#VeggieTravels to Glasgow

You know I’ve fallen behind in blogging when I’ve been to another continent since the trip I am currently reviewing. Ooops!

ANYWAYS… back in October on our UK trip we went North to Scotland. I was excited for the food in Glasgow as I’d seen it was named the most vegan-friendly city in the UK.

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Our first stop, just after we got off a train and dropped our bags at our hotel was a cute little pub called Munro’s. We spotted in as our cab drove down Great Western Road and we made our way back to it and were so happy we did. Not only was it a cute pub – it was a craft beer pub – our favourite! And they had a soup & wrap combo for 5 pounds! We were sold!

 

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We both had the yummy soup of the day – B had the falafel wrap and I had the red pepper and goat cheese wrap. It was a very solid lunch and had us set for our first day in Scotland. Our server also gave us some great tips. Plus the decor was fantastic and it had a nice community vibe – boardgames, local sport team support. Way to go Munro’s.

#VeggieTravels Report Card – Munro’s

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A

FINAL REVIEW: A

 Next up was dinner and a show at the 13th Note. It seems that all the vegetarian places in Glasgow are also clubs/venues. Maybe this is true of all restaurants in the city, but it was something I was not used to and thought was really cool. The 13th Note had a show on that (Wednesday) evening so we figured why not?!
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We started with some local brews – WEST was recommended by our earlier server – and while apparently this German-style beerhaus has veggie options we didn’t get a chance to check out their food, just the drink. We sure did get food at the 13th Note though – check out this huuuge veggie burger!

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I would call this place a more traditional vegetarian restaurant – both in terms of menu options (good options, good variety, a bit on standard/international side) and decor (hippie-vibes)

#VeggieTravels Report Card – The 13th Note

Décor and Atmosphere: B

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A-

FINAL REVIEW: B+

Our final Glasgow meal was lunch at a Brewdog pub. We tried a couple of (really really good) Brewdog beers at GBK in London where our server told us they were from Scandinavia. Imagine our surprise coming across them again in Scotland and learning that is actually their homebase.

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Now, not only does this company have great beer, but it’s an insanely cool collective. Brent loved the opportunity to read a prospectus called “Equity for Punks” while making our way through two flights

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img_4307And we also got the chance to try some veggie haggis – in “baw” form.

 

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We were more into nibbles and beer here so I offer only an asterisk in my report card as very little food was tasted.

#VeggieTravels Report Card – Brewdog

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A*

FINAL REVIEW: A*

Overall I was thrilled with the variety of options in Glasgow and that the prices were more reasonable than in England, but I didn’t see anything on the menus for any of the places that really captured my imagination… it was very traditional veggie fare.

But more on creativity next time… C

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#VeggieTravels to “Sicily”-upon-Avon

After London we stopped in Milton Keynes for a Rugby World Cup match and some uninspiring food options (apart from the fact that a small town pub in England actually offered a really decent veggie burger). And then we were off to Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. It was lovely, filled to the brim with history (in fact many of the building seems to actually be sagging with it!),

We bought tickets to Henry IV for a true Shakespearian evening and then headed out in search of pre-theatre meal. Like many cities there seemed to be an abbundance of Italian restaurants in the theatre district (and pubs, this is still England after all). We hadn’t had Italian at this point on the trip so thought it would be a nice change, but menu after menu offered only a mushroom risotto for vegetarians (our London host Nancy had warned us that this was the British standard veg option). Then we got to Zizzi which had a few options and a big sign for their rooftop patio! Yes, we could definitely soak in some more of this strange English sunny weather so up we went!

Looking back at this photo the napkin should have been a clue that this was not just an Italian restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon, but a Britain wide chain that we then saw in most of our future stops! But with this visit it definitely fooled us and did not really feel like a chain experience.

On the left Brent enjoyed his Skinny Pizza Primavera and on the right was my yummy Ravillo Di Capra.

But the real stunner here on a sunny rooftop patio was the ice cream I had for dessert. It was vanilla, sea salt and honey and one of the tastiest ice creams I have ever experienced. It doesn’t look all that impressive (kind of vanilla.. ha ha ha), but the sea salt and honey combo worked perfectly. If I ever get to the point where I make my own ice cream I will be re-creating this one ASAP!

So long for now sunny skies of Stratford-upon-Avon….

Zizzi Stratford-upon-Avon #VeggieTravels Report Card

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A-

Quality of Food: A-

FINAL REVIEW: A-

#VeggieTravels to London, England

The second stop on our recent vacation was to London, England. It was a return visit for both of us so we were more than happy to spend a bit of time doing some more “local” type activities (apart from the London Eye which neither of us had done before so we were happy to ride in Rugby World Cup themed pod at sunset!)

Our second day in London was completely curated by Deliciously Ella and her Guide to London’s Best Health Spots. Who better to take advice from then a local vegetarian blogger turned cookbook author and soon to be restauranteur!

  For breakfast we ventured to 26 Grains. I was eager to go, but also a bit skeptical – this place only serves porridge! But the combinations and options (sweet, savoury, warm, cold) were fantastic and I was completely sold. Maybe it was the adorable little courtyard (Neal’s Yard) near Covent Garden, maybe it was the beautiful sunny morning, but there was something special happening.
  Also the decor was A+ – loved the rustic wood, chalkboards, flowers and communal seating. It felt like a place where you were instantly at home. I enjoyed the Hazelnut and Butter porridge (I think I was so overwhelmed I went back to the first option!) which was so yummy. Brent went the savoury route and had the Egg & Kale and was equally happy. I have had many thoughts since about the need for Ottawa to have a porridge-only place – I mean it is winter here for most of the year right….

26 Grains #VeggieTravels Report Card

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A+

FINAL REVIEW: A+

And these bowls kept us filled up well into the early afternoon as we made our way across the city (and through the Tower of London) to the Borough Market.
 I love farmer’s markets – and what a great way to experience a city. There was a ton to see! And just on the perimeter was Ella’s suggested lunch option – Wok It.

  We eat a lot of stir frys at home (a great way to use up things in your fridge) so I start to crave them pretty quickly when on vacation. And this spot did not disappoint. The portions were enormous! Lots of great options and yummy sauces (and funky wallpaper!)
  We both had a variation on the Veg Pot but with different sauces (B got the black bean bbq and I had the coconut curry). His sauce selection was better than mine but these cool cups of noodles were both gobbled down quickly. 

WokIt #VeggieTravels Report Card

Décor and Atmosphere: A

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A

FINAL REVIEW: A

We weren’t planning to make a special dinner trip out on this same day, but when we started to get hungry and figured out what part of the city we were in we realized that we were just around the corner from Mildred’s – the dinner suggestion from Ella – and how could that not mean it was meant to be?

We almost missed it with some exterior construction underway, but inside they had their recipe book (which we flipped through and I’ve made note of some I want to go back to in the future) and I snapped a shot of the sketch of their normal entry.
  This place was popular! Very very minimal decor, but you could tell it was much-beloved by many of our surrounding diners.We started with a small plate of the rose harrisa hoummus, smokey babaganoush and chargrilled flatbread (Yes, just yes). For our mains we shared both the halloumi burger with chargrilled aubergine, harissa and tahini in flatbread and the black bean and tomatillo rice buritto with ranchero sauce and grilled cheese, smashed avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo. The food was all good and there was variety, but nothing too unique or special – I would describe it as a very good vegetarian restaurant, but not somewhere to go out of your way towards.

Mildred’s #VeggieTravels Report Card

Décor and Atmosphere: B

Variety of Options: A-

Quality of Food: A

FINAL REVIEW: B+

Calgary #VeggieTravels

I have returned to the beautiful fall colours in Ottawa after a whirlwind, exciting, delicious, and exhausting vacation.

Our first stop was Calgary, Alberta where a new creative idea dawned on me… as a traveller in the past I have occasionally researched a vegetarian restaurant to check out, but since both of us travellers are eating meat-free I invested a bit more time pre-trip to planning a few stops and figured I should share this knowledge with all of you. So my new #VeggieTravels section is born!

This realization happened about half-way through an incredibly yummy lunch at the Calgary restaurant The Coup. This one was recommended by local friends and is a self-described modern, ethical  vegetarian restaurant.

The Coup is located on 17th Avenue which I’m told is the “cool” part of Calgary (I was not there long enough this time to confirm!). The decor has that ethical modern vibe as well – lots of older repurposed furniture and fixtures, lots of wood and metal, and my favourite detail were the long boxes of herbs right along one end of the bar.

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chow mein unplugged

 

 

I mentioned that my realization came halfway through my meal which is why I have to apologize that these food pictures were taken midway through (okay, this might not be the only time this happens… sometimes a traveller is hungry, yo!).

I  thoroughly enjoyed my lunch – the chow mein unplugged. Loads of veggies, very tasty sauce, great portion size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

falafel quesadillas

falafel quesadillas

 

 

My partner in crime/life gobbled down his falafel quesadillas. What a fun and unique idea. They had plenty of that at The Coup – we also started with the eggplant sleeping bags (hilarious name, great food) and the mushroom baklava which was right up my alley.

We also brought two meat-eaters along who also enjoyed the food and experience (including a tofu sandwich!) which is always a good sign for a veggie restaurant. There were lots of different options for every type of eater.

 

 

 

 

latte and oatmeal ice cream sandwich

latte and oatmeal ice cream sandwich

My lunch was finished up with a latte and oatmeal ice cream sandwich (my first experience with tofulatti) as well as a bite of the lemon cashew coconut “square”. These were both fantastic! Light and decadent and a perfect conclusion.

#VeggieTravels Report Card

Décor and Atmosphere: A

Variety of Options: A+

Quality of Food: A

FINAL REVIEW: A