Friday, 15 September 2017

Good Full Stop Snack Bars

Good Full Stop make a range of fruit and nut snack bars, made in Devon and are gluten and dairy free, vegetarian and of course vegan friendly.   They are made from dates, nuts and other delicious ingredients, count towards one of your five a day and are available in these fabulous flavours.

Cherry Sweet & Cherry Good (Cherry & Maple)
Sun Kissed & Good (Choc & Orange)
Chocolate Is Twice As Good (Double Choc)
Very Nutty & Very Good (Mixed Nuts)
I'm Berry Berry Good (Raspberry)
Cool Minty & Good (Choc & Mint)
Full Of Beans & So Good (Mocha & Caffeine)
Devilishly Hot & Good (Double Choc & Chilli)
I'm Red Hot & Very Good (Fiery Choc & Chilli)

I was lucky enough to be sent all the flavours to sample and they came in handy this week, when out and about and no vegan snacks were to be found.   The bars are excellent when travelling, easy to pop into your bag and do not disintegrate into a crumbly mess, should they get squashed.

I enjoyed all the flavours, some more than others, but to be fair anything made with dates and nuts, I am a sucker for.   The stand out ones for me, being a chilli addict and because they packed a punch were Devilishly Hot And Good and I'm Hot And Very Good, possibly too hot for some, they said they were hot and they were, absolutely delicious.   I also loved I'm Cool Minty And Good and Cherry Sweet And Cherry Good.   I love the chewy moisture texture and from cyclist Steven, who of course had to get in on the tasting act, they got a big thumbs up, as there are no crumbs to choke on when cycling.

The market for snack bars is very competitive, with the bigger brands taking the lions share, but I think Good Full Stop are a real contender to give them a run for their money and I prefer to support the smaller independents anyway.

If you fancy tickling your taste buds, with some Good Full Stop, blog readers can get a massive 50% off their first order, by quoting GFSBLOG at the checkout.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The Radish New Street Lancaster 14th September 2017

The Radish are a catering company, who also have a cafe in the middle of Lancaster, with a lovely inviting frontage.

The food is freshly made onsite, they have oat and soya milk and are really vegan friendly, with cakes clearly labelled on the menu.   I had a quick chat with the owner, who said most of the salads they prepared were vegan and they were happy to adjust dishes as best they could, so you cannot say fairer than that.

We were there mid morning, so it had to be coffee and something sweet and I was spoiled for choice, when I checked out the display cabinet.

I chose one of the coconut, sultana and chia seed cookies and a decaf Americano coffee, with the beans freshly ground in front of us.  

The cookie was crunchy with the chia seeds, moist from the sultanas, had a lovely coconut flavour, as light as a feather and with a top class decaf, made for a perfect snack.   I also like they use 100% recycled paper serviettes.

I would definitely return to for lunch, as the salads they were putting in the display fridge, looked very tempting.

Monday, 11 September 2017

El Marchador Tacos Plant Powered Sunday Manchester 3rd September 2017

El Marchador Tacos are based in Giggleswick, near Settle, making homemade tacos, with tasty toppings, salsas and the most awesome 'cheeze' sauce, all made from scratch daily.   The food is all vegan, as well as gluten and dairy free, so they make street food that is also very healthy, what's not to love.  

I knew El Marchador were one of the vendors at Plant Powered Sunday at Mayfield, organised by Grub, on the 3rd September.   I adore Mexican food, so fresh, tasty and healthy but satisfying and looking at the menu, I made the right decision to visit Grub that day.

Ben is the face of El Marchador Tacos, but when I went to order at the counter, I recognised Gemma, who used to be head chef at Filmore & Union in Skipton, it was nice to catch up with her whilst she prepared my nachos and trio of tacos with extra guacamole.

The nachos were the best ever, as were Steven's tacos with the three fillings, but it was all the extras that made the difference between good and great, the red chillies, pickled red onion, mango salsa, hot chilli sauce and that 'cheeze' sauce was the icing on the cake, it was stupendous.   I had a quick chat with Ben about the 'cheeze' sauce and he told me where to find the recipe and kindly gave me some of the corn tacos too.

