Best burger in Glasgow?
A little bit of history...
The original Buddy's on Skirving Street opened in late 2012 and quickly built up a reputation; we visited in 2012 and then again in 2013 but were disappointed on both occasions. Buddy's then won the 2013 Glasgow's best burger competition at Ad Lib and opened a new sit-in diner in December 2013 on Pollokshaws Rd in the Govannhill/Strathbungo area so we'd been wanting to visit since they opened the new venture...
Attempted visit #1: arrived late on a weekday night, it was still open but the kitchen had already closed.
Attempted visit #2: turned up on a Saturday lunchtime but a sign on the door said it wouldn't be open till 5pm.
Attempted visit #3: turned up on a Friday evening and there was a 30-40minute wait for a table. We didn't want to wait so went elsewhere.
Finally, success at attempt 4: turned up on a Sunday at 6pm and there were plenty of empty tables but despite this we were told there would still be a 10 minute wait but hey, that's manageable! We waited at the bar - standing room only as there are no bar stools for some reason and about 5 - 10 minutes later we were shown to a table set for four which was strangely set up with booth-style seats in the corner around a round table. Love the booth idea, but this probably doesn't work too well, especially if there are 4 of you and the person trapped in the corner needs out to the toilet! Proper booths of four would work better.
We drooled over the menu arguing over who was having what. A quick decision and painless order was made!
At 6:25 a large group who it seems had reserved tables turned up and then another large group who hadn't booked arrived and suddenly there was a total of 18 people milling about between the door and bar and nowhere to seat them out of the way. 4 people left then another couple, then another 2 came in the door, then 4 left, then another large group came in. I lost count of everyone coming and going, but it was clear that in a short space of time it was back to a 30-40 (or more) minute wait.
Our food arrived around 6:40 and looked the part.
Fried pickles - £3.95
Fab, crispy batter, juicy tangy dill pickle on the inside. Loved these, first time we'd ever had them!
The Kentucky Poutine - £5.95
Chicken breast on chips, curd and gravy which cooled down pretty quickly. Tasted like chips with some cheese and er, Ikea meatball gravy. Didn't get much "southern fried" spice either. Actually quite dry and bland.
Mac and cheese - £2.50
Cheesy top, which disappeared into a vaguely cheesy sauce. It was better than the mac 'n cheese we had from the takeaway before but was still underwhelming.
Garlic Fries - £2.50
Fries stopped with garlic powder, but they were just standard catering chips, not greasy though and sprinkled with some garlic powder, which was nice but the sprinkling was a bit light & uneven (the white dots on the chips). We didn't finish them so were asked if we wanted to take them away with us, we said yes but when the time came they just taken away to the kitchen/bin/wherever. 🙁
The Western Burger £6.95 - "Winner of Glasgow's Best Burger 2013"
Looked very Cajun-style, a "well-fired" black bun top as you can see! Is it an award winning burger? Well, overall the burger has all the necessary constituent parts to make a great burger - toasted brioche bun, cheese, bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato, relish, BBQ sauce but the patty itself was...thin and bland and tasted just like a Burger King burger and is a Burger King burger an award winning burger?
Following our previous visits to the outlet on Skirving St it seems that our worst fears about the diner were confirmed - the food is simply just OK and certainly not worth waiting 30 or 40 minutes for. It's unfathomably busy and popular, perhaps that's the problem and if it quietens down the quality will go up?
I really do hope they succeed as the area, and the city, could do with a good diner. But right now Buddy’s is not it.
The staff were friendly and it's great to see local beer on tap but the bar waiting needs sorted. The burger patties are nice enough I suppose but they're not that far off Burger King in style and each burger bun that came out of the kitchen was burnt - is this intentional? Do you have a choice?
The music was also dire. Sweet Caroline!? River Deep - Mountain High and what sounded like Tom Jones and Cliff Richard!!! But there is a jukebox so perhaps all is not lost and you can stick something better on?!
Toilets were mostly clean but some manky sod had dumped tissues in one of the mens' urinals - eew!
Overall, it's the emperor's new clothes all over again sadly. 🙁
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Buddy’s Bar, Diner & Grill
677-681 Pollokshaws Road
Currently there is no listing for the Buddy's diner on Urbanspoon but here is the link to the Skirving St takeaway: