You know, if even a few years ago I were to look at myself now in a Glasgow restaurant like Tony Roma's, I'd look myself up and down, as a librarian would look at a monkey, perhaps (as it sits in the library, eating a banana & flicking absently through a book), and wonder what happened to me.
I used to hate the thought of eating ribs. I mean, really hate it!
The idea that I'd get myself dressed up in my most expensive jeans, fire on my favourite shirt, spray the old face with mysterious toilet water (aye, that's yer eau de toilette), and head out for a fine meal just to end up with sticky barbeque goo all over my fingers & chops, for some weird reason never filled me with much joy!
But then, at some point, that deep rooted desperate urge for all things food began bubbling to my surface, taking my life to a whole new place, and I guess at some point I finally came to the view that if it tastes good, it's worth looking like a baby smeared in beans in a high chair for!
And oh boy do the ribs in this place taste good. So you can imagine the look Tracey gives me these days as I sit in Tony Roma's gnawing remnants of juicy pork from the bone like an animal.
I've sampled ribs all over the place since I changed my ways, but can't help coming back to Tony Roma's Glasgow restaurant over and over again to try out the different racks & sauces, and don't forget the superb burgers, steaks and seafood on the menu, and every time I leave I'm always planning the return.
Yup, this captivating Glasgow restaurant has definitely stuck to my fingers - thank God they give you plenty of wipes!
Me posing outside Tony Roma's
Erm, OK then...
Heh pal, thur's nae much meat on they bones byraway! - This is what you might hear from a Glaswegian in Tony Roma's restaurant. A Glaswegian, that is, who's looked at the menu & concluded after a half hour of deep contemplation that the picture of ribs he sees on the menu is actually life size.
It's OK, we're not all like that really. Some of us here have even learned that you don't have to lick the menu to decide what meal to order!
What you will see from the Glaswegians and other patrons of this fine recreation of sound, blue collar American dining (trust me on that - I've nibbled & noshed my way all over the US), is the deep intake of breath when the plate's put on their table, followed closely by a brief look of self-doubt as they wonder just how far into the dish they'll make it before exploding.
No head, but the ribs look nice!
See, all of that's true even when you don't opt bravely for the "endless slab" all you can eat and eat choice on the days it's available, as each dish is so filling that you'll begin to regret your prior dismissive ignorance of elasticated trousers.
Here's a sample menu to give you an idea on what to order in Tony Roma's Glasgow restaurant. Bear in mind that it's just a sample so it may have changed by the time you visit the place, although hopefully you'll get from it that, no matter how civilised you think you may have grown up to be, the temptation as I mentioned before to lick the menu will be almost too much to handle!
Our personal favourite starters are the onion loaf (although we've chosen this as a side dish instead a few times) and the barbeque chicken flatbread given just how much respect we have for Monterey Jack cheese.
For the mains, nine times out of ten I'll head straight for the ribs. My top choice in the past has been the half slab st. louis ribs with blue ridge smokies sauce because I prefer a meatier cut, but the original baby backs with carolina honeys sauce are pretty outstanding as well. I say "half slab", because having previously fallen victim to the old eyes too big for the stomach disease, I've learned my limits - following a long, eroding war of attrition between my basic instinct for survival and what some may call my most admirable characteristic, greed, I've come to understand that with searing regret, my mum was wrong, that I don't have "hollow legs" which enable me to eat endlessly, despite what she may have told me so brazenly when I was a young lad.
Quiet before the storm...
As I say though, it ain't all about the ribs at this superb Glasgow restaurant. The tremendous roma burger nestles snugly in Tracey's top 5 burgers in the whole wide world, and some serious consideration will also have to be paid to these dishes:
... all washed down with some quenching Mountain Dew as this Glasgow restaurant is one of the only ones in which you can order it over here (the feeling this generates in visitors from the US must be great - it's like us Scots finding Irn Bru overseas!).
If you've enough space to cram in some dessert, you'll see the kind of puddings you can expect in the sample menu, but the one I'd recommend without hesitation istony's chocolate avalanche, a vibrant volcano of hot fudge, ice cream and crumbled Dime Bar.
I'm telling you now, as you heave & roll your stuffed carcass out of Tony Roma's Glasgow and back into the cool air of Xscape, I guarantee you'll take one pitiful look at all the extreme sports on display and begin to hate them all! Well, that is at least until you eventually collapse into a chair later on, when as the air in your stomach gradually dispels, your mind will turn to how utterly satisfied you feel about your decision to eat there.
Prime ribs every time!
If you've not gathered already, you'll find Tony Roma's Glasgow Restaurant in Xscape Braehead, the heeeoooowwwwge extreme activities centre I talk about elsewhere on the site (there's a link from my top ten Glasgow attractions section).
Xscape Glasgow is in Braehead, next to Braehead Shopping Centre just off the Renfrew junction 26 (eastbound) or 25a (westbound) of the M8 Motorway.
If you won't be travelling by car or taxi, you can get also there by bus. Have a look at my bus guide to plan your journey, and also have in mind that the Breahead Bullet also operates non-stop between Partick Interchange, Xscape Glasgow and Braehead Shopping Centre, so can come in handy if you'll be travelling between these points.
I've never had to book a table at the restaurant, as every time even on a Saturday we've just walked in and asked to be seated. A few times we've had to wait for a wee while at the bar, but there's a great cocktail menu and plenty of TV screens to keep you entertained while you wait (although yes, Tracey and I do sometimes talk to each other while we're out!).
If you want to be sure you'll be seated when you'll be visiting however, just phone on the day and ask how busy they're expecting to be that night.
So I hope you have a great time at this, a Glasgow restaurant some folks (usually food snobs) would never expect to find on a top ten list. And if you do end up exploding after stuffing yourself full at Tony Roma's Glasgow, at least you'll have been happily satisfied before the bang!