Barolo Grill

Barolo Grill is one of those restaurants that you pass often but never really pay much attention to given its location on Mitchell St, just off Gordon St. We ventured there last week for a belated birthday meal.

Knowing that it’s owned by the same people as Di Maggios & Cafe Andaluz, I wasn’t sure what to expect from here. I had fully expected a bog standard selection of Italian dishes. The menu, however, is pleasantly surprising with a modest selection of pasta dishes, with only one or two you would normally find on a menu in an Italian restaurant. The pizza combinations are a different take on the norm with frutti di mare (seafood) and braised beef with aubergine as a couple of examples.

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On ordering drinks, we went for a bottle of prosecco to celebrate the selling of my house. Priced at £23.95, the cheapest bottle of fizz is a good few quid dearer than most restaurants. Similarly, their house wine is priced at £5.75 for a large glass – not the most reasonable I have came across.

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For starters we had king prawns with limoncello & mussels & clams with white wine & garlic. The amount of mussels & clams in the bowl could feed 2 people for a starter the portion was that massive! The shellfish was cooked perfectly, the clams being sweet & juicy. The king prawns did not twee as expected. Anyone who’s ever drank limoncello will know how tart a taste it is. So when the prawns were lacking in any lemon flavour, it was a bit of a disappointment. I would go as far to say it was more like king prawns with a slightly flavoured mayonnaise.

One thing I liked about Barolo was that you had a decent wait between meals. A lot of restaurants like to get you in & out as fast they can nowadays. I enjoyed the 10-15 minute wait between courses as it gives you a chance to enjoy the experience.

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My main was described as large pillows of pasta which turned out to be their description of ravioli. The pasta itself was really fresh & full of flavour. The menu described it as being filled with meat but there was no meat to be seen anywhere on the plate. Having said that, it was full of flavour & deceptively filling. Al had rigatoni with Tuscan sausage which I wouldn’t normally enjoy as I’m not keen on Italian sausage. This dish changed my opinion. Instead of big chunks of sausage, it was cut up & mixed as part of the sauce so you weren’t really aware you were eating it. Instead it gave the sauce a really meaty flavour & given that there was a lot of sauce, it made a really nice dish.

Barolo may not be the cheapest Italian restaurant in Glasgow but you get what you pay for with dishes full of flavour. They also do a steak night on a Wednesday which starts from £30 for 2 rump steaks with sides & a bottle of wine to share. Definitely something I will go back to try to see if they live up to their name. Similarly, the pizzas I saw people eating were massive & looked like authentic stonebaked pizza. I would say if you’re al

Cocktail & Burger

Having heard about Cocktail & Burger from James Vs Burger we decided to check it out last Saturday. Situated in the former Hippo Lounge on Sauchiehall St, it does exactly what it says on the tin! 

Going in, the place is quite dimly lit with low hanging lights above the tables (yes I did bang my head off one) but it gives it a bit of atmosphere. The menu doesn’t have a lot of choice, a few burgers,hotdogs, a couple of salads & some snack items but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We decided to order 2 C&B burgers and a side of mussel popcorn. As the name suggests, cocktails are also a main feature, with a selection at £3.50 & premium ones at £4.50. 

After munching on our complementary cup of popcorn, our food arrived & it was surprised at the amount of food. Normally when you order a burger & chips, it comes on the one plate & you get a decent amount. Not Cocktail & Burger, they give you a good sized burger, not too big, not too small & a separate bowl of their “stealth” fries. 

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The C&B burger is topped with bacon & cheddar & on first bite, I have to say, the taste was amazing. It tasted like a good quality fast food burger without the horrible after-taste you get from say McDonalds or Burger King. On the side is a couple of slices of gherkin, red onion & cucumber to put on top of your burger if you wish. Unfortunately I didn’t realise this & ate it before it was pointed out to me why it was there! 

                            
I don’t know why anywhere hasn’t thought of mussel popcorn before but it’s fantastic! Just like chicken popcorn but with mussels. Really loved this & the pureed tartar sauce that came with it. Not for those who don’t like anything too fishy but a must have for all fish fans out there. I’m still a bit confused about why the fries are called “stealth” fries, however, they were pretty good. Nice & crispy & also for the first time I’ve experienced, pre-peppered rather than pre-salted. 

                            

A big plus to Cocktail & Burger for supplying hot sauce as part of the normal set of condiments. Both of us are big spice fans so this just added to the goodness of the burger. And the fries may have also taken a spice hit too!


I can’t believe these guys are doing 2 for 1 burgers all day at such a low price (C&B are £6.95 each) for such good quality. Despite not sounding like a lot to eat, we were both suitably stuffed after our venture to Cocktail & Burger. A repeat visit is on the cards!
                           

The Great White Buffalo

After reading James v Burger’s review of Nice & Sleazy’s new range of burgers, I decided I’d try one whilst in pre-gig during the week.

It was hard to choose as the majority took my fancy! The range of ingredients on each burger is impressive, on average around 5 items with the burger. I narrowed it down to either the Red Mist (chicken breast in sage, thyme, lemon zest with smoked cheddar, double bacon, caramalised onions, mature chedder, bbq sauce & hot buffalo sauce) or Great White Buffalo burger (Jack-Daniels soaked burger with tabasco, worcester sauce, bacon, stilton, garlic mayo, red onion marmalade & hot buffalo sauce)- as put by my friend, chicken or beef? I decided to take the plunge & go with the Great White Buffalo.

When the burger arrived, I thought it looked pretty small but on closer inspection saw how packed it was with the additional ingredients. It came with a small glass filled with triple cooked chips. Again another small looking portion compared to usual pub grub. After cutting the burger in half, you can see just how jam packed it is with ingredients:



On first bite, all I could think was “chinese food”. It was a bizarre taste that came from the mix of the sweet jack daniels, worcester sauce & caramelised onions. Not unpleasant but definitely not what I was expecting from this burger! After one half of the burger, I realised I had forgotten that it had Stilton in it. Any taste of the blue cheese was swamped by the garlic mayo which covered the top half of the burger. What really got the thumbs up from me about this burger was the bacon – lovely thin & crispy bacon. Beats the fatty, thick pieces that normally accompany burgers. The caramelised onions were also nice & sweet with a slight acidity that went nicely with both the burger & the garlic mayo.

Overall, I’d say a decent burger but not the best I’ve ever had. My tip to Nice & Sleazy’s would be to reduce the amount of additional ingredients with the burger. If the Great White Buffalo was advertised as having garlic mayo & caramlised onions with it instead of garlic mayo, stilton, caramelised onions & hot buffalo sauce, I definitely would not have been disappointed with how it all blended in together. 

A final point that my fiance asked me to put up is the table cloth he thought was awesome (I don’t know what goes through his head!).