Turtle Bay is a Caribbean restaurant chain in the regenerated Cathedral Quarter, a stones throw from the railway station and five mins from the bus station. The restaurant is light and bright inside, with plenty of colour and a great vibe for informal dining, with outside seating for the days when we are lucky to see some sunshine.
Turtle Bay offers a good selection of vegan options, from starters, salads, mains, lighter dishes like salads, sides and dessert.
I ordered Island pilsner labelled vegan on the menu, alongside many other vegan drinks, but such a shame there are no vegan wines on the list, this is something Turtle Bay need to change.
I chose supervital salad (not on the online menu) with sweet corn fritters for Steven and I loved the sauce collection on the table to add to dishes, the jerk sauce was scrumptious and fiery and just to my taste.
The salad looks simple, yet with a zingy lime dressing, crunchy pomegranate seeds, chick peas and creamy avocado, it was pretty spot on for me. The sweetcorn fritters were a generous portion and Steven thought they were fabulous, especially drizzled with the assortment of sauces.
Mains were chickpea and callaloo curry and aubergine curry for Steven (although I forgot to take photos of his). The curries are served in a big bowl with loads of steamed rice, with flatbread and were absolutely delicious. The chickpea curry had scotch bonnet chillies in and is quite spicy, so not for the feint hearted and as much as I loved it failed to finish it all, though not for the want of trying.
Steven ordered chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream to finish and I had a pot of mint tea, the brownie was as it should be, sticky and gooey.
I would definitely revisit Turtle Bay, I was impressed with the quality of the food, the selection of vegan options and hope they continue to add to the vegan offerings. Turtle Bay is perfect for impromptu dining out with friends and family, where you need a place catering for dietary requirements and their allergen information is also spot on.
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 starters 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.
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 easily accessible and having had some awful experiences at independents of late, they get a big thumbs up.
I did not realise Frankie & Benny's offer a vegan breakfast fry up, but I did as soon as I arrived, as it 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.
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 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.
The Allotment Bar is in the trendy Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre and I decided to visit, as they have some excellent sounding vegan options. I contacted them prior to our visit about allergies and they were so accommodating, swapping soya milk for oat milk to make the cauliflower burger I wanted.
I love the cosy interior, it has lots of atmosphere with great lighting and a fabulous music playlist and we were made to feel really welcome by the staff too.
The menu has plenty interesting vegan options, with all the nibbles and most of the side dishes being vegan too, which I think is great. The chef ensured I was looked after, as our waiter came out to ask questions as chef wanted to double check everything, more than happy with that, I was very impressed on the allergy front.
I ordered Brew Dog Dead Pony Club beer as I did not recognise any vegan wines on the list, as most Brew Dog beers have The Vegan Society logo, its a shame The Allotment do not label wines vegan, if any are of course.
I ordered a starter of asparagus and wild mushrooms with watercress veloute and Steven salt and pepper tofu bowl. The dishes were a good size, fresh and delicious, I loved my starter, lots of flavour and spot on seasoning, whilst crisp tofu and plenty of chilli heat satisfied Steven's hunger.
Main courses were cauliflower jackfruit burger and a roast cauliflower dinner for Steven, again ample portions of tasty food, in fact we cleared our plates, it was finger licking good. Steven loved his roast and said the gravy was awesome and brought the dish together and my only comment would be some melted vegan cheese would make the burger even better.
Overall we thought The Allotment was great and kicked ourselves for not visiting sooner to dine and has been added to my list of favourite Manchester places to visit. Highly recommended.
1823 Bistro, Bar & Grill is part of Holmes Mill, a large complex located on the site of a former textile mill and is just one of the eating establishments.
The place is a very modern trendy bar and restaurant, rather noisy and it took ages to get served at the bar, even though it was not particularly busy, even though it was Friday night.
They recently introduced a vegan menu and as I was looking for somewhere to dine with friends in the future who lived nearby, it was a good opportunity to try it. I contacted 1823 about my allergies and was reassured it was no problem and sent me dishes off the menu I could eat. I did point out honey is not vegan, as in the sides of honey glazed carrots or butter mentioned with the baked breads and new potatoes, which I think fell on deaf ears.
We sat down with our drinks and the Manager brought normal menus, so I pointed out I had made contact as to dietary requirements, which he had no record of, lucky I took a list of the things I cannot eat. The evening went downhill thereon, I ordered Sicilian linguine, but the Manager, who was hard to understand, came back with a confused message from chef, something about the pasta being prepared with butter, so I could not have it. I expressed my annoyance as they knew I was visiting, so I only had the choice of two mains and one of them was unavailable, he said he would remove my mains from the bill.
We ordered a bottle of Marius Blanc Chapoutier wine, not cheap at £29 but it was the only vegan wine I recognised on the menu.
I ordered vegetable skewers with mint and rapeseed oil, consisting of small slices of aubergine, courgette and fennel on two wooden skewers for £6.50, the whole dish was crying out for some kind of dip. The vegetables were well cooked and tasted okay, but an underwhelming dish and a minute portion.
Steven enjoyed his courgette and garlic soup, although when he found a butter pat under the serviette on his plate, he doubted if the soup was in fact vegan.
