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June 3, 2023

El Perro Negro, Glasgow, restaurant review - new breakfast menu at award-winning burger joint ticks all the boxes

This small but successful burger haven has a new breakfast menu that will banish a hangover. Rosalind Erskine got up bright and early to try it.

I’ve recently started couch to 5k. I realise I am quite late to this easy to follow training method that combines walking and running to build up to a 5k run.

A few years ago the BBC and NHS partnered up to launch a new app, in which famous voices act as encouragement throughout the fitness journey.

I’ve spent the last few weeks running in fits and starts through the botanics in Glasgow, guided by a very zen Jo Wiley.

During these, mainly walking runs, I think often about what my brother in law, a keen and much more successful runner than I, said years ago.

Running is the only exercise he’s found that means he can get away with eating what he wants. This thought also passes through my mind when I sit down in a very busy El Perro Negro on a Saturday morning, and take a look at their new breakfast menu.

This launched in late May, and was created as a result of customer demand for breakfast twists on the burgers, explained founder Nick Watkins ahead of the menu launch.

He also said: “We’ve been playing with the Breakfast Club menu for a while now, so we can’t wait for everyone to try it! It's definitely one of our naughtier ones.”

Despite booking relatively early for a Saturday morning, the small restaurant is very busy which is of no real surprise as El Perro Negro, which started as a street food pop up before finding a permanent location in Finnieston and now Woodlands, has twice won best burger in the UK for their Top Dog burger, a meltingly rich and decadent combo of bone marrow and Roquefort butter, double bacon, caramelised onions and black truffle mayo.

The breakfast menu, like their burger menu, is compact, and meat heavy. There are three sausage and egg muffins to choose from on the sit-in menu - one with black pudding, hash brown, cheese and chive (£10), one with white pudding, hash brown cheese and chive (£10) and one with just hash brown, cheese and chive (£8.50).

They’re serious about hash browns here as for sides, there are double hash browns with sour cream and chive (£5.50) and double hash browns with garlic mayo and parmesan (£6.50).

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We decided to share a sausage and egg muffin with hash brown and one with black pudding and both ordered a flat white (the coffee in which comes from local roastery Paper Cup).

El Perro Negro breakfast
The sausage and egg muffins, and hash browns

I also opted for a Bloody Mary which comes pre-mixed from Bloody Drinks. Not usually a fan of a cocktail in a can, this one was deeply flavourful with thick slightly spiced tomato juice and a kick of vodka.

The salt and spiced rimmed glass and spicy gherkins and huge green olive garnish certainly took this to a different level from other canned drinks.

I’ve heard that a good bloody Mary is pretty much a meal in itself, and this is very much what’s on offer here.

The muffins are both observed with the hash brown and sausage (and black pudding) on one half and the egg on the other.

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Every element is perfectly cut to fit on to the fluffy muffin making them not only easier to eat but aesthetically pleasing. The sausage is soft, not too fatty and well seasoned and the egg is cooked so it still has a runny yolk but it’s the hash browns that are the star here.

Thinly grated slices of potato, deep fried to a golden colour, they’re crispy yet slightly fluffy and oh so moreish. I’d hazard a guess that they’ve been cooked in duck fat or similar as there’s a rich and meatiness to them that belies what you might be used to from a Mcbreakfast.

The side of hash browns, a complete decadence, were topped with blobs of fragrant garlic mayo and a flurry of grated cheese.

A healthy start this isn’t, but as with their burgers, the quality in the meat is obvious and everything is well cooked - from the cookie cutter fried egg to the deeply crispy yet fluffy hash browns (of which I am now a convert).

The bloody Mary, good coffee and homemade bakes - from banana and walnut muffins to double chocolate cookies - are excellent compliments to the offering but you get the feeling people would flock here on their weekends regardless.

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There’s a small takeaway menu too, consisting of a sausage muffin, black pudding muffin, Ramsay’s bacon muffin and an egg muffin.

And while Glasgow isn’t short of breakfast and brunch joints, we’re already planning our return, so I better step up my running game.

El Perro Negro

152 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6LF

0141 332 8440

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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