Sunday, 30 June 2019

The Anderton Arms Longsands Lane Fulwood 29th June 2019

The Anderton Arms is part of the Ember Inns chain of pubs, who have excellent vegan options, so I thought I would visit to try them.   I also love that you can easily check for allergens, with all the information readily available online.

The Anderton Arms is a large pub with plenty outside seating and lots of areas to sit and relax with a drink and or have something to eat.

You order food at the bar and can open a tab to add drinks and desserts as you go, so I ordered asking for a plain side salad to go with my mains.   The waitress came to the table after and offered a vegan dressing if I wanted to try it and went to check for allergens confirming it was suitable, now that is attention to detail.   So many places would never think to offer a vegan dressing, never mind actually have one and even more impressive is that Ember Inns have vegan spread too.

Our starters to share of cauliflower bites with bang bang chilli sauce and pine nut and carrot falafel with Lebanese dip were very tasty and we left clean plates.

Steven loved his cauliflower curry served with a Cambodian curry sauce, full of coconut, lots of flavour and not too hot, served with salad dressed with sweet chilli sauce.   I always take sriracha sauce with me when I go out (its a bit of an addiction), perfect with my butternut squash and beetroot filo tart and buttery herb new potatoes.   The filo parcel was a good sized portion, crisp and brown with plenty filling, my only critique were the slightly overcooked vegetables needed some vegan spread, but drizzled with the salad dressing lifted them.

We were too full for desserts, though next time I would forego a starter and have Bramley apple pie, with the summer berry and nut tart for Steven.

Ember Inns vegan options are interesting and delicious and put the independent restaurants I have visited over the last weeks to shame, as I have had some shocking pathetic meals.   Lets not forget this a chain restaurant, its not going to win any prizes for fine dining, but it gets my vote, as its not expensive and when you need somewhere to dine with friends and family, it covers so many dietary requirements.   I will definitely be revisiting an Ember Inns in the future.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Frankie & Benny's Central Drive Morecambe 26th June 2019

Frankie & Benny's have introduced vegan options and invited me along to give my opinion, so I chose their Morecambe site, as we were visiting nearby Lancaster for the day.

There is plenty of choice and as I am finding with chains, their online allergen information is accessible and easy to navigate and having had some awful experiences at independents of late, this makes life so much easier.

I did not realise Frankie & Benny's offer a vegan breakfast fry up, but I did as soon as I arrived, as it was displayed right outside the front door.

It was quiet when we visited, as it was mid afternoon on a very hot Wednesday and everyone was outside walking on the promenade, where we had just walked miles and were ready for some food.

We kicked off with olives to nibble on, whilst perusing the menu and although I normally choose tap water, I ordered sparkling water as its more refreshing and was pleased to see it was in a glass bottle not plastic.

To start I ordered garlic bread and Steven potato skins with mayo and they were really delicious dishes, the garlic bread was very moreish, not too much garlic just enough herbs and the potato skins were filled with vegetables, tomato sauce and cheese.

Mains were penne arrabiata and side salad for me, with the option of gluten free pasta available too and smoky beet burger with vegan cheese and fries for Steven.  The pasta was a huge portion, with plenty sauce, a spicy kick and very tasty and the burger was excellent, with great texture, smoky flavour and crisp fries.

I was far too full for dessert, as I made my eyes bigger than my belly eating all the garlic bread and although Steven had his eye on the no cheesecake, he was fit to burst too.

I was pleasantly surprised with Frankie & Benny's, never having visited before, I think the vegan menu has a great selection, with vegan cheese and mayo available and all the dishes we tried were delicious.

Frankie & Benny's is a good venue to go with non vegan friends and the vegan options dispel the myth that vegans only eat salad, as the dishes are hearty and satisfying.   Highly recommended.

Disclaimer:  I was given a complimentary voucher for this meal and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

The Leaf & Bean Cafe High Street Skipton 22nd June 2019

Moorey's Health Store have taken over what was Beau's Kitchen, which I visited a few months ago and was not impressed, either with the badly stocked shop or the food in the cafe., so it was no surprise it closed down.   Moorey's opened The Leaf and Bean cafe recently and have stuck with the existing menu, whilst they get the shop ship shape and then have plans for the cafe, so I will look forward to hearing more about it.

There are plenty vegan options on the menu and specials board, although two of the salads contained seeds I could not eat and they kindly offered to make fresh salads just for me.   Chef also checked the bread as to its suitability for me and sadly it all contained soya or seeds, so I chose a jacket potato with red pepper houmous, whilst Steven ordered a vegan cheese and chutney sandwich, with a cup of mushroom soup.

They were both healthy portions, the red pepper houmous was very smoky, which I loved as well as the fresh salads simply dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.  Steven enjoyed his sandwich, packed with cheese, with chutney on the side, so you could add as much as you wanted and the soup was thick and hearty.

The Earl Grey tea we ordered came in a big teapot with a hot water refill, no tiny pots or individual cups and as I like plenty of tea, it was perfect.

There were cakes available too, but I was far too full after that huge jacket potato, although I would prefer to see the cakes covered not exposed.

I shall look forward to seeing how The Leaf and Bean evolves and look forward to seeing what menu changes they make, with hopefully more vegan options.

The Narrow Boat Victoria Street Skipton 21st June 2019

The Narrow Boat is a busy pub in the middle of Skipton town centre and attracted my attention as they have a couple of vegan options.   I really liked the interior, its a proper pub with a few dining areas and we sat in the large dining room to the right of the front door, with well spaced tables and plenty of room.

I contacted The Narrow Boat for allergen information and was pleased the dishes below were suitable with a little tweaking and they use Nature & Moi an excellent vegan cheese.

The falafel were delicious, although I think houmous and pitta bread would be better accompaniments, as I was not keen on the giant couscous which is a little jelly like.

The chickpea burger was big and juicy, with delicious chunky skin on chips, loads of barbecue jackfruit, tomato salsa and melted vegan cheese and with a big dollop of sriracha sauce which I took with me, it was a satisfying dish.

Overall I think The Narrow Boat is a great place with other vegan options like pizza on the specials board and would definitely make a return visit.