There’s been a rabid buzz and high level of anticipation on social media websites over the past few weeks since the announcement that ‘Burger Meats Bun’, the latest addition to Glasgow’s booming burger scene, would be opening its doors on West Regent street. Glasgow’s subway has been covered in advertisements for the new burger joint and Twitter has been abuzz with people even considering queueing up before the doors even opened on day one!
Why all the hype? Well, owner Ben Dantzic first met his business partner and chef, James Forrest during their time spent working at Michelin-starred restaurant The Peat Inn located near St. Andrews. Both James & Ben have accumulated a wealth of experience between them and decided that they would put it to use by opening a brand new burger joint in the heart of Glasgow – their ethos being ‘burgers, but better’.*
We’re always going to welcome a new burger joint to Glasgow; however, it was important for us to not get caught up in all of the hype and go in for our review without unrealistically high expectations. With that in mind, we made our way towards West Regent street, expecting to see an angry mob outside, fighting their way down the steps to get inside the basement venue.
We didn’t get an angry mob, but it was certainly very busy during our time there! Fortunately, we managed to grab a table before the large crowds began to appear.
Downstairs and inside, Burger Meats Bun has a very contemporary, stripped back look and feel made up of a mix of reclaimed timber, iron sheets, handmade wooden tables & stools along with a few shiny red leather seats at the back of the restaurant. There’s a couple of larger tables for bigger parties too. As the place filled up, there was a very nice atmosphere throughout, with lots of happy chatter from nearby tables and a cool mix of rock, indie and hip-hop being pumped from the speakers. It reminded us a little of Patty & Bun, widely regarded as the best burger joint in London.
The menu is plain and simple. There’s three beef options, two chicken burgers and one vegetarian. There’s a couple of sides available including wings & fries and a couple of desserts too. The whole thing is sleek and simple, yet there’s still enough to offer something for everyone. The focus is on quality and both the menu and other signs dotted throughout stress that nothing other than the highest quality Scottish beef and ingredients are used here. There’s also a range of beers and cocktails on offer, if you’ve decided to leave the car at home. If you’re in a rush, you can also get your burgers to go, if you’d prefer.
One thing to also highlight is that each table is given an entire roll of napkins once the food has been ordered. To date, this has always been the sign of a great burger joint, no matter which city we’ve been in.
So how was the food? We decided to go with the Fiery Burger, the Smokin’ Bacon Burger and a side of Thai Chilli Cheese fries.
The Smokin’ burger consists of a beef patty topped with smoked bacon, Dale End cheddar, spiced ketchup, BMB burger sauce, braised onions and salad on a brioche bun. The beef patty was ample in size and cooked medium, with lovely hints of pink throughout. To say the meat was juicy would be an understatement. There’s a reason these guys bring an entire roll of napkins to each table when you sit down – these burgers are some of the juiciest we’ve ever eaten and by the time I was half way through mine, my hands were a mess, but in the best way possible. The beef was well seasoned and full of flavour and actually stood tall against the toppings, which complimented the meat rather than overpowered it. Always a good sign. The spiced ketchup and secret burger sauce added plenty of depth and the bacon was appropriately smokey, although I would have preferred it a tad crispier; however, that’s my personal preference.
The Fiery burger consists of a beef patty topped with Toma Raschiera cheese, chipotle mayo, jalapeños and salad on a brioche bun. Now maybe I’m just a bit of a wimp when it comes to hot food or maybe I just can’t handle it like I used to, but this burger was indeed fiery! The chipotle and jalapeños were more than enough to bring tears to my eyes and the cheese only added to the spicy finish. The chipotle mayo had a nice, full-bodied flavour and a good kick. Hopefully it’s also available as a side to dip your fries in for future visits! The meat itself was as described above – very juicy and rich. The beef had a nice, bold, intense flavour and even though the patty of the Fiery burger wasn’t quite as ‘medium’ as the Smokin’ burger, it was still very well cooked with nice slight hints of pink throughout.
Special mention must also go to the brioche bun used on both burgers, which was tremendous. If you’ve ever visited In-N-Out Burger in the US, think that. We actually commented that initially, it almost resembled what we’d imagine a very high-end McDonalds bun would look like! The bun was delicious – super soft, very lightly sweetened and had good form. There was a really nice springiness to the bun and everything from the patty to the other toppings fit inside perfectly, almost as if they’d been made to fit only these patties. Overall, the presentation was very good. We loved the no-nonsense approach of the burgers being brought from from the kitchen wrapped in labelled paper with a couple of steak knifes. Simple, yet effective.
The Thai chilli cheese fries were very good. We said before that these guys aren’t kidding around when it comes to food that has a kick to it and that’s evident here. After only a few bites from this plate of fries, my mouth was on fire. The fries were topped with cheese, chopped chillies and were coated with a delicious seasoning that was both slightly sweet and spicy. I’d definitely order these again.
After our food, as full as we were, we were also very curious about the mysterious ‘Burger & Shake’ dessert option and decided to order one. Plus, my mouth was still BURNING from the Thai chilli fries, so dessert seemed like a good way to cool down….
What we got was a mini dessert burger consisting of chocolate ganache, raspberry puree and mango jelly all housed inside a vanilla macaroon ‘bun’ with a mini vanilla & tonka bean shake on the side. We were instantly reminded of the dessert burgers that we’d tasted at ‘Burger Bar’ in Las Vegas, but in all honesty, Burger Meats Bun’s effort was much better. We love the presentation and it was light enough to not make you feel completely ashamed after wolfing down the burgers & fries. One of the coolest desserts you’ll experience in Glasgow.
Overall, Burger Meats Bun definitely lived up to all of the hype. Despite all of the hysteria, we approached it with realistic expectations and ended up leaving feeling that we’d just eaten one of the best burgers that Glasgow has to offer. Everything from the lively atmosphere to the medium patties, the delicious bun and cool, quirky desserts were first rate and we are very excited to see what BMB come with in the future.
London burger fans were treated to the arrival of US giants Five Guys & Shake Shack, who both opened their first UK branches in the city earlier this week. We’ve heard cries from Glasgow foodies who’ve been telling us that they now regret not going to London for the launch; however, after sampling Burger Meats Bun, it is our opinion that it’s the poor guys in London who are likely missing out.
Despite only just having opened their doors, Burger Meats Bun have already positioned themselves among the very best burger joints in Glasgow and we’d highly recommend heading along to check it out.
Price: Smokin’ Bacon Burger £8 / Fiery Burger £8.50 (Fries £2 – £2.75 / Dessert £4 – £5)
+ Excellent quality patty.
+ Very well cooked.
+ Full of flavour.
+ Great bun.
+ Burger sauce was very tasty.
+ Cool, quirky dessert was lots of fun and tasted great.
– I’d have perhaps preferred the bacon a tad crispier, but that’s a personal preference. It was still well cooked.
* Background info as detailed on ‘GLP Glasgow’ – http://www.facebook.com/greatlittleplaceglasgow
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Burger Meats Bun
48A West Regent Street
Phone: 0141 353 6712
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James vs. Burger Photography by Pamela Graham is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.jamesvsburger.com.