Over the years, Glasgow watering holes have come and gone but one that has always remained is the Solid Rock Cafe on Hope Street. This legendary bar is widely known as the place to go if you’re looking to enjoy some cold beer, hard spirits and head-banging, eardrum-shattering rock music, both old and new. It’s not just a hangout for fans of Glasgow’s rock scene but a popular lunch hotspot with nearby office workers. Despite it’s dark, shadowy exterior, you’ll find people from all walks of life here. At night and especially at weekends, the Solid is loud, crowded and the drinks flow late into the night. By day; however, they offer up a wide veriaty of food in a slightly quieter, more laidback atmosphere.
Scanning the menu, I decided to go for the Scooby Snack. Described on the menu as ‘the big one!’, it consists of two quarter-pound patties topped with grilled cheese, bacon, onion rings, salad and mayo and comes served with fries. I chose to upgrade to spicy fries for an extra £1 too. This would be my second time trying the Scooby Snack burger – I first sampled it many years ago and remember it being so big that I couldn’t finish it. I was determined to not be defeated this time.
As we waited for the food, I had a look around the bar and admired the vast amount of music memorabilia that covers the walls. There was also an episode of Family Guy playing on the TV screens, which was another rather cool bonus. The atmosphere overall is very friendly and laid back and the staff couldn’t be nicer. It’s one of those bars you could escape to, hide away in a corner with a couple of beers and lose track of time simply because of how dark it is inside (and the fact that you’ll likely end up watching cartoons on the TV screens for hours).
As the burger came out, my initial impression was that it was……..quite small! The burger that came out was one that I could easily hold and eat using one hand – not the gargantuan Scooby Snack that I remember (was it two half-pound patties before as opposed to quarter pounders?). Presentation wise, I was immediately let down by the size of the burger itself; however, I absolutely loved the black basket with added Solid Rock Cafe paper that it was delivered in.
I cut the burger in half, took the obligatory photographs (which were taken with my mobile phone and not Pamela’s camera – she wasn’t there) and took my first bite. Taste-wise, I was left feeling rather underwhelmed. I couldn’t taste much of anything other than the grilled cheese, which was delicious and slightly blackened and crispy around the edges – oh so good! The patties themselves were flat and quite bland and didn’t seemed to be seasoned very well at all. The topping combination of bacon and onion rings didn’t add anything to the overall flavour and just made the whole thing taste rather stodgy. It was all served on a standard seeded bun that wasn’t terrible, but didn’t stand out in any way either. Overall, it tasted like a standard pub burger and was fairly forgettable.
The burger came served with the Solid’s spicy fries, which were the best part of the meal by far. They were perfect – ever so slightly crunchy without being overcooked and with a mighty kick to finish – spicy indeed! I could have eaten them all day. A friend of mine who was with me ordered the chicken fajitas, which I’ve had before and were absolutely delicious – some of the best fajitas I’ve ever had. This isn’t a blog focusing on fajitas, but if you are in the Solid Rock Cafe for lunch, avoid the burger and get yourself some fajitas and a large portion of spicy fries instead.
I was left disappointed by the Scooby Snack. There were no real standout flavours and quality-wise, it just tasted like a burger that I could order at pretty much any high street chain pub out there. It was also a lot smaller than I remember and was more scrappy than it was scooby. I’d have liked to have seen more on it – or just different toppings that would have added a little extra flavour. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but I wouldn’t buy it again. For the price, there are far better burgers to be found in Glasgow. That is not to say that the Solid isn’t a good place to go for a bite to eat, because it is. The staff are extremely friendly, the atmosphere is laid back, the music is great and you’ll certainly find something on the menu that you’ll like. As I stated previously, grab some fajitas, a beer and a portion of spicy fries and you’ll enjoy one of the best pub lunches in Glasgow for under £10. If you are looking for a great burger; however, the Scooby Snack doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Price: £7.25 (extra toppings 60p / £1 extra for spicy or curly fries)
+ Grilled, slightly crispy cheese was delicious.
+ Spicy fries!
+ Very friendly service and atmosphere.
– Burger was fairly bland and the bacon and onion ring toppings added nothing to the flavour.
– Quite small, considering how it is described on the menu.
– Burger not great value, compared to similar priced competition.
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Solid Rock Cafe
19-23 Hope Street
Phone: 0141 221 1105