To say this last week has been interesting would be an understatement. I've had some amazing highs and some very low lows. We lost our 14 year old golden retriever Brodie last Saturday to a heart attack. Devastated is not the word. It's probably a good thing that we had plans for the week; our wee roadtrip to Glasgow was a very welcome distraction. We headed down on Thursday to see Fleetwood Mac at the Hydro, and naturally we needed something to eat before the gig...
I heard about the Meat Bar on "Great Little Place in Glasgow" Facebook page when it opened a few months ago and knew straight away that we had to go! Gordon is a massive meat lover and I do like my fair share of burgers so, with a name like "The Meat Bar", it was a pretty obvious choice. I booked online on the day and we arrived at the restaurant to a welcoming reception.
The basement bar is smaller than I'd expected, but in a cosy way. It's smart but relaxed at the same time, all stone walls, chunky wood and brown leather booths; giving it a real masculine smokehouse feel. The choice of music added to the atmosphere and made me feel right at home - old school Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan etc. I always judge a restaurant/bar on it's music. It's a pretty quick way to figure out if it's your kind of place and the Meat Bar was right up my street.
We dived right in to the menu with House Corn Chowder and Crispy Beef Brisket for starters. I'd never had brisket before and didn't really know what to expect but it was really good! It kind of reminded me of pulled pork (but beef obviously) in batter, or a bit like shredded beef you'd get from the Chinese but much better quality! The mustard dressing went perfectly with the flavours. I didn't get a picture of the chowder as it was actually our friends order, but I did have a taste and enjoyed that too.
Despite being open for less than 6 months, the Meat Bar have already made a name for themselves with their infamous carnivorous cocktails. A friend recommended the meatojito but I wasn't quite brave enough and opted for the very safe "vanilla and peach bellini" instead. An excellent choice if I say so myself! The vanilla just added a little something different to a classic cocktail. Don't be afraid to ask for something that isn't on the menu. They had no problems whipping up a couple of (meat free) cosmopolitans for us as well.
The menu is divided into sections; sliders, smoker, smokehouse sandwiches, steaks, grinder burgers and sides. Makes it pretty easy if you know what you fancy. The mains are mostly inexpensive and portions aren't too big so it's the perfect menu for sharing. The four of us ordered a main each and pretty much every side available.
The boys both picked the sirloin steak from the butcher's board. They are cooked to your preference and served with tomato, mushroom and salad. I didn't taste it but it got a thumbs up from Gordon!
Our friends shared their steak and split a rack of Kansas style pork ribs as well. Again, I didn't taste these, but the verdict was good. They looked pretty amazing. For sides they chose the mac and cheese, and the mash with marrow gravy. Both tasted great - I ended up eating most of the mac and cheese! It was covered in Parmesan and I couldn't resist. We also shared 2 portions of triple-cooked fries with cheese and the house crunchy slaw. I can't think of a word to desrcribe the slaw. It had a bite to it and was kind of... fresh? That doesn't really make sense, you'll have to try it to see what I mean! I wasn't in love with it, but it wasn't bad.
From the moment we left for Glasgow I had burgers on the brain so my order was obvious. The grinder burgers didn't appeal to me, so I ordered 3 different sliders (mini burgers) instead; the classic, the blue cheese and the pulled pork. Starting at £3, these are a perfect choice for any indecisive burger fan like me. With all the sides on the go as well, my eyes were bigger than my belly and I only managed to eat the pulled pork and blue cheese. They're served in dinky little toasted brioche buns and each one comes with lettuce, tomato and onion.
The pulled pork is rubbed with ginger and comes with chipotle, mustard and apple slaw. It had a bit of a kick and I'd definitely have it again. The blue cheese was my favourite though with it's mustard mayo and caramelized onions. Next time I think I'll try the pulled duck leg! I'd also ordered the triple-cooked fries with truffle and parsley. They're good chunky, home style chips but I didn't think the flavours of the truffle and parsley really came through. Stick to the cheese fries guys!
Even after the meat mountain and carb overload, we had room for "sweet things". It's a small dessert menu offering a New York baked cheesecake (flavours change daily), Affogato caramel with smoked toasted almonds or hot peanut butter shortbread. Luckily Gordon chose the butterscotch cheesecake, which saved me the trouble of choosing between my 2 favourite things; cheesecake and peanut butter! The butterscotch flavour was far too sickly for me anyway so it's a good job I got the peanut butter shortbread.
It was pretty basic - salted caramel ice cream sandwiched between 2 shortbread rounds with a sweet peanut butter sauce. The shortbread was kind of hard to break with my spoon but other than that it was epic! They could only make it better by combining it with the cheesecake. Oh my god. Imagine peanut butter cheesecake! Is that already a thing?
The Meat Bar is at 142 West Regent Street (just off Buchanan St) and you can book online or call 0141 204 3605.
Have you ever tried meat infused cocktails?