For as long as I can remember, MacSorley’s has sat at the corner of Jamaica and Midland street in Glasgow’s busy city centre. It’s one of those places that’s just always been there and admittedly, until recently, I had never set foot in the bar. Many of our readers had recommended it as a good place for honest, home cooked food and a good afternoon pint. Our readers are usually spot on with their recommendations, so it was time to head along and sample the MacSorley’s burger.
Inside, MacSorley’s resembles what you’d expect a traditional pub to. Split across two levels, the bar offers a mix of tables and chairs, leather booth seating and a cool, old school bar area. When we popped in it was fairly quiet; however, there was a diverse range of people eating and drinking, including office workers hunched over their laptops, students having lunch and a couple of lone customers enjoying a quiet pint and reading a newspaper. Everything about the bar from the moment you step in is very homely and comfortable and life almost appears to be a little more laid back once you walk through the front door.
We opted for the MacSorley’s burger, which comes served with salad on a toasted bun. Chips, onion rings, salad and gherkins are served on the side. The menu did not state whether there was an option to add other toppings at an extra cost.
When I saw the burger, the first thing I noticed was the dreaded floured bun of doom! Those of you who are longtime readers will be familiar with my hatred of the floured bun, simply because it seems to be the standard burger bun of choice across many Glasgow establishments. I simply feel that it doesn’t hold the contents of the burger together very well and does nothing to enhance the flavour of the patty.
We had also asked for cheese on the burgers, but they were served plain. Due to being rather short on time, we decided to not mention it to the staff and add the salsa and one of the onion rings as toppings instead.
The patty itself looked and tasted fantastic. You can tell just from looking at the patty that it’s handmade. It’s rough, uneven form is a sight to behold and the charred lines on the outside only add to the presentation. Aside from the bun, the presentation was top notch.
Taste-wise, the patty itself was delicious. It had a rich, beefy flavour and was melt-in-the-mouth soft. It was well seasoned and juicy. As a whole; however, I felt that the dish lacked something. Despite a well seasoned piece of beef, there were no other flavours present and I felt that I’d have rather eaten the patty on it’s own without the bun and the salad, which didn’t enhance it’s flavour. Perhaps some cheese and some kind of smoked mayo would have enhanced the overall taste. Yes, the most important factor in any burger is the beef itself; however, other toppings and use of a good bun can do a lot to further enhance an already good flavour.
The handcut chunky fries that were served with the burger were absolutely delicious. Once again, it’s obvious that these aren’t frozen and bought in bulk. These are made in-house and that kind of care and quality really shines through, much like it does with the beef patty. It’s that type of comforting, home-cooked food that you could imagine a family member whipping up for you on a cold winter’s day. The onion rings were also great and had a really nice crunch to them – not a soggy mess like a lot of onion rings.
There’s a lot to like about MacSorley’s. From the comfortable, homely surroundings and the super-friendly staff to the home-cooked food and diverse range of customers – it’s definitely a place I’ll visit again. The burger, while good, falls short of being great. A fantastic, well cooked patty that is sorely let down by a disappointing bun and lack of any other toppings to further enhance it’s flavour. Add some cheese and change the bun and you’d have yourself one of Glasgow’s best burgers. A good patty, with the potential to be a REALLY great burger.
+ Flavoursome, handmade patty
+ Well cooked
+ Good size
+ Tasty, handcut fries
– Disappointing bun
– Burger lacked something to make it memorable. Some kind of spicy mayo, cheese or even a relish would have enhanced the flavour.
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42 Jamaica Street
Phone: 0141 248 8581