I have a confession to make: I had never been to McPhabbs before prior to this review. There’s no reason why it’s taken me so long to finally visit. I just hadn’t ever gotten around to it and there were usually other places that would leapfrog it on my list of places to try whenever I was in that area. I’d always make a note to pop in and then something else would come up that would push it back on my list; HOWEVER, the pub has undergone massive changes recently with a new look and new menu. I decided that it was finally time to pop in.
There’s a beer garden at the front which will be perfect for the week of Glasgow summer that we’re all hoping will make an appearance this year. Inside, it’s bright, airy and there’s plenty of seating. There are smaller tables, areas for groups and comfy booths. I even spotted folk charging their phones and iPads at their tables.
The menu is small, yet diverse. We were here for burgers, but there were a number of other dishes that caught my eye.
There’s two burgers on the menu. A cheeseburger and a soft shell crab burger. We ordered both.
The cheeseburger is a simple affair. It’s topped with onion jam, McPhabbs burger sauce and salad and served on a seeded brioche bun with fries and a pickle on the side. You can add other toppings such as chillies and maple cured bacon if you want, so we decided to add the bacon.
When out food arrived, I noticed that there was no bacon on the burger but by the time I’d noticed, someone from the kitchen had already brought it out on a separate dish and apologised. The burger already looked pretty impressive and I’d already had a few bites so I wasn’t too fussed. Regardless, they took the bacon off the bill which was good. Frankly, I’m actually glad that they did forget to include the bacon. I enjoyed the food at McPhabbs overall, but the bacon was awful. It was rubbery and anaemic-looking and didn’t taste good. After a bite, I decided to leave it on the dish and not bother putting it on the burger.
The burger itself was good and actually benefited from no other toppings. The patty was decent, although not the best I’ve ever had. It was a good size and well-seasoned. The cheese was superb and well melted. It had that awesome, gloopy cheese texture that you want on a burger like this. The onion jam was tangy and sharp and was mellowed by the absolutely fantastic burger sauce. I’ve no idea what was in it, but it’s one of the closest things I’ve tasted to Big Mac sauce on a proper cheeseburger.
The bun was good too, A simple, seeded brioche but it did the job. It held everything in well and was virtually mess free.
The cheeseburger came served with rosemary fries which were excellent. Rosemary can be quite overpowering but these were seasoned perfectly. Crispy and fresh, I could have eaten another portion.
Next up was the crab burger. I honestly had no idea what to expect from such a dish. It came topped with kimchi, smashed avocado and salad and was served on a seeded brioche.
This burger was pretty great. It was light and there were so many different flavours present. The crab was soft and well-cooked, the kimchi was devilishly spicy and really packed a punch. It was all cooled and balanced by the avocado. I absolutely love avocado on burgers, so enjoyed seeing it on the menu here.
What I particularly loved about this burger was that I didn’t feel like I was going to burst after eating it. It was substantial but light. I felt like I could have gone straight out for a run after eating it! My only criticism was that it was perhaps a little greasy at points, but that’s always going to happen with fried food. It was nothing major enough to stop me loving this dish.
I also have to talk about the ‘7 Spice Fries’ that came with the crab burger. I loved the rosemary fries that came with the cheeseburger, but these took the McPhabbs chip game to another level. Like the rosemary fries, these were crispy, fresh and superbly-seasoned. I don’t know what the 7 spices are and McPhabbs aren’t telling either but I could definitely taste a hint of cinnamon which was unusual but very tasty!
Overall, I had a good time at McPhabbs. I definitely want to go back and try more of the menu and I’d have both of the burgers again for sure. My advice would be to go with a friend, partner, family member or anyone else so that you can order both burgers and go half and half.
Price: Cheeseburger £10 (fries included) / Soft Shell Crab Burger £11 (fries included)
+ Good cheeseburger with great burger sauce.
+ Crab burger was great with tasty, contrasting flavours.
+ Excellent fries.
– Bacon was rubbish. Don’t bother.
– Crab burger was a tiny bit greasy, but nothing major.
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23 Sandyford Place
Telephone: 0141 221 8176
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