JACKER DE VIANDE, 111 West Regent Street, Glasgow Tel:
0141 243 2405
COCKTAILS?" The Moll is quivering with excitement. "Cocktails, meat and love? My three favourite things. Let's go."
Toots has heard about a new burger joint in the city centre. Jacker de Viande, with the strapline "Cocktails, meat and love," is the latest in a gang of meat huts setting up shop across the city.
It's a tough challenge, making yourself stand out when half a dozen guys have had the same idea before you. But Blondie loves her burgers - the rarer the better - and she's determined to test this place out.
Jacker de Viande - Meat Jacker if you prefer your restaurants in English - is new and keeping the menu simple. Shame the same can't be said for the decor.
Even The Moll, a gutsy broad, takes a step back and gasps when she spies the inside of this cavern.
Decked out in blood red paint, the walls match the colour of Toots' talons - but they're painted, grafitti-style, with looming images of men in suits wearing pigs' heads, rabbit heads and fish heads.
"I feel like someone's going to come round the corner with a meat cleaver and take us down," the blonde trembled.
Despite the bold start, it didn't take long for The Moll's eyes to find their way to the menu - both food and cocktail. Uncharacteristically, Dollface plumped for a non-alcoholic cocktail.
But, with the Buick parked outside, I joined her.
For the lady it was a Shirley Temple: orange and lemon juice with Grenadine and ginger ale. Your old gumshoe had a, don't laugh, Pussy Foot: cranberry and orange juice and some Orgeat syrup.
Drinks decided, it was time to peruse the menu. One page, all meat. The Moll pulled it off its clipboard to check the other side.
"This is it?" she said, perplexed. With seven burgers to choose from, The Moll swithered over the pork, bacon, apple and cheese burger but eventually went hot with a chilli burger and I opted for the chicken burger.
Sides-wise, we picked mac and cheese, onion rings and chilli cheese fries.
By the time the food came, The Moll was ready to start pacing the joint -there's nothing more impatient than a ravenous Moll - but when our order arrived it stopped her in her tracks.
Brought to the table on a giant silver platter, the dishes looked and smelled delicious - and they didn't disappoint.
In seconds The Moll had chilli sauce on her chin as she lowered her face to the bowl of fries.
Crisp, skinny fries, smothered in chilli sauce and slathered with cheese. The Moll was in heaven - and scoffed the whole bowl. My mac and cheese was creamy, flavoursome and crunchy with breadcrumbs - a good sight better than any I've tasted in this city in a long time.
The onion rings were crisp and light and piled in a vast tower on the middle of the tray.
But the burgers were truly a sight to behold.
The Moll's was beautifully pink in the middle while my chicken was covered in a herby, spicy crust. Both were packed to the gunnels with shredded lettuce, melted cheese, gherkins, tomato and spicy sauce.
The Moll gave up on her cutlery and went straight to using her fingers.
"Mmm," she said. "Mmm. So, so delicious."
Rumour has it that the meat used is butchered, ground and shaped in-house and, according to The Moll, you could really taste the care taken.
Nice burgers, nice prices.
The Moll wanted fresh meat and she got it.
There's five more burgers to try and this old gumshoe's determined to come back and work his way through each and every one.
Of all the burger joints in all the city, this could just be the best one.
STARTERS AND SIDES
chilli cheese fries - £4.50
mac & cheese - £4
onion rings - £3
MAINS chilli burger - £9
chicken burger - £7
Pussy Foot - £3.50
Shirley Temple - £3.50
TOTAL - £35