If you see El Marchador Tacos do not walk past, get up to the counter and order some food, you will not regret it.

Ezra & Gil Hilton Street Manchester 9th September 2017

Ezra & Gil is a cool, busy cafe with a couple of vegan options and we visited for breakfast, before setting off for home, after a week in Brighton.  

There is no menu on their website, in act there is little information on there, so thank goodness for mobile phones.

Apart from the dishes above, there is an avocado on toast dish, veganisable by swopping the feta for grilled tomatoes, which was my choice with a large black Americano.

This was a great rendition of this dish, with loads of perfectly seasoned avocado, drizzled with lime juice, chillies and pea shoots, it made for a satisfying breakfast.

Ezra & Gil also have vegan cakes, though I was too full to partake, but there is always next time.

Los Antojitos Mexican Pop Up At The Wonder Inn Shudehill Manchester 8th September 2017

Los Antojitos is a pop up catering company, owned by Kelly Bucher, making authentic Mexican food and her own range of chilli sauces and salsas..   I knew Los Antojitos was hosting an evening at The Wonder Inn, a wellness and creativity centre and would be a fabulous finale, after a week of vegan dining in Brighton.

I contacted Kelly to discuss my allergies and with allergies herself, her response was second to none, offering to make separate dishes specifically for me.

The Wonder is like a tardis, even though from the front it is tiny, but I loved the interior, with a small bar, great decor and lighting (although not brilliant for food photos) and chilled ambience for dining.

There was a small area to the rear of the bar, where Los Antojitos was set up, with Kelly doing everything, cooking, preparing food and serving tables.

We ordered drinks, had a quick chat with Kelly, who said to leave the menu up to her, so we sat down and waited in anticipation.

To start we had roasted spiced peanuts and pumpkin seeds and tortilla chips with mango salsa and pico de gallo.   The nuts were truly spicy, in fact they had Steven gulping down his beer, with the moreish tortilla chips, it was a great start to the meal, so good in fact, we ate them all.

Next up was chilli for Steven and special refried beans for me, with rice, jalapenos and mango salsa, both were delicious and no skimping either, so although Steven ate all his, I left some as I knew we had more food to come.

The final savoury dish was enfrijolada, a flour tortilla, topped with refried beans, jalapenos, spring onion pine nuts and a choice of chilli sauce to dribble on, sample bottles of which Kelly kindly gave me to take home.

I was full but the enfrijolada was so tasty, we left clean plates, I loved both sauces, particularly the spicy one on the right.   Kelly is hoping to attain The Vegan Society trademark for her sauces and I wish her well and hope to see this sometime in the future.

Steven had a chocolate and almond brownie to finish, but even he was fit to pop, you certainly do not go hungry and the price for the food is very reasonable too.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, after the hustle bustle of Brighton, long train journeys, much of it standing up, it was the perfect finish to a brilliant week.   I will be keeping an eye on Los Antojitos's events page, to see where else they are popping up in the future.  

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Ancoats Coffee Co Royal Mills Redhill Street Manchester 8th September 2017

Ancoats Coffee Co is an oasis of calm on the ground floor of the historic Royal Mills building, now converted into apartments, in this bohemian part of Manchester.   I had been meaning to visit for ages and with it being within walking distance of our hotel, via a path by the canal, there was no excuse not too,

I loved the whole concept and was impressed that not only did they have a cracking looking vegan banana loaf, but also breakfast and lunch options, served with the awesome Pollen Bakery sourdough bread.

I ordered a piece of banana loaf and a decaf coffee, found a nice table to chill and relax after a six hour train journey and tucked in.   The decaf coffee was excellent, one of the best, not tasteless like some and the banana loaf was light, moist, huge and every morsel polished off.

I will be returning to try that awesome sounding mushroom toasted sandwich or the soup and of course that perfect coffee, they are after all a coffee roaster and you can tell.