Brunch and Lunch – Some Canny Places to Try
I noticed we didn’t have many breakfast and brunch reviews on the blog, so of course immediately tried to rectify this! Here’s a few we’ve tried out in the last week. We’ve obviously focused on the vegetarian and vegan options, but these establishments are omni, meaning there’ll be plenty for meat eaters too.
The Boatyard, Cullercoats
The Boatyard is somewhere I’ve wanted to try for ages. With its quirky logo and stylish interior we’d passed many times and thought it seemed like ‘our kind of place’. Discovering they had a vegan breakfast on offer, this further cemented its must-visit credibility.
We visited along with our friend, who has a gluten intolerance, which made a tripe whammy of fun for the staff! Alex was more limited in terms of what he could eat than we were, oddly, with the sausages and black pudding of the Full English being off the table for him.
Instead he was able to order a sandwich from the lunchtime menu, while we ordered breakfast items. There was some consternation from the kitchen about us doing this as we’d arrived just on the changeover from breakfast to lunch. We said we’d be happy to eat separately if it meant we could all be accommodated, but everything seemed to arrive at once regardless.
I was pleased we ordered the large version of their Vegan Breakfast (£7.95, small £5.95) as the title was misleading. Mr. Canny can eat something like this in the blink of an eye and still have room for pudding 🙂 Still it was a decent tasting version, with dairy-free spread also served for his English muffin. It was missing the avocado that is mentioned on their menu, a fact I only realised when writing this piece up! Tut tut (on both fronts!).
Both blokes seemed determined to fill their boots, as Alex also chose a slice of the gluten-free Lemon Cake after he’d finished his Pulled Pork Sandwich with fries. Good job he was running a half marathon a couple of days later to burn off the calories!
With high chairs available – although no baby change facilities – and lots of delicious cakes on offer, The Boatyard seems like a great place for a coffee and a catch-up. There’s plenty of savoury options too, and an evening menu served up from 6 until 9pm on a Friday night. Using family businesses for fresh produce such as Geordie Bakers, this little gem has a real local feel to it.
Clean and Press, Jesmond
With the sun shining on Acorn Road and the streets filled with hungover students, I popped into Clean and Press to see what healthy options they had on offer.
With a lovely pavement seating area, there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to soak up some Vitamin D while imbibing some more goodness through one of the many juices they have on offer at this bijou outlet.
With an array of healthy salads, wraps and clean eating desserts, it was hard to chose. I asked if it was possible to make up a vegan version of their Banana Protein Pancakes (£4.50), which are usually made with eggs.
The staff happily obliged, which were then topped with fresh raspberries and blueberