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BRGR … great chips off the old block

By on October 15, 2014
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The popular bar Black Rabbit suffered water damage earlier this year and re-emerged refurbished in September as BRGR, with an imaginative burger menu and a neat gimmick in the shape of The Hawder, a fold-your-own cardboard holder. Can it really be true that BRGR stands for Black Rabbit Great (Western) Road? Certainly, BRGWR wouldn’t quite hit the mark …

What does hit the mark are the burgers and sides combinations at good value prices that have been pitched well for this tricky patch of the West End. Some businesses can miss out in this area by making assumptions about this small stretch of Great Western Road, just beyond Kelvinbridge and not quite as far as Byres Road.

Yes, this is Glasgow Uni territory, and there are lots of students around. But it’s also a diverse area with plenty of families plus two high schools and a primary close by. In terms of footfall, while many students will home in on the pubs grouped here alongside club Viper late in the evening, during the day, with its specialist food shops and vintage stores, the mood is a little different.

BRGR is a clever concept. Lunchtime and early evening burgers can be all about the milkshakes … easing into a more grow-up night-time vibe of bottled beers and DJs. Critics who cite the fact that burgers have been popping up on menus all over the city miss another important local factor. Who wants to walk to Ashton Lane or Finnieston, or hop on the subway, when they have burgers on their doorstep?

As for the food, our three-generation party gave BRGR the thumbs up. Scotch beef patties in brioche buns start at £6, with two of us opting for the basic Coo-Tipper, one going for the Hot Coo – with spicy beef, salami and jalapeños – at £7, and the youngest choosing a classic BRGR and fries from the £4 under-12s menu. Views on The Hawder were mixed but the whole assembly thing was a great diversion for our three-year-old critic who is definitely a fan of this recyclable approach …

There are chicken, lamb and veggie burgers too. But what really impressed our lot, apart from those tasty burgers, were the hand-cut Rooster fries. Included in the Wee People menu servings, the fries – skin-on, skinny and scrummy – are counted as a £2 side dish for the big people. Sides also include sweet potato fries (£2.50), slaw (£3) and two cobs of corn (£3.50).

The Black Rabbit story may have disappeared down a burrow but as a quick glance through the looking glass of BRGR’s front windows shows, this busy new local business is establishing an interesting new chapter.

* BRG, 526 Great Western Road, 0141 339 1199 

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