James vs Burger: Things you learn while on the hunt for Glasgow’s best burger
James vs Burger Glasgow's Best Burger Comp NOT FOR REUSE (2)

Glasgow isn’t short of burger joints – but which is the best?

It’s an annual debate – or burger-off, if you will – chaired by blogger James Lees, of James vs. Burger, and his partner and photographer Pamela Graham.

‘The Burger Guy’ – as James is now known in every corner of Glasgow – explained: “Pamela and I knew that Glasgow had some amazing places to eat and started to feel that they weren’t getting the recognition that they deserved. So we decided to do something about it. I didn’t expect the blog to grow like it did. Initially, it was just intended as a hobby for us, but it just seemed to take off overnight.”

The blog soon led to the competition, with kitchens across the city scrambling to impress James and a panel of foodie judges – with Nice N Sleazy’s Meathammer Ltd creation picking up the 2014 prize.

James and Pamela have taken a break from burgers to focus on healthy, vegetarian and vegan eating, adding: “I feel like we’ve found the best that Glasgow has to offer, so that part of the journey is over.

“I’ll eat a burger if something really grabs my attention, but I actually enjoy eating healthier foods now and getting a bit more creative with veggie cooking. Eating burgers every day definitely isn’t something I’d recommend – it just isn’t good for you, and isn’t a sustainable way to live.”

But The Burger Guy will be back in action on 5 October for another round of Glasgow’s Best Burger – this time with an additional reader’s choice prize (decided by an online vote).

With that in mind, we asked James to give us the lowdown on what he has learned on his quest for burger perfection…

1. Less is definitely more

“I learned quickly that food challenges aren’t for me. I don’t like them. I tried a couple early on doing James vs. Burger and I just found them to be disgusting. Food shouldn’t be a challenge. Ever.”

2. You can have too much of a good thing

El Perro Negro Glasgow (2)
El Perro Negro Ltd

“I do get sick of burgers at times. There will be times when I just crave one, but other than that I don’t eat a lot now. I think there will always be room in Glasgow for a great burger and they’re never going to go away. But I also don’t think you’re going to see new places pop up at the rate they were doing a year or so ago. We have our good burger places now and that’s enough.”

3. You have fond memories of burgers gone by

“The five best burgers I’ve had in Glasgow were from El Perro Negro (check our our Expert’s guide to Glasgow’s finest burgers, courtesy of El Perro Negro founder Nick Watkins), Bread Meats Bread, Bloc, The Butchershop and Nice N Sleazy.”

4. Veggie burgers can give meat a run for its money

“Bloc’s V.Edgy burger is so good that it can challenge any of the best meat-based burgers in Glasgow.”

5. But not every burger is a good burger

“The worst burger I’ve ever had was at Charlie Rocks on Byres Road, which is no longer there. It was overcooked to the point where it resembled a hockey puck on a bun.”

Glasgow’s Best Burger competition takes place at Ad Lib on 5 October, judged by James and Pamela, Burnistoun’s own Robert Florence, Capital FM’s Jennie Cook, STV reporter Colin Stone and 5pm.co.uk’s Alan Wallace.

Main image: James vs Burger/Pamela Graham – not for reproduction without prior permission