Back on August 2nd 2014, I had my first bite of the now infamous ‘Top Dog’ burger by El Perro Negro. I said in my review back then that it was the best burger in Glasgow – and I haven’t eaten it again since. So many great burgers have popped up in Glasgow since August 2014 and I’ve been busy trying almost all of them. I’ve definitely been a little scared to try the Top Dog again too. Would it taste as good? Was I wrong about it being the best? With all of the burgers that have appeared on the scene since I first tasted the Top Dog, it was only right to try it again and find out if it was indeed, still the top dog.
If you don’t already know, it consists of a rare-breed beef patty topped with bacon, bone marrow and roquefort butter, caramelised onions and black truffle mayo on a toasted brioche bun. There’s no cheese here either – it doesn’t need it and I’d strongly advise against adding any and to simply experience the burger as it is served.
I’ll skip the background info. If you want to know more about El Perro Negro, you can read my previous review. Since then, the Top Dog has also been called the best burger in Glasgow by many other food critics and pretty much sells out every time a pop-up event is announced.
On to the burger itself. Is it still the best burger in Glasgow? Competition is definitely a lot tougher, the gap has all but closed and it’s not a burger that’s always available at any time you like. There’s certainly a debate on whether such things should factor in to rating Glasgow best burger. If they did, then my award would have to go to the Cali Burger at Bread Meats Bread or the Mad Mac at Bloc. Purely in terms of the best burger I’ve eaten in Glasgow; however, my verdict is yes – the Top Dog remains king.
Biting into this burger, I experienced the same sensation as I did back in 2014. The rich, full and buttery flavour of the beef combined with the bone marrow & Roquefort butter were a match made in heaven. And if it wasn’t decadent enough for you already, the truffle mayo adds an additional layer of creamy indulgence. The caramelised onions add a little sweetness that helps break up the flavours a little and it all makes for one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. I should note that on this occasion, we were able to try the Top Dog with two thinner smashed patties as opposed to one thicker slab of meat. I’m uncertain if it will continue to be served this way in the future, but it was a winning combination. The thinner patties helped add a little more depth to the overall taste. After the initial rich beefy flavour, there was a little hit of onion and mayo, followed by another beefy bite and then the same toppings again afterwards. The bacon was thick, nicely crisp and salty and finished off the burger nicely. There’s nothing worse than grey, anaemic, rubbery bacon on a burger, but this was certainly not that.
The overall quality of burgers in Glasgow has stepped up a lot since 2014 and the gap has almost all but closed – but the Top Dog just edges above the rest. The quality of the ingredients really shines through with each and every bite. You’ll be able to smell the marrow butter on your hands long after you’ve left the restaurant. That’s a sign of a good burger. It’s a burger that still lives up to its name – and still the best in Glasgow.
Here’s hoping that we see El Perro Negro appear on a more permanent basis soon and the Top Dog made available every single day. Then we can return to the debate on Glasgow’s best burger once again.
Price: £13.50. Includes fries.
THE JUICY BITS
+ Well cooked.
+ Stunning quality.
+ A perfect combination of flavours.
– I wish the burger was available at any time, but for now it’s pop-up basis only.
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This pop-up took place at:
The Hippo Taproom
323 Sauchiehall Street
Tel: 0141 353 3400
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