The Faktory is the latest student hangout to open its doors in Glasgow’s West end; located on Byres road, just minutes walk from Kelvinhall subway station. Inside, the bar is made up of a few booths, tables and chairs scattered around a large open dance floor space and there’s a well stocked bar too. It’s sparse, but with several large screens on the wall, funky artwork all over the place and 89p drink promos (yes, you read that correctly), The Faktory is a dead-cert hit with both students and people looking for somewhere to watch live sports in the west end.
So what about the food? The Faktory’s menu describes their burgers as ‘gaining a reputation as being the best in the west‘ and there’s several to choose from. We went for the house Faktory burger and the Bacon & Brie burger. We also added a side of bacon-wrapped sweet potato fries (!) for an extra £3.95. There’s quite a wide selection of food to choose from, including pizzas, fajitas and sandwiches.
We ordered a couple of White Russians as we waited for our burgers, which were fantastic. Not quite Lebowski’s-good, but still great. They hit that perfect balance of not being too watery, while not feeling like you’re drinking a class of double cream. After my first one, I may have had another…
After a couple of great drinks and some first-rate service from the friendly staff members, my heart sank as our burgers arrived and I laid eyes on the evil floured bun of doom. It would seem that you just can’t get away from this thing in Glasgow. For those who don’t know, it is our opinion that these floured buns are the worst burger buns that are used throughout Glasgow’s booming burger scene. More often than not, they unfortunately set the tone for what is to come and here was no exception.
The Faktory burger consisted of a beef patty topped with cheese (add £1), salad and the Faktory’s secret burger sauce on a floured bun. The beef was dry and under-seasoned and the tasteless, soggy bun didn’t help. Luckily, the secret burger sauce was very good and after the first bite, I smothered the patty in the sauce to eat the rest.
The bacon & brie burger consisted of a beef patty topped with melted brie, bacon, cranberry relish and salad on a floured bun. This was better than the Faktory burger in that the brie and bacon were very good, but unfortunately the patty was also dry and under-seasoned. The cranberry relish was also delicious and injected the burger with a lovely sweet tang; which, along with the cheese and bacon did help hide the dry meat. Much like the first burger, the floury bun was poor. It didn’t fall apart due to the patty being fairly dry but it was tasteless and flat in appearance. Dead bread.
At £8.95 for the Faktory burger and £9.95 for the bacon & brie burger (without any sides), this is student grub at not so student-friendly prices. Fortunately, we ate here using a voucher from a daily-deal website and had two burgers for the price of one, but even at a discounted price it’s hard to recommend these.
Food-wise, it wasn’t all bad at the Faktory. What I did enjoy was the portion of bacon-wrapped sweet potato fries that we had as a side. Not enough bars and restaurants serve sweet potato in Glasgow, which is unfortunate because they are simply fantastic. These were delicious, with the sweet/salty combination bringing my tastebuds to life after the disappointing burgers we’d eaten beforehand. I would have preferred a little more of them or even if there was an option to order a big sharing-sized plate of sweet potato fries without the bacon in addition to these; however, they were without a doubt the best part of the meal. They were served with a sweet chilli dip which was very nice, but unnecessary.
I wouldn’t rush back to the Faktory for a burger, but a big portion of sweet potato fries, dips and a few beers with friends certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to spend a couple of hours in the west end.
As far as burgers go, the Faktory was unfortunately a let-down due to the dry, overcooked patties and terrible buns used. The whole experience was only saved ever-so-slightly by excellent White Russians, delicious sweet potato fries and friendly bar service. If they were to review the type of bun that’s used and tweak how the patties are cooked slightly, there’s potential for a pretty good burger. For now; however, I’ll just have the sweet potato fries, please.
Price: Faktory Burger £8.95 / Bacon & Brie Burger £9.95
+ Brie was excellent.
+ Good sweet potato fries.
+ Burger sauce was good.
+ Staff were attentive, friendly.
– Dry patty.
– Patty lacked seasoning.
– Terrible bun.
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17 Byres Road
Phone: 0141 334 8888