I first set foot in Ketchup a little over three years ago. I was walking along Ashton Lane in Glasgow’s West End and noticed a glowing red neon sign along with a sign that read ‘a burger is always the answer’. With that, I knew I had to try it. I attempted the original Colossus burger at the time and found it fairly easy and not much of a challenge. I even got my photograph taken and put on the ‘wall of fame’ for my efforts. I felt rather proud of myself for finishing it, even though I didn’t find it very big at all, however in the weeks that followed I began to read reviews of Ketchup and many featured customers complaining that the Colossus wasn’t a challenge at all and that it was ‘too easy’.
Fast forward three years later to early July 2012. I began to hear rumblings of a new menu in the works at Ketchup based on customer feedback. Among the new additions – the all new Colossus 2.0. Bigger and badder than ever before. Running a site titled ‘James vs. Burger’, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to back down from a challenge so I found out when the new menu was going live and booked my table. I wanted to be the first person to conquer the Colossus 2.0!
This was my first visit to Ketchup in Glasgow’s Southside and on walking in, I noticed that the vibe is much the same as the West End branch – cool red leather booths, a range of rock & indie music playing over the restaurant, the glowing red neon signs and the cool milkshakes that come served in milk bottles – the guys at Ketchup have gotten the cool American diner vibe pretty much spot on.
I wasted no time in ordering the Colossus 2.0 and was asked if I’d take part in a ‘before and after’ shot for the restaurant’s Facebook page. Since I wanted to be the first to conquer the new challenge, I agreed. My photo was taken, smiles all round and my order was placed. As I waited for the burger, I thought back to the original Colossus and how I’ve had much bigger burgers since then and managed to finish them with little to no effort. I wondered just how big this new version could be.
I was about to find out.
As the waitress brought the Colossus to my table, she began to laugh as she sat it down infront of me and wished me good luck. As i witnessed it’s monstrous size, I began to wonder what I’d let myself in for. This wasn’t just a little bigger than the original – this was a whole new beast. I wasn’t going to let the intimidating size of the Colossus 2.0 deter me however, so I took a second to think of the best way to tackle it and eventually decided to just dive straight in. With that, I picked up the Colossus with both hands, tried to squash it down a little and went to work.
The Colossus 2.0 consists of two beef patties on a triple decker bun topped with Swiss and American cheese, lashings of bacon, giant onion rings, lettuce and mayo. Just reading that list almost made my heart stop, but I knew that I had to be the first to defeat it.
As I picked up the burger and removed the steel skewers, some of the contents began to fall out of the other side. I decided to tackle it by taking a bite from the top half, moving to the bottom half and then repeating over and over again in the hope that I could demolish a good portion of it and then be able to get a better grip on the whole thing. Despite my best efforts, as I got around halfway through, not only did I begin to feel the meat sweats coming on, but the burger almost collapsed in my hands, which at this point were covered in cheese and mayo. I decided to break one of the few rules we have at James vs. Burger and use a fork to eat the last quarter of the Colossus. By this point, I was really starting to feel full, however I was down to the last quarter and knew I had to push through and finish. With one last burst of motivation, I scooped up the remaining piece of cheese drenched patty and piece of bun and shoved it into my mouth – I had finished. I had become the first person ever to defeat Colossus 2.0. Our waitress came back, snapped my photo as I sat there sweating and struggling to breathe, putting on a smile for the camera and went away to post it on the official Ketchup Facebook page. Meanwhile, all I wanted to do was collapse in the booth and go to sleep.
Let me go back and talk a little about the burger itself. I thought that the bacon, onion rings and two types of cheese worked well and gave off enough different flavours to ensure I didn’t get bored while I was working my way though it. My only gripe was that there was a lot of cheese and a lot of mayo packed into the Colossus, which it made it difficult to really get an idea of how good the patty itself was. Each of the patties contained in the Colossus were covered in melted American cheese and when I attempted to sample the beef on it’s own, all I could really taste was the cheese, making it near impossible for me to give an opinion on the quality of the meat. From what I could taste, I’d perhaps have preferred a little more seasoning on the meat itself just to give it a bit more depth. On the other hand, I also felt that the large amount of cheese was necessary because it did made everything a little bit more moist and helped the burger go down a little easier. Perhaps if it hadn’t had any cheese at all, I may not have been able to finish it all. I would have also preferred a sourdough bun, or for the bun that it came in to be a little more toasted, however it wouldn’t have made the entire thing any less messy or easier to handle.
The Colossus isn’t really a burger I can sit here and dissect for an in-depth quality review – this is a big, messy affair and not something you should eat if you are looking to relax and enjoy a nice burger with friends or are looking for high end gourmet dining. That’s not say it wasn’t good, because despite the pain and discomfort I felt towards the end, I enjoyed it. However it’s definitely not going to be for everyone simply due to it’s enormous size. If you are looking for a burger that won’t make you feel like you are going to explode or can’t handle big portions, try one of the other many burgers from the menu. If you are looking for a challenge, want to be added to the wall of fame, want to show off infront of your mates or simply want to take on one of Scotland’s biggest burger beasts, the Colossus will be right up your street.
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1179 Pollockshaws Road
Phone: 0141 649 0944