I’ve reviewed burgers in restaurants with bars. I’ve reviewed a burger in a restaurant in a hotel. I’ve reviewed burgers in a place that will sell you a beer with your burger. But until now, I hadn’t reviewed a burger in a pub that also served burgers.
Glassworks is a city centre pub operated by Greene King, which is a pretty popular stopping point for the endless stream of shoppers that need fed and watered on their trip. I myself had been in town with the missus for a couple of items before I was due to meet some of the lads for a day on the beers, so we were looking for somewhere that we could both eat.
If you’re in Cardiff and your other half wants a baked potato and you want a burger, then Glassworks will probably get mentioned. I won’t be commenting further on their baked potatoes, but I’m happy enough to tell you about the Gourmet Burger.
I read burger menu’s backwards. I know that the plain burger will be first, followed by the cheeseburger. Starting at the end means you can bypass the average stuff and go to the “We Want To Impress You” Burger. Greene King’s version is The Gourmet Burger…it’s even in its very own special box on the menu.
£9.99 gets you a “Beef Burger topped with bacon beer jam, melted cheddar, gherkins, salad and deep-fried, battered, streaky bacon. Pure indulgence!”
I’ll give you another moment to read that again.
The bits that stand out to me are – “Bacon beer jam” and “Deep-fried, battered, streaky bacon”.
That, my friends, is why you start at the end!
About a half hour later, my seeded and glazed brioche bun, filled with a 100% beef patty and the aforementioned niceties, fries, mayo and coleslaw was placed before me on a wooden plate, adorned with a sheet of that paper that everyone has these days. This was an impressive looking stack of food.
The melted cheese and bacon beer jam rolled over the edges of the patty, resembling a cascading waterfall in Willie Wonka’s Burger division (I’d imagine), with the deep-fried, battered, streaky bacon perched ominously at the precipice.
The beer bacon jam was sweet and tangy, yet not very “bacony”, but it didn’t have to be, that’s what the bacon was for.
As a Scotsman, I grew up with chip shops battering all kinds of things to try and out do the others, including burgers, but I don’t remember anyone ever trying to sell me battered bacon. It’s especially weird as I’m from Ayrshire, a place renowned, in Scotland at least, for potatoes and bacon.
This thought went through my mind as I was about to bite into it. What if the reason that they hadn’t offered me it was that it was so, so, so, so wrong?!?! I feared disappointment.
The bacon was soft and full of flavour and the batter was crunchy and dry. Burger people of the world……..this needs to be happening more.
The salad was fresh and that’s about as much as I’ll say on that matter. The bun struggled to hold together for the duration of the lifespan of the burger, but was fluffy and soft and had a bit of sweetness about it.
The coleslaw was your traditional pub fayre, creamy mayo and crunchy shredded cabbage and carrot. I have no complaints, but it’ll never get points for originality.
Kudos though to the Greene King crew for their jam and battered bacon. It was inspired.
The fact I got a pint for £1 more made sure that the half hour wait was bearable.
The Gourmet Burger at Glassworks gets a 4 out of 5.