Friday, 20 October 2017

Smashburger Arrives in Glasgow

These days, when I think of burgers, I automatically associate them with the streets of Glasgow and the ever-expanding list of gourmet burger restaurants which serve them. I’ve even started a semi-regular ‘Glasgow Burger Tour’ with a couple of friends, with the aim of trying to discover even more varieties of this glorious American dinner option! When an email arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago, inviting me to the upcoming VIP launch of Smashburger in Glasgow, I jumped at the chance to expand my inventory of burger experiences, and (since he’s just started a new job near me) I dragged Scott along for the ride!

I always find first impressions very important, and Smashburger didn’t disappoint – we were greeted at the door by multiple friendly members of staff, and led directly to a table on the upper floor with comfortable seating and spacious surroundings. I don’t really enjoy sharing my personal bubble with anyone, and I’m not sure that Scott does either, so we were very pleased with the amount of space between tables – not something which can be said for other fast food joints in the area. There is even a bar table across the floor-to-ceiling window, allowing for ample people watching as you chow down on your food!
For a restaurant which serves only burgers as the main meal, I was pleased to see such a large selection on the menu. The vegetarian options were limited to two, but the choices of beef or chicken were almost equal in their different varieties, a big plus point for chicken loving me! Even if none of the options tickle your fancy, you still have the choice to ‘create your own’, allowing for the inclusion of all your favourite bits, and none of the less well liked extras (such as tomatoes, bleugh)!
After finally arriving at a decision, you head to the till to order and pay for your food all in one go, similar to the procedure in our well-loved Nando’s restaurants. This is a feature I’ve always appreciated, as it allows for immediate departure after eating, instead of trying to catch the eye of a busy member of staff before you can make your getaway. Rather than waiting for your food before heading back to your table (like you would in McDonalds, or other fast food restaurants), you are given a little buzzer and the freedom to wait comfortably at your table until the food is ready – you don’t even have to collect it, the buzzer is purely to signal the imminent arrival of your food, which is fantastic!

After waiting no longer than ten minutes, our food was on the table and we were tucking in – although I did make Scott wait an unreasonable amount of time while I, once again, tried to get the ‘perfect’ picture! Scott had gone for the ‘Avocado Club’ (£8.95) with grilled chicken, which was served with fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo, all held together with a multi-grain bun. After deliberation over his side order, he eventually decided on regular French fries, which arrived alongside his burger, neatly presented in a basket.

I opted for the ‘BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar’ (also £8.95) with fried chicken, which was served with BBQ sauce, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar and ‘haystack onions’ on the signature Smash bun. This arrived with my choice of sweet potato fries, which I promptly smothered in Mayo! Both burgers were served in a sort of ‘half-built’ fashion, allowing you to see the contents before putting the top on and digging in. There was no greater delight on my face though, when I discovered that my burger was completely free of sneaky salad and I didn’t have to remove any unwanted additions of tomato of lettuce – what you see on the menu is definitely what you get!

We were also given the chance to sample the milkshakes they had on offer, which were absolutely delicious, although probably better served as dessert than a drink. Soft drinks are unlimited refills and provided by the self-service drinks machine available on both floors. These serve most of the popular fizzy drinks we know and love, with the addition of different flavours which can be added to any of the options available. I prefer my drinks to taste ‘normal’, but Scott added a splash of orange to his coke zero, a choice he would advise against if anyone reading this is tempted!

Overall, I had a brilliant experience, and will definitely be back again in the future. While the food is a little pricy for what I’m willing to spend at lunchtime (burger, fries and drink are all listed separately), I’d be more than happy to part with my cash if heading here for dinner. The central location makes it an ideal stop on any shopping trip, or prior to a night out on the town. Scott commented that its proximity the usual gig venues he frequents now mean that Smashburger will replace McDonalds as his ‘go-to’ food stop when out seeing his favourite bands.
If you’re keen to investigate for yourself, Smashburger is now open at 165 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. I would advise any of my burger loving friends to give this a go, and I’m keen to add it to our ‘burger tour’ list, so that Paul can experience it too!

*I was given a complimentary burger, side and drink for the purposes of this staff training event, and in exchange for feedback at the end of our meal. All opinions expressed within this blog post are my own (or Scott's).
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