The day before my 39th birthday began in the south-west of England at 7am and my plan was to be in the country of my birth to celebrate my birthday. My girlfriend and I loaded up the car for our weeklong visit to my parent’s home in Montrose, some 435 miles away.
435 miles is less than the 500 miles that any Scotsman would happily walk (according to the song), in fact we would walk 500 more too apparently, but at no point would we ever have to ask for directions, let alone feel we needed to set up a SatNav. My girlfriend though…..well, she convinced me of the need for a SatNav to let her see how far we’d got and how far was left on the journey. It was pointless arguing (that’s as lesson I learnt some time ago). We set off with the SatNav volume set up to quiet and on her side of the car.
The real reason for the SatNav was actually for something more clandestine than she had previously stated. “In one mile, take the next exit” the voice said. This was not the way home! What was going on? I slowed the car down. I needed to know why I was being diverted and I wasn’t going to follow the machine for no apparent reason. “Just follow it” she said, and like before when I knew there was no point arguing, I did what I was told, but I was going to ask lots of questions and sulk a bit, just to let her know I wasn’t happy about this detour.
55 miles later we were at Edinburgh’s Marriott Hotel on Glasgow Road and I couldn’t sulk any more as this was the first of my birthday treats. A fantastic experience ensued, including a burger.
I know that there has been quite a bit of scene-setting, but that’s mostly because I had to explain why I’m reviewing a burger outside my usual zone of the south-west of the UK (in fact, I will never limit myself again. Burgers of the world, be aware that I will seek you out, eat you and blog about you!
Source Grill is the Marriott’s resident eatery and has a couple of burgers on the menu. The first was a pretty standard burger, however the one that I would be consuming that day would be the Aberdeen Angus Grain Fed Burger.
An 8oz beef pattie nestled upon a bed of iceberg lettuce and sliced red onion and, up top, a generous spoonful of MacSween’s haggis, bacon, cheese and slice of tomato, all of which was surrounded by brioche bun.
All of this was accompanied by a portion of onion rings, fries and side salad, including a pickle.
I opted to add some ketchup and mayo to my burger too.
I have to assume that the burgers are pre-made, rather than hand made on site, and while it lacked the characteristics of a true gourmet burger, the taste and texture were more than satisfactory. I would have preferred to have seen some pink in the centre of my burger and for it to have been a little bit juicy, but then again, I’m a fussy bugger and have been spoiled by some of the burger places I’ve frequented in the past year of blogging.
I don’t know if you know what a haggis is, but rather than put you off, I’ll just ask that you try it before you judge it. MacSween’s is one of the main brands of haggis in Scotland (or in the world, I guess) and while it isn’t my favourite, it is a quality product. Yes, I’m Scottish and yes, I have a favourite haggis!
The combination of Aberdeen Angus, haggis, bacon and melting cheese is a thing that makes my heart skip a beat, and not because of cholesterol-based incident!!!
To make this a truly outstanding burger, I would have liked a more moist burger and the bacon to have been crispy and the onions to have been fried and on the top, rather than down below. I would also have had the pickle sliced up and ready to be added to the burger if needed (In my opinion, burgers need pickles!)
The bun was soft and springy, but was missing that golden sheen that you associate with a brioche bun. I still can’t tell if I prefer my brioche bun toasted or not. This one wasn’t toasted, but I didn’t mind one bit.
The fries were less “fries” and more like thick cut chips (not the American kind, the Scottish kind) and the onion rings were battered and crispy. Neither was homemade, yet both were again, above satisfactory and pushing nice.
The service was an outstanding feature of my visit here and the food was great. My starter of Chicken Liver & Cognac Parfait with Pear & Apple Chutney and Crostini was a thing of beauty, but that’s another story. When I get my Foodzillas page up and running, it will definitely feature!
Source Grill (Edinburgh Marriott), your Aberdeen Angus Grain Fed Burger gets a 4 out of 5. Oh, and if you’re reading this Mr Marriott, thanks for the complimentary Prosecco and slice of cheesecake, complete with birthday candle and rendition of Happy birthday from your fantastic employees.