I vaguely remember being in the Admiral at the tail end of a pub crawl with a few work colleagues several years ago. The only memories left from that night are of a few too many shots at the bar with some friends and a horrible portion of chips and cheese on the cold, drunken walk home. As we walked past the Admiral recently, those memories suddenly came flooding back; however, when we noticed a sign outside inviting people to come in and try the burgers, I knew it was time to put my previous experience behind me and make my triumphant (sober) return to the Admiral!
Inside, the Admiral has all of the attributes of an old-time Glasgow watering hole, but look a little further and you’ll find a basement venue that many flock to on the weekends for club nights, a wide range of music belting out of the speakers and a clientele made up of everyone from hungry office workers looking for a quick lunch and students ordering rounds of cocktails to old friends and couples enjoying a quiet drink. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to catch a football game on TV, looking for a burger or just a quick drink, the Admiral seems to have something to offer most people.
There’s an array of burgers and pizzas on offer at the Admiral and a Vietnamese pork sandwich especially caught our eyes when looking at the menu, which is largely made up of classic pub grub dishes, of which many are given a modern twist. We opted for the chorizo burger special and the Nelson burger.
The chorizo burger consists of a beef patty topped with chorizo, caramelised pineapple, cheddar, salad and barbecue sauce on a toasted brioche. The patty itself was cooked medium well and while we always prefer our burgers a little more on the medium rare side, the patty was juicy and well seasoned. What I really loved about this burger was that it was topped with a wedge of chorizo thick enough to keep a heavy door open, not pre-sliced pizza topping stuff. Because it was so thick, it delivered a very powerful flavour and complimented the patty well. I also really liked the caramelised pineapple relish, which was both sweet and ever so slightly spiced. The barbecue sauce; however, was very, very sweet and combined with the caramelised pineapple, we felt that it was just a little too much and that the sweetness overpowered the great smokey chorizo flavour slightly. I’d have preferred the barbecue sauce to have been on the smokey side, so that the burger could have had more of that great smokey/sweet combination from the barbecue sauce with the caramelised pineapple. The barbecue sauce almost reminded me of the sauce that comes served over racks of ribs that you’d get from a takeaway joint. It wasn’t bad by any means, just a little too sweet when combined with the pineapple.
The Nelson burger is made up of a beef patty with smoked streaky bacon, cheddar, onion rings and salad and like the chorizo burger, also comes on the toasted brioche. We decided to mix our Nelson up a little and add some pulled pork to it too. The patty was exactly the same as the one found in the chorizo burger – medium well, and nicely seasoned. There was something about both of these burgers that I loved in terms of presentation. I really liked the vibrant green colour of the lettuce and how the slice of cheddar was perfectly melted over the other contents. There was something almost fast food-esque about them in terms of how they looked. Taste-wise, the burger was solid and the pulled pork added an extra dimension, which worked well. The smokiness of the bacon and the pulled pork made a good combination, but we still found the sweetness of the barbecue sauce ever so slightly overpowering. As we already mentioned, it’s the type of sauce that would work well as a glaze on a rack of ribs, but we felt that something a little smokier would have been better here. Other than that, this was another solid effort and we ate every last bite.
The brioche buns used for both burgers were very good and served their purpose of keeping everything together well. It’s good to see brioche being more widely used throughout Glasgow now. The Admiral could just as easily put out burgers with bog standard buns and still attract the lunch crowd from nearby offices, but little touches like a good bun, pulled pork and experimental toppings and flavours really make these burgers easy for us to recommend.
Both burgers were served with a portion of fries and coleslaw. We loved the coleslaw and the fries were okay. Nothing overly special, just your typical chunky chips that you’d expect to find served along with most pub lunch venues.
Price: Chorizo Burger £8 / Nelson Burger £7.80
+ Well seasoned patty and a huge wedge of chorizo.
+ Good bun.
+ Diverse, creative menu.
+ Very good value.
– Barbecue sauce a little too sweet and overpowering.
– Average fries.
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72 Waterloo Street
Telephone: 0141 221 7705