Category Archives: dinner

Toby Carvery…. as a vegan šŸ˜³

This was going to be interesting, I didn’t want to miss out on a trip to Toby Carvery but at the same time I wasn’t really sure how this was going to work. I’m sure I’ve seen vegan and vegetarian options on the menu before and I thought, if it came to it, I would be quite happy with a plate of potatoes and vegetables. Let’s be honest, the best part of any roast dinner is the roasties and I was confident I’d seen vegetarian gravy when I’ve been in there in the past.

As I hadn’t booked I was very lucky to have still got seated straight away at 12 midday on a Sunday, busy in an understatement I’d never seen a queue so big for the food! I was so pleased to see the vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and I actually wasn’t sure what to go for, in the end I chose the Grilled Aubergine Stack (but I was very tempted with the Roast Mushroom and Ale Pie!). I still had to join the queue for my vegetables and the waitress kindly kept my main warm behind the scenes until I made it back to my table.

Most vegetables were actually cooked without butter so I had a big portion of veg with far too many potatoes šŸ˜³ I just couldn’t help myself!! The Grilled Aubergine Stack is grilled aubergine and mediterranean style vegetables combined in a tomato and oregano sauce, topped with a vegan white sauce and crumb topping. I would love to have been able to show you what this looked like but I completely forgot to take a photo and just dug straight in šŸ¤¦šŸ»ā€ā™€ļø. Oh my god it was so good, really tasty and at a great price I would be happy to come back for this again.

I’m hoping these dishes aren’t only available for veganuary but a permanent item on the menu. I find Toby really hard to rate because of the way the food is served, it’s a bit school canteen but u can’t fault the taste and quality of the food – it must just be an impossible task to keep the food area clean and tidy of spillages as well as continually topped up. I was also a little disappointed that there wasn’t any broccoli but the grilled aubergine stack more than made up for this on taste and the menu selection was a great surprise. I think it’s only fair to go in at an 8/10.

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Tesco meet free mince

So, the idea here was to buy some Quorn mince to make myself a big batch of vegan chilli and spaghetti Bol – I just had plans to make these as I would normally and instead of using turkey mince as I would have in the past I’d use the meat free mince instead. The first hurdle I had to jump was finding the right mince, I was really shocked to learn that Quorn mince is not vegan! It contains egg white (it’s a good job I’m checking all the ingredients still), so I spent some time in the freezer aisle finding an alternative which is where the Tesco meet free mince stepped in.

I am pleased to say this is vegan, was very easy to cook up (just like normal mince meat but takes less time) and tasted great as both a chilli and a bolognese. For most people I’d recommend this as an alternative to normal mince meat however, for me it raised some really bad stomach issues. I know this is likely just something that flares up my IBS but I am quite gutted not to be able to have this as a staple part of my diet.

I’m 99% sure this was the culprit and I will definitely be avoiding in the future which is a real shame but the diet so far has been having a positive influence on the tummy issues I’ve experienced in the past so I will continue to search for the right foods for my body. Lentil / chickpea bolognese is the next test and I’m sure it’s going to be just as tasty!

Coal grill and bar, again šŸ˜¬

Ok, so I had to comeback in here, not only for another couple of cocktails (I was not successful at dry January šŸ˜¬) but there was more on the menu I wanted to try. So I had a look over the menu whilst sucking away at my love on the beach šŸ¹ and chose my starter of Chickpea Falafel served warm with a minted yoghurt dipping sauce.

I apologise for the fact I’d eaten most of this before taking the photo but I’d once again tucked straight in as soon as it arrived šŸ¤¦šŸ»ā€ā™€ļø

This was a real treat for my taste buds, I love falafel although I don’t tend to have it too often and am yet to have come across a vegan minted yoghurt sauce which compliments this really well. The portion size was just right for me and after polishing off my drink I was ready for my main meal. I opted for the Veggie Supreme Burger although I’d enjoyed my jambalaya so much previously that I was close to having this again.

The Veggie Supreme Burger šŸ” is a chargrilled flat mushroom, sweet peppers, beetroot, tomato and lettuce with violife cheese in a ciabatta and was served with fries. Mmmmm it was my first vegan burger and I wasn’t disappointed, the flavours and texture of the vegetables with the sprinkling of cheese on top of the ciabatta was a perfect combination. It’s also something I could very easily make myself at home so I need to remember this for a good lunch time treat.

