Return Of The Mac At Ad Lib Merchant City


mac cheeseHere’s my review of the taste sensation that is know as the Return of the Mac.  I’ve been following Ad Lib on Facebook for many years.  Who remembers the weekly Name the Burger competition? Some of the answers were belters but unfortunately, I didn’t get around to trying any of the burgers.  The competition is long gone now but Ad Lib are still worthy of their spot on my newsfeed.  They’re always posting mouth-watering photos and don’t get me started on those cocktails.

Finally I decided to stop beating about the bush and gave the place a go.  On the website, it says that they’ve been serving the best burgers since 1976 so I wanted to know if they could live up to such a claim.  We’re spoiled in the way of burgers in Glasgow so the competition is fierce.

Itison voucher

Ad Lib have two restaurants in Glasgow – one in the city centre and there’s another one in the Merchant City.  A friend at work told me about an Itison voucher for the Merchant City restaurant so, of course, I snapped it right up.  The voucher entitled me to a burger and chips for just £5 so I bought two for £10.

I was sat in a bar around the corner from it one Thursday night during the Merchant City Festival with my mother-in-law when we decided to go.  It was a spur of the moment thing and even though it was a Thursday night and the festival was on, we still managed to get a table.

As soon as we entered the restaurant I knew what I wanted – the Return of the Mac.  I had been eyeing up this bad boy on Facebook all week but to my horror, The Return of the Mac wasn’t on the menu nor was it on the specials board. My heart sunk.

Hunners of mac cheese

The Return of the Mac is a southern fried chicken burger with chorizo and their legendary mac cheese but all they had on the menu was a plain chicken burger.  The friendly waitress was really accommodating and went to the kitchen to ask if they could rustle one up for me. She came back and told me that I could have the burger but I would have to pay £2 extra. Deal!

When the burgers arrived at the table my mother-in-law looked at them in horror – they were massive.  I, on the other hand, was over the moon with the monster burger sat in front of me with creamy mac cheese oozing out of it – the grubber that I am.  My mother-in-law went for the chicken burger on its own and it was just as big as mine.  Even though she was initially taken aback by the sheer size of the burger she still thoroughly enjoyed it – she even finished it, just leaving a few chips.

So, is their mac cheese one of the best in Glasgow?  Hell yeh!  The chips didn’t disappoint either.  I usually put loads of salt on my chips but there was no need to further season them.  They were perfect.  They reminded me of Burger King chips and were the perfect accompaniment to dip into the cheese sauce.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had mac cheese on a burger.  Each burger has been a completely different experience but one thing that they all have in common is that it’s impossible to eat them without making a mess.

The theme of the restaurant is heart-warming soul food and sticking with it you can expect USA supersized portions.  Evident from my mother-in-law’s reaction – the portions are not for the fainthearted.

The service is superb and you get great value for money – well, I did anyway with my vouchers. I’m usually really stingy when it comes to money but I didn’t mind paying the extra £2 – it was worth every penny. Their claim to have the best burgers in Glasgow might be a tad overzealous but they definitely deserve a top spot. Since my first visit I’ve already been back once and I’m sure I’ll be back again.

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