Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cocktail & Burger, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Blink and you'll miss it, which is exactly what I did the last time I came to meet someone at Cocktail and Burger's previous incarnation Republic Bier Hof. Missing this place would be a big mistake.  The doorway's tucked in between various eateries on Glasgow's nite spot strip and there's a sense of adventure from the moment you head down the stairs.

After taking the plunge I'd expected something reminiscent of a Lower East Side dive bar, a riot of graffiti and post punk noize. What actually greeted us was verging on the too nice, booths, low lighting, urban muzak and a fake library on the way to the gents. Yes, a fake library, it's the oddest thing, the only books are those on the wallpaper.

Following a bout of midweek indecisiveness, during which one order was almost Beer and Hotdog - perhaps a future sister venue - we all decided to play along and went for cocktails. My tequila mojito was delicious, really well made and only £4.50.

Looking for something to accompany the cocktails 'Oban Popcorn Mussels' screamed out from the snack section of the menu. They turned out to be one of my favourite new nibbles of the year. Inside a crispy batter shell there was something of the vinegar jar about them. Images of donkey rides, kiss me quick hats and shove penny arcade machines flashed through my head. Heston would have been proud, though he'd have been shamed by the price, just £2.75.

The burgers didn't disappoint either, in taste or price. Two cheeseburgers, we both opted for Emmental, and a CnB Burger, which came with bacon. Now I'm no burger aficionado but these were pretty delicious. The bun was more bap than the brioche style advertised but worked well.

My only gripe was a lack of seasoning on the burger. I made up for it with a big splosh of Tapatio Hot Sauce. It worked so well pretty soon it was all over the skinny stealth fries too. None of us had any idea why they were called stealth fries, they were certainly thin, crisp and pretty close to perfect. Since the burgers were all 2 for 1 and there was three of us, we opted to try a chicken burger, something as incongruous as a fake library. It tasted very good but it's not a burger and it's hard to ever imagine myself ordering one if it wasn't free.

Desert wasn't optional once my friend read aloud from the menu, "Raspberry Ripple Ice-cream with Crumble".  If custard had been in there as well I'd have ordered two. My desert triumvirate. Again, at £2.75 a remarkable price and it tasted good. It would have tasted even better if the ice-cream had been softer and the crumble crunchier.

It's only been open a week but already this is one of the few places I'd actively seek out to eat on Sauchiehall Street. The name tells you what it's about, what it doesn't reveal is the remarkable value for money on offer. Just before we left the waitress came to take the bill, "Hang on", I said, "I want to photograph it first". Quick as a flash she asked, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?". Oh, that's a very good thing. Four burgers, four fries, popcorn mussels, 3 great cocktails, two deserts, friendly service and a warm atmosphere... all for £33. Feel that deal.

Cocktail & Burger, 323 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
0141 353 0953
Click here for their website

Cocktail & Burger on Urbanspoon

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