I wasn’t hungry for a dessert, I’d eaten plenty but yes I had a look at the dessert menu and yes there was a vegan option and yes it was chocolate šŸ¤­

This happened šŸ˜¬ and once again I almost didn’t get the photo šŸ˜‚ but it was delicious! So glad I managed to find room for this and have a taste. I was once again really chuffed with this place and with the dessert this time too, I’m going to give this a 9.5/10.

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The Bull – vegan lunch

I’d booked a table at The Bull in Great a Totham for lunch, it wasn’t particularly busy but I always feel it’s best to get booked in at a place like this and it’s so easy to do online. I was shown straight to my table in the back at The Willow room as this is where all customers were seated for the day. The willow room is to the back of the pub and much more of a restaurant, it’s decorated really well and I thought the chandelier lights were perfect for the room.

We were handed the menu and although there was a couple of vegetarian meals showing these were not highlighted as vegan, so when we ordered our drinks I asked the waitress who went to find out for me. Someone came over and explained there was a root vegetable dish available for vegans although this wasn’t on the menu which I thought was a bit strange but it sounded nice so was happy to give it a go. I was really pleased when it came out, it looked great and tasted so nice šŸ˜‹ it wasn’t something I would normally go for but I’m really glad I did and it gave me confidence in being able to continue with a vegan diet even when eating out without too much trouble.

I’m not 100% sure what all the vegetables were in this dish, I know there was sweet potato and butternut squash plus I did pick out the olives (I tried one, still don’t like them šŸ˜¬), but it was actually very filling and I was pleasantly surprised on the taste. Although I was full, I could tell from the conversations that we would be going down the route of ordering a dessert! I did think that it was unlikely that I would find a vegan dessert but, the very helpful waitress pointed out that there was sorbet which would be suitable and I had the choice of 3 flavours – lemon, raspberry and summer berries so I went for one of each šŸ™Š.

You can’t go wrong with sorbet, refreshing and great flavours it really finished my meal off well and I was chuffed not to have to watch the others eating a delicious dessert and have nothing myself! This is a great pub with a lovely menu and I would recommend a visit however, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more on the menu for a vegan diet. I was really pleased with my meal but it would have been good to have had more of a choice and it does mean that if and when I come back here I know that I’ll be limited to possibly the same meal. For this reason I’m giving it an 8/10.

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Coal grill and bar

I happened to come across this place by accident and it was a godsend, not only were there some great cocktails on the menu (all day every day 2 for Ā£8 šŸ˜ƒ) I can especially recommend the love on the rocks šŸ˜‹ but I took a look at the food menu whilst stopping for a drink and there was some great looking vegan options which I knew I had to come back and try.

To start I went for the vegetable sticks (crunchy carrot and celery) with hummus. It tasted great, was a good light starter and something I would certainly pick again. There were other options for vegans including chickpea falafel which sounds good plus marinated olives – not for me thank you šŸ˜¬.

The menu was good for all vegan, vegetarians and gluten free eaters. After giving it quite some thought whilst enjoying a cocktail šŸ¹ I decided to go for the Jambalaya, the normal version of this includes prawns, chicken and chorizo which I’m sure meat eaters would enjoy however there is also a vegan (and gluten) free option.

Although I am yet to have much to compare this to on the vegan front, I was extremely pleased with my choice! There were peppers, onion, chickpeas, beans (possibly celery šŸ¤”) all marinated in a tomato sauce with rice – there is not one thing here that I didn’t like. It was a big portion so was pleased to have chosen a light starter, I couldn’t bring myself to leave any so I polished it off and enjoyed every mouthful.

Unfortunately I didn’t leave any room for any dessert – fail! So I didn’t get a chance to take a look and see if there was anything suitable but I am sure I’ll comeback here again sometime – great cocktails at a great price and a menu I’d like to explore further. I am really glad to have stumbled across this place, the waiters were friendly and helpful, there was plenty of cocktails and food I’d like to try out and what I did have to eat was delicious.

