combination added a deep, intense beefy flavour and the hot melted cheese gave the burger a very comforting finish, which is just what we both needed as we tried to recover from the world’s worst hangover. The sourdough bun was divine and along with brioche, in my opinion, is the best type of bun for a big juicy burger such as this one. The bun held up well, managing to stay intact which was rather impressive given that the burger was a fairly messy affair with relish and cheese pouring out of the sides with every bite.
My only complaint was that there was a little too much tomato relish on the burger. The relish itself was perfectly tasty, but when you’ve got such an incredibly tasty patty, I want to experience as much of that rich bone marrow beefy flavour as possible. I’d have happily had the burger with only cheese and perhaps have had the relish in a seperate dish on the side. I just felt that a little bit of the bone marrow flavour was lost underneath the tomato relish. It was a very minor issue though that I probably shouldn’t even class as a complaint as overall the Ivy’s beef burger was fantastic.
On a dreary Sunday afternoon, you can’t ask for much more than this if you are looking for a good, hearty, flavoursome burger. It’s the edible equivalent of a warm hug. Food for the soul indeed.
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The Ivy is located on the corner of Argyle Street and Kelvingrove Street, just a few minutes walk from Exhibition Centre train station.
1102-1106 Argyle Street
Phone: 0141 337 3006