You know when a trend has peaked when the big guns head in. On one section of Saint Vincent Street we have Handmade Burger Co., Bread Meats Bread, Five Guys and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
It's been a few years since we had been to Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Edinburgh (a 2-4-1 offer pulled us in). It was OK but nothing so amazing that you'd seek them out. So with their opening in Glasgow and new owners in the venture capital group which own Nando's, it was worth another go.
Shiny, sparkly and with all the hipster tick boxes - craft beer, scrabble signs, old style lighting - ticked.
"Please wait to be seated", says the sign, I did and was letting the first staff member know about my booking when she lifted two menus, passed them to another staff member and walked away. Member two asks "how many again?" and takes me to a table. The other staff member decides to come back to ask the name the table is booked under and leaves. Sitting down I'm directed around the menu and told that orders are placed at the "bar". Seemingly this is fast casual. So casual that the staff are standing around, looking for something to do as it's just 12 noon and quiet.
The Colonel arrives and we get down to sorting out what we want. We are both surprised at the bar ordering with there being so many staff members floating about.
Thankfully none of the bad Glaswegian nomenclature menus are about (Whitey for white wine - whoever suggested that was having a laugh!). Our order is placed with ease and we settle back to chat.
Within minutes our thick shakes arrive in those American retro style shake cups, with lots of dribble, thankfully there's lots of napkins on the table.
We both like the shakes. My lime one tastes very like those chocolate lime sweets. The Colonel mentions his strawberry one tastes very like those yoghurt drinks. Very nice.
Halloumi Bites arrive, good chunks with some (but not much) chargilling. The poor cheese is completely overpowered by the "hot green" dip.
No time passes and the burgers are here! Can't fault them on speed of service.
We both ordered cheese and bacon burger. One with everything and one without pickle or mayo. Both come as ordered and look good. Pinky and full of fillings.
Juicy, moist, charred burger . Thumbs up from both of us, however I couldn't really tell if it was applewood smoked cheese, or was that the BBQ sauce? Too much going on in there.
We pondered how skinny fries could be a GBK speciality as mentioned on the menu, when they came we had a chuckle about it when they arrived.
Pretty skinny, skinny fries! They were a little like soggy French fries crisps.
My sweet potato fries were tepid, so back they went, replaced quickly and with apology. The Baconnaise, I'd heard much about was OK, like those salad bacon sprinkles in Mayo - which I suppose that's all it is!
With our sides of the smallest cobs of corn I've ever seen. I'm presuming this is small and not regular. Our meal was all delivered.
Clean toilets, quick service but staff standing in the way not really doing anything. The whole ordering at the cash desk didn't impress, this is meant to be better than McD's but it felt the same. Nando's but pricier. £40 for what was a tasty meal, but I'd really like some table service for that, not having to stand in a queue every time I'd like a drink.
A table of 12 came in as we dined, they seemed surprised at the whole go up and order yourself bit - three different queues with everyone's order coming at different times, some work lunch that would be!
Tasty, nice decor and service quick but overpriced.
We dined as guests of Gourmet Burger Kitchen.