Formerly known as ‘the Ivy’, Distill isn’t so much the new kid on the block but rather the same Finnieston bar that you all know and love just dressed up a little differently. The bar was forced to change it’s name after being threatened with legal action by the famous, celebrity-friendly Ivy bar in London. We guess, because loads of people had been walking into the Ivy on Argyle street and getting confused that they weren’t actually in London’s west end, right? New name aside, everything else remains largely unchanged. The staff are still exceptionally welcoming and friendly and the rum selection is still one of the best in Glasgow. When we reviewed the Ivy previously, we considered the burger to be one of the best in Glasgow. Distill now has a new menu in place – would the burgers be just as good?
There are a lot more burgers on the new menu. Previously, there was simply ‘the Ivy burger’ and you were able to customise it; however, now there are several options to choose from. You can still add extra toppings your burgers, should you wish to do so.
We went for the J.o.E burger (Joys of Eating) and the Makin’ Bacon burger. We were told that the J.o.E would take just slightly longer because of the type of patty that’s used in it. The type of patty is a handmade, stuffed one. The burger consists of a large double beef patty stuffed with cheese and topped with vine tomatoes, red onion, shaved smoked beef and salad and is served on a grilled brioche.
Presentation-wise, the burger was decent and the patty certainly gave off that handmade look. It was roughly formed and slightly uneven in shape – a good sign that you’re not eating a pre-made, frozen piece of meat. Everything fit inside the bun perfectly. It did become a little messy when trying to cut into the burger, due to all of the cheese that was stuffed inside, making this burger one that you shouldn’t probably share with friends! Taste-wise, there was a lot of depth to this one. The patty, while not quite as juicy as I remember the Ivy burger being, had a strong flavour and was nice and moist. It was seasoned so well, I was able to smell the burger on my hands long after we left the bar. The shaved smoked beef added an even more intense beef taste and overall, made this one of the most distinct burgers we’ve tasted recently. The cheese in the middle was just right – not too much, but not so little that you would be left feeling cheated. As mentioned, it did make the burger a little messy to eat; however, you should expect that when ordering a burger that is both stuffed and made by hand. The salad and vine tomatoes lighten the burger ever so slightly and offset the hevyweight taste of smoked beef that you’ll be able to taste long after you’ve finished. The bun held everything together well, but I couldn’t help but miss the sourdough bun that I’d eaten in the Ivy previously. It would appear that the sourdough is available, but only used in certain burgers, so at least it’s still there!
The Makin’ Bacon consists of a beef patty topped with peppered bacon, brown sauce, lettuce, gherkin, dijon mustard and cheddar and is advertised on the menu as being served on a glazed sesame bun. There was no sesame bun; however, as the burger was served on the same bun as our other other. Not a huge deal as the bun itself was good, but it wasn’t as it was advertised.
The patty, while different to the J.o.E was still very flavoursome, but once again it wasn’t as juicy as I remember the Ivy burger being back when we reviewed it last year. It didn’t have the same intense kick that the J.o.E burger had, but it still had a nice, full flavour that lingered after we had finished eating. The isle of mull cheddar was delicious and was another bold flavour on an already packed burger. The peppered bacon was a little unusual, but worked well; however, I can’t help but think it would have been a little better with peppercorn sauce rather than brown sauce, which I jarred a little with the other flavours. I love dijon mustard and it was a great touch on this burger; however, it must have just came out of the fridge as the burger was being made because it was absolutely freezing cold. When spread on a nice, warm burger, freezing cold mustard just feels a little out of place and took away from the dish ever so slightly.
Both burgers were served with a delicious side salad, which can sometimes be an afterthought in a lot of bars or restaurants; however, I could have eaten bowls full of this one if given the chance. The burgers were also served with crunchy skinny fries, which were also very good. I liked that the fries weren’t pre-salted either, which happens annoyingly too often in many restaurants.
Overall, Distill is still producing good food with super-friendly service and one of the best rum selections I’ve ever seen, much like it did under it’s old name. The entire Finnieston strip has turned into one of Glasgow’s burger hotspots and bars like Lebowski’s and Distill are leading the way. The J.o.E burger was very good and it’s clear that a lot of effort goes into making it. The Makin’ Bacon on the other hand had touches of greatness, but the brown sauce and ice cold mustard prevented it from being great and didn’t work very well. The original Ivy burger is still one of the best I’ve had in Glasgow and upon further inspection of the menu, it appears that the ‘Usual Suspect’ burger may be the same one, only under a different name.
We’ll be trying that on our next visit!
Price: J.o.E – £9.95 / Makin’ Bacon – £8.45
+ Great, handmade, stuffed patty.
+ Good bun.
+ Smoked, shredded beef added a lot of depth to the J.o.E burger
– Brown sauce didn’t really work well on the Makin’ Bacon burger.
– Mustard was freezing cold and really jarred with the other, warm toppings and patty.
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1102-1106 Argyle Street
Phone: 0141 337 3006