The Raven

The Raven opened its doors last week & we were lucky enough to go along for a preview before it opened. The Raven is the newest offering from Maclay Inn (of Dram!, Munros & The Hope fame), in the site of the infamous Bay Horse pub site on renfield street.

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The bar itself is quite airy, with a large bar to the left when you walk in. They have an extensive range of craft beers which is obvious from the moment you enter. There is an open kitchen to the back right & upstairs is another large area. One thing I did like about the bar was that they had stripped back one of the walls so it is plain brick as it was meant to be.

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When asked to go along, the blurb emphasised their focus on smoked, slow cooked food. To be honest, I feel this is totally overdone & Glasgow needs a new direction for food. However, I’m pleased to say that The Raven showed me that some places can still do American style food well. Before I go on, we did get craft beer tasters to accompany each dish but as I’m not a beer drinker, I’ve left this out as I couldn’t comment on the matching.

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First up was some nachos, plain & beef chilli. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like them. The nachos were quite large & a weird consistency. There was also a lack of cheese & only a handful of jalapenos – not one I would order again. Next up was the smoked platter which consists of half a slow cooked chicken, pulled pork & a rack of ribs accompanied by corn on the cob & red cabbage slaw. The platter is huge & can easily feed 2-3 people. At £17 as well, it’s a bargain! The chicken was really tender & fell off the bone, as did the ribs. My favourite was pulled pork which I’ve admitted before isn’t my favourite. This pork was juicy & had a Smokey, bbq flavour that was quite moreish. To accompany the platter, every table has a range of sauces from hot sauce to bbq to honey & mustard. Hot sauce on the table is also a thumbs up from me!

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We then tasted some of the sliders. I had half of a cheeseburger which was a decent burger but not one to write home about. What did get my eye was the Mac n cheese slider. Yes, macaroni in a burger! It was a deep fried macaroni patty in a bun with the usual suspects. It was quite messy, falling apart as soon as I bit into it but the Mac n cheese was tasty but not too creamy. Definitely a heart attack in a slider!

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We also tried the fries & sweet potato fries, with the sweet potato ones winning my vote as they were crispy yet fluffy & very moreish. Wings were also on offer in bbq, super hot & plain (who orders plain wings?!). We were far too stuffed from the food we’d already tried so I only tried a super hot wing which aren’t on the menu & were just a test for the previews. I’d have to say I’m glad they aren’t because they need some working on the taste. Normally you’d associate hot wings with a buffalo toe sauce but these were more of a Moroccan harrissa type taste which was a bit strange.

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I can definitely see me popping back into The Raven since the smoked platter was so reasonable for how much food you get. And a glass of bubbles for under £4 is always tempting!

Bread Meats Bread – Revisit

In autumn last year, we visited Bread Meats Bread at one of their pre-launch evenings & came away with a so-so view. Since then, I’d heard good reviews from friends and more recently, my sister who visited recently for dinner.

From their Facebook posts, I’d seen a mention of their new specials, American style burgers celebrating burgers in 3 American regions for the next 3 weeks. This week is California & they are offering an In n Out burger style effort (somewhere I am dying to go) & it sounded pretty good. Last night, James vs Burger put up a post declaring it as the best burger he’s ever eaten in Glasgow so I knew it was worth checking out.

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We popped along this afternoon (literally left there 20 mins ago) & decided to try the burger. It’s a 3oz patty with cheese, salad & burger sauce & you can get it either regular or mustard fried. It comes in 3 sizes, 2×2, 3×3 & 4×4. I know the description doesn’t sound like anything special but believe me it is! We went for the 3×3 mustard fried & split it between us.

I have to say the burger was fantastic! The meat was juicy, burger sauce was moreish & bun was just right, not too bready (nothing worse than a burger where you get more bread than meat). We honestly sat in silence devouring our burger, neither putting it down once. That’s a first for us!! The Cali burgers is only available until tomorrow so you have to be quick!

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We also opted for the pepperoni burger which can be best described as a burger pizza. What more could you possibly want? It is bread meats bread red label burger made with spicy n’duja sausages accompanied with spicy sausage, pepperoni sauce & mozzarella on a garlice brioche. The burger was spicy but not overly that the flavours from the toppings was lost. The garlic brioche was a disappointment as you could barely taste the garlic. A bit more sauce wouldn’t have gone a miss but overall, another tasty burger.

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For sides we had sweet potato fries & onion rings with a dip of scotchbonnaise. I love sweet potatoes anyways but the fries were so moreish. I could’ve eaten a full bowl! The onion rings tasted a bit like a fusion of batter & breadcrumbs, which worked well. Unfortunately, the scotchbonnaise was lacking in any real heat & was more like a slightly Cajun mayo.

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Next week is a homage to the New Jersey slider & the following week is New York’s black label burger (Nigella Lawson’s favourite). The guys at bread meats bread have really upped their game since opening & it’s much improved since we last visited. Be prepared to wait though. We waited 15 mins but it was worth it!!

The Richmond

The Richmond has been on my list of places to try for a long, long time. We finally popped along on Easter Sunday (yes I am very behind in blogging!) to have dinner & some drinks. The Richmond is situated in Kelvinbridge in the West End of Glasgow. It’s not one of those places that stands out as it’s at the end of Park Road, but just off the popular Gibson St area. The restaurant provides a mix of modern dishes along with some Indian influenced meals. One thing that stands out for me with their menu is the amount of offers they have. Every night Sun – Thurs, they have deals such as 2 burgers & beers for £20 or 2 steaks & a bottle of wine for £25. Not to mention that most of their cocktails are £3.50 each Sun-Thurs.

Inside, the decor is very modern, with blacks & silver being the prodominent colour scheme. We were seated to the left of the bar so had a good view of our drinks getting mixed. I opted for a margarita straight away (my fav as you may have guessed) & I have to say, these guys know how to make a good margarita. As it was Easter, they also added a wee chick as a garnish too!

Margarita

For starters, I opted for the fishcake & Al went for the bloody mary prawn cocktail. When my starter arrived, I was a bit disappointed to see just one fishcake on the plate. Usually, you are given two or three fishcakes as a starter. I quickly took that back as it was full of flavour, with the fish being very fresh. The accompanying mixed pepper salsa was also really fresh tasting & added a nice flavour to the dish. And once I had finished, it really was enough for a starter, I had underestimated how big it looked. The prawn cocktail was really nice as the bloody mary sauce gave it a nice kick. A pleasant change from the usual prawn cocktail!

Prawn CocktailFishcake

As it was a Sunday, I opted to go for the beef Sunday Roast which was really tasty. The beef was perfectly cooked, being still pink & was accompanied with roast potatoes & buttered veg. The veg was really moreish & I honestly could have went another portion. [Edit – there was a Yorkshire pudding with the roast. It was a bit dry & overdone for my tastes] The other main was The Richmong burger consisting of a lightly spiced patty, cheese, pancetta & jalapenos served with chips & onion rings. I had a bite of the burger which was really juicy & well seasoned.

Sunday RoastThe Richmond Burger

I almost ordered a dessert but after my roast, I was stuffed. We decided to stay for another drink after dinner & when we asked for the bill, we were given an Easter egg! Such a nice touch to round off a lovely dinner. The cost of the meal was surprising – we were just over £50 for 2 courses & 3 drinks each. A rarity in Glasgow these days! A definite gem in the West End & we will definitely be back!

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