Main courses both priced at £14 were a let down, the Briouat parcels were flaccid, bland and under seasoned, with over cooked potatoes and sad looking broccoli, the dish was crying out for a sauce to add some dimension to it.
I did not detect bulgur wheat, preserved lemon or hazelnuts, although our waiter said they were in the filling, I know preserved lemons well, they are powerful and intense and there was no crunch of hazelnuts, which also have a distinct taste. I queried with the Manager who made some garbled excuse chefs omitted them due to my allergies, yet they were not on my list and why not ask me to confirm. The Manager offered to bring the lemons and hazelnuts on a plate, but I declined as I was not going to eat the dish as it was awful. The side greens were pathetic too, lukewarm, no seasoning or even a drop of olive oil, what chefs would serve this food, I cook better at home, maybe they need a lesson.
Steven's spinach and lentil dahl was not even served with rice, the cauliflower was soggy, the dish lacked seasoning and was pretty tasteless. I forgot to take a photo of his fries, which were like a bad version of McCains and shockingly the Manager, when tackled about it, admitted they were frozen and he thought KFC and McDonalds served better fries.
There was no chance we were risking desserts, so we asked for the bill and found our main courses and my starter were removed from the bill, so made paying more palatable.
We checked the normal menu when we got home, which confirmed the soup was drizzled with sour cream, the dahl was served with minted yogurt on and they missed off the mango pickle and yet Steven specifically ordered off the vegan menu. How can you trust a place like this, the chefs and Manager do not give a monkeys about vegan diners, its that could not care less and complacent attitude, shame on them.
What do I think of Holmes Bistro, my honest opinion is, it is all fur coat and no knickers, the menu reads fantastic, yet in reality the chefs failed on all fronts, made errors as to the vegan dishes ordered and must have a shortage of salt and pepper. Would I recommend Holmes Mill, well I will leave it to you to decide.
The Bay Horse is part of the Vintage Inns group and this was my first visit to one of their restaurants to try their vegan menu and as we were taking a non vegan friend out for lunch, I needed somewhere catering for us all. I like to support independents, yet chains are so good at providing allergen information and Vintage Inns are especially good.
The Bay Horse is full of character and has lots of small dining rooms, giving a cosy warm atmosphere to the whole place.
The vegan options are not just a token salad or after thought, but a good selection of starters, mains, sides and dessert.
There are several soups on the menu and one is always vegan, so we both chose cauliflower mulligatawny, served with ciabatta bread.
The soup was piping hot, with a lovely thick texture and warming on a cold June lunchtime, with plenty bread for dipping and cleaning the bowl.
As a main course I ordered pine nut and carrot falafel, with a side of roast butternut squash and carrot and spiced squash coconut curry for Steven.
The falafel with spiced red pepper dip and ciabatta were so tasty, as was the butternut squash and sweet potato and even though a starter, it was plenty big enough as a lunch time dish.
Steven's curry was a good sized portion, loads of vegetables and beans and the charred chillies on the top added plenty heat, so much so Steven had a proper sweat on, but he loved it.
We were too full for dessert, even though the puddings on offer were very tempting, but it is good to see they are not just fruit salad.
I think Vintage Inns vegan menu is a fabulous offering, the food is satisfying with plenty of flavour and good value for money and I will definitely be returning.
Ground Up Coffee Shop is an independent coffee shop in the heart of Bury town centre and I found them on Happycow, as they cater for vegans.
I love the board outside clearly advertising their vegan options and the chalk board inside did the same, no doubts if vegans are welcome.
I loved the atmosphere and vibe of Ground Up, the staff were friendly, even removing the glass covers so I could take photos of the vegan cakes when I asked.
The vegan options on the day I visited were carrot and butternut squash soup, bagels with either peanut butter or vegan cream cheese, houmous and red pepper sandwich or couscous, baba ganoush and smoky houmous salad with pitta bread.
All cakes are made by Silver Apples Bakery in Chorlton, Manchester and they all looked fantastic, with three suitable for vegans.
Chocolate & Orange Muffins
Chocolate & Orange Slice
I chose a chocolate and orange slice, with a large decaf Americano and it made for a comforting mid morning snack, on what was a pretty cold June morning. The slice was delicious, I mean who does not like the combination of chocolate and orange, it was totally scumptious.
I will definitely revisit Ground Up when next in Bury, anywhere that caters for vegans so enthusiastically needs to be supported.
Sally's Bakes is a 100% vegan company on Bury market selling pasties, sausage rolls, cakes and brownies, with plenty gluten free options too.
Sally only started her business in 2018, but it has really taken off and she also makes her products to order, as well as catering for outside events.
We both chose a gluten free vegetable pasty, with a filling of sweet potato, peas, herbs and spices.
The pastry was excellent, nice and crisp and not soggy at all, packed with a lovely moist aromatic filling and with a mug of coffee sat outside it was a perfect lunch. It would be good to take them home, warm in the oven and serve with chips, vegan gravy and mushy peas for a substantial dinner.
I love Sally's enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit setting up a vegan business, in what is a dominant meat based town, where black pudding, tripe and meat pies are the norm. Highly recommended.