Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Veganuary with Vegans Of Leeds

For the month of VeganuaryVegans Of Leeds put together a fantastic discount card with a huge list of participating venues across Leeds:

Bahn & Mee
Belgrave Music Hall And Canteen
Filmore & Union
Funky Shake
Global Tribe Cafe
Grub And Grog
Humpit Hummus
Hyde Park Book Club
I Am Doner
Manjit's Kitchen
Northern Monk Refectory
Pinche Pinche
Roots And Fruits
The Old Red Bus Station
Twisted Burger Company (at The Yard)
Wildcraft Bakery

At the start of the month, I tried my hardest to plan how we would visit all of these fantastic places. January has been a busy month, but we managed to fit in 6 of these establishments - and we have added the rest to the list of "must-try" places in Leeds!

Bahn & Mee

Bahn & Mee is a lovely little Vietnamese Street Kitchen that can be found in the food hall at Kirkgate Market. They offer a number of vegan options, and the staff were happy to point out which ones those were. I opted for "Mama Tran's homemade tofu Bahn Mi", as I'm a sucker for sammiches. This was so tasty! The salad was lovely and fresh, the tofu had a great texture, and the sauce was really flavourful. I'll definitely be going back!

Global Tribe Cafe

I love Global Tribe Cafe but I have yet to have a sit-down meal there. I usually go for the takeaway sammiches (sucker - told you) and cake (YUM) and take it back to my desk, or eat it outside. There is a discount for getting take away, but the prices are pretty reasonable anyway - I'm just paranoid about not having time to get back to work. We will go for a proper meal there sometime soon! Anyway, this is my go-to sammich - the TLT (Tofu, Lettuce, Tomato). I always think I should try something else but this one just has something special about it and I can't tear myself away. (The cake isn't pictured as it didn't survive transit very well - but it tasted great!)

Hyde Park Book Club

This place is much further outside of Leeds than I can get to on my lunch hour, but a couple of our friends were playing a gig a ten-minute walk away so we decided to go here for tea first. We ordered one of each of the Vegetarian Butcher chicken and beef wraps, and then ate half each. They were great! The fake meat texture was different to what we've had before, and we both really enjoyed it. The woman working there was also lovely, and it was a really cosy atmosphere. We'd happily go back again next time we're in the area. Oh, and they had vegan brownies too!

Manjit's Kitchen

Manjit's Kitchen is another of the food stands in the Kirkgate Market food hall. I've heard great things about Manjit's Kitchen for ages and have been meaning to come down but... you know how it is. Anyway, I'm really glad I made the effort, as it was great! I went for the 3-curry thali, so I got a portion of 3 types of curry plus some rice. My Vegans Of Leeds discount card meant I could choose either a free chai or a free portion of pakora. I chose the pakora - YUMMY!! Again, I will definitely be back. I NEED to try their Dosa!

Roots And Fruits

This is another cafe that we've been to before, but not for quite a while. The Beanball Sub sounded so great that we both picked the same - I chose sweet potato fries and Mr Hatter chose regular. I also got a little pot of homemade mayo to dip them in! This sub was fantastic. It was so saucy and tasty, and so filling. Honestly, it was HUGE! Also, Roots And Fruits have decided to extend their Vegans Of Leeds discount every Tuesday for the rest of the year! (Excluding special events.) How fab is that!?

Twisted Burger Company (at The Yard)

We went to The Yard for burgers last year for Mr Hatter's birthday, and liked it so much we thought we'd go for my family meal there this year. I got the Drop Dead Twisted Vegan Burger (Double vegan "meat" patty, Vegan "cheese" slice, BBQ jackfruit, Dead Twisted BBQ sauce), which was as big as it sounds. We were so full afterwards. I was a bit disappointed that The Yard are no longer offering the full Twisted Burger Company menu (I really wanted one of their milkshakes) but they are apparently phasing them out and focusing on developing their in-house menu. They said that they would be keeping vegan options on there, so we'll see what they come up with. If I'm honest, I would probably have chosen somewhere else if I'd known that they weren't offering the full TBC menu - one of the option they usually offer is the Mixtape, where you can essentially build your own burger. And milkshakes, as I mentioned.

We have had a wonderful time using our discount card throughout January - I'm just sad that we didn't manage to get around to everyone! But the rest of the year awaits us...

Monday, 30 January 2017

Veganuary Restaurant Recommendations: V Rev

I started off the month with such big plans about all the blogs I was going to post during Veganuary, and yet here were are on the penultimate day with my fourth blog post...

I have no real reason for the lack of posts other than the fact that I've been busy and life got in the way - as ever! Anyway, I couldn't let Veganuary pass without a shoutout to the awesome V Rev.

V Rev is a fantastic place and we always try to visit when we're in Manchester. All their food and drinks are vegan, and it is an absolute junk-food-filled scrumptious slice of heaven. They have recently moved to bigger, better premises and upgraded their menu so we thought we'd use my birthday as an excuse to try it out.

We met two of our non-vegan friends there, who love it as much as we do. Okay, maybe not quite as much, but all the plates were very empty at the end of the meal!

In the old shop, all the staff had to cook on was a hot plate - so they used pre-made burgers, chicken burgers, etc. Now they have a proper kitchen, they have developed their own in-house "beefy patties" and "chikn burgers", along with "toona" and "lobstah" for sammiched and salads.

It was so hard to settle on just one thing to try! I ended up choosing "Macaroni & Michele’s High School Reunion" - Beefy patty, mac n cheez, chipotle cola bbq sauce, pickles. The burgers all come with fries, the addition of the pretzel buns is genius, and there is an entire menu section devoted to loaded fries. The week after we had been, they added the option to upgrade the fries that come with the burger to be loaded - YES!

Other picks around the table were:

"Fillet Seymour Hoffman" - Fried chkn, lettuce, Mayo

"Jerry Zinger" - Fried chkn, cheez, hash brown, hot sauce, salsa, lettuce, mayo

"Go Ahead, Mac My Day" - Hotdog, mac & cheez, baecon, chives

Everyone's food looked phenomenal, and all the feedback was great! The flavour and texture of the beefy patty on my burger was really tasty, and Mr Hatter has been raving about his chikn burger.

Oh and the milkshakes...

I had a Vanilla milkshake, which was super creamy and came with a doughnut hole stuck on the straw! One of our friends ordered the Cookies 'n' Cream, which had a gorgeous amount of Oreo crumbs in it.

And of course, we couldn't leave without having some cake! At the old place, I believe all the cakes were supplied by Lily & Dilly. We always made sure we bought cake - and usually extra to take away! V Rev now have their own in-house bakery - Tender Vegan Bakery. I have been drooling over the photos of their cake that have been popping up all over Instagram! Between us, we ordered a piece of Black Forest cake, a honeycomb-caramel brownie, and a couple of chocolate-cake topped doughnuts.

I hate to say it but I was a little bit underwhelmed with the cakes. Don't get me wrong, they were tasty, they just didn't seem as fancy as the photos I'd been drooling over - and it felt like there weren't many to choose from. I'm guessing it's just because we went on a Sunday, when maybe they were using up what they had baked for the weekend. Next time, we are going to visit on a Saturday and hopefully get to sample one of the fancier looking ones! (Although I must admit, those cake-topped doughnuts do look pretty fancy...)

All in all, I cannot recommend this place highly enough. I would be so fat if I lived in Manchester, as I would be here ALL THE TIME! I'm already trying to decide what I want to try next when we get chance to go over that way...

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Veganuary Street Food Recommendation: Truly Crumptious

I have found some fantastic vegan food at Trinity Kitchen, what with their ever-rotating list of traders plus permanent vegan-friendly Fixtures Rola Wala and Pho. My most recent discovery at the Kitchen was Truly Crumptious, who were there November-December last year. They hand-make their own crumpets (all vegan) and add a range of standard to fancy toppings (not all vegan).

Caramelised Onion Chutney with Mushroom Pate

I was lucky enough to go a couple of times and try a few combinations. Note that the blackboard may not list all the vegan options - we spoke to the woman about the vegan toppings and she gave us loads of options!

Vegan Pesto with Vegan Cheese

It looks like Truly Crumptious visit a lot of festivals, so keep your eye out for them next time you're at one! They are well worth a try.

Lemon Curd (left) / Salted Caramel (right)

I really enjoyed all the flavours I tasted, and was really hoping to go back for the chocolate orange one (sounds sooo yummy!) but work got hectic, and I didn't have time! Hopefully they'll come back and I can try it then!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Veganuary Restaurant Recommendations: Zizzi

I briefly wrote about Zizzi back in June, the first time we tried their vegan menu. They have since expanded the vegan menu, and are also offering 2-for-1 on all vegan mains as part of Veganuary! (Sun-Thur, until the end of January.)

Zizzi introduced their vegan range of pizzas including a vegan cheese! I think the addition of the vegan cheese is great. It's lovely and creamy - but don't expect it to mimic dairy cheese. It's not stringy or particularly cheese-like, but I love the creamy element that it adds to the pizza.

Some of the vegan options are stated on the main menu, but be sure to ask for the vegan menu as otherwise you will miss out on some! (For example, the gorgeous dessert calzone is only stated on the main menu in it's non-vegan form.) You can view their menu here and filter by clicking "Vegan" on the left hand side.

If you only try one thing, you NEED to try the dessert calzone.

And now, on to the food...

*NOTE - We have not yet tried all the vegan options but I'll show you those we have. We went to Zizzi yesterday, and I was really hoping to try the vegan lentil ragu but they had run out! So I got a huge pizza instead!*







The Rustica pizzas (below) are absolutely huge!





Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Hello there!

My blog has been sporadic at best over the past year. Things just seemed to pile up in my day job and my spare time, and my blog has taken the hit. I'm hoping to remedy that this year though! I have a load of reviews that I need to get out to you guys, for products that I've received from some lovely companies over the past year. I'll also be writing a new set of blogs about our recent trip to the USA! Plus all the other food I've discovered and not told you about! (I'm sorry!)

January also sees the start of a new round of Veganuary, which is a great project to help people try out veganism with a ton of support and inspiration. The idea is that you pledge to be vegan for a month - it's as simple as that. No pressure to stay vegan after, but I think a high percentage of people do.

If you live near Leeds, the lovely people over at Vegans Of Leeds have put together a great discount card to use in conjunction with Veganuary, where you can save up to 20% off vegan food at selected places in the area. The card costs just £7.99 and you get a free £10 voucher for Filmore & Union! Bargain!

I hope you all have a fantastic year filled with plenty of cake!