It has to be a 9/10 and just to note you can come in here for drinks without having to order food šŸ‘šŸ¼

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Toby Carvery – Boxing Day meal

Boxing day for us as a family was at Toby Carvery, we were given a menu in advance to choose and preorder our selections. I was really pleased to see some vegan options on the menu which makes things a lot easier for me, I chose the vegan soup of the day which was a little risky as Iā€™m quite choosey when it comes to soup. I fancied the Carvery but did make a point of stating that Iā€™d need the veg to be dairy free as having been here quite recently I was aware that they normally use butter to cook the veg in. I had to go for the only vegan dessert option which was Christmas pudding with custard, not a favourite of mine but at least there was something available and I thought Iā€™d give it a try.

When we arrived we were shown to our table straight away and ordered drinks whilst waiting for the rest of the party to arrive. I was disappointed to be told one of the meals on the starters list was not available – although this didn’t effect me as it wasn’t what I had ordered I did expect them to have secured our choices. As it turns out, none of us had chosen that but our selected meals were not secured or saved even though we had pre ordered which I thought was strange. The vegan soup was butternut squash and although I wasn’t too sure I’d like it I have to admit it really was delicious and definitely something I would choose again!

I stuck to the carvery choice for my main meal and had a huge plate full of veg cooked for me without butter, I do not have any complaints here – there was a good selection and plenty of it. I would say the service let the meal down a little as it was slow and not even particularly busy at the time we were booked in. When it came to dessert, my choice of the vegan Christmas pudding with custard wasn’t available, but another vegan option was provided which was chocolatey and bloody lovely so no complaints from me although some may have been upset by missing out on the Christmas pudding.

On the whole I enjoyed the meal, just a few things let them down today which was the service both at the table and up at the carvery as I know some had to wait for some things to be re-filled. I believe if you are asked to pre order your meal the restaurant should ensure these are available for you (although i was happy with my alternative dessert, others may not have been). I was quite preoccupied by enjoying some family time and completely let the side down on the photo front, however the soup was a pleasant surprise so I am happy to be able to provide you with a photo of this.

It’s a 6.5/10

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Milsom’s

I did promise I would broaden my horizon’s on my next eat out so here we go!Ā  Having not heard of this place before it was nice to go somewhere completely new.Ā  As you can imagine, me being me, I checked out the website a few days before and although it is part of a hotel and not to be confused with Milsom’s La Talbooth, you are unable to book a table.Ā  This was not a problem and even if there is a short wait to be seated there is a bar which is always a good start to any meal.

Being unsure of the menu and with my dietary issues I contacted the restaurant before my visit to find out what was dairy free.Ā  Unfortunately there isn’t as great deal of choice for dairy free or vegan eaters although there is a nice range for any gluten free’s out there.Ā  Luckily for me, the 1 starter and main meal that were dairy free are right up my street and absolutely hit the spot for me.

I dressed smart / casual but I have to say it is the kind of place you could really dress up for or similarly dress down for.Ā  There were varied groups of people in there ranging from families with young children (why would you do it to yourself!) to older couples enjoying a lovely evening meal.

To start I opted for the Warm shredded duck tacos, hoi sin sauce & crispy vermicelli (do not ask me what this is as I have no idea!), it was delicious.Ā  I really enjoyed it – great size, not too big but enough to leave me wanting more and with my next choice of the 9oz fillet steak which is served with skinny fries I was certainly in for a treat.Ā  I would actually put this down as one of the nicest steaks I have had, it’s right up there with the best actually – cooked to medium and I always enjoy any type of fries!Ā  Although I wasn’t full to the brim I was satisfied and this is a more comfortable way to travel home, the only dessert that was dairy free was the Coconut & lime aranchini with rum & chilli salsa and I didn’t particularly like the sound of this although not opposed to trying it in the future.

Unfortunately I have really let the team down here by not getting a photo, my only excuse is that I was hungry when I arrived and the food looked so good I couldn’t waste time taking pics before tucking in!! The only thing that I felt let this place down is it’s lack of choice for those with dairy allergies or intolerances and I do hope this is improved in the future, with a lot of restaurants now catering for vegans and other dietary requirements I hope it won’t be long before Milsom’s ups it’s game.Ā  However, this is the only downside as the meal was lovely and therefore it comes in at a strong 9/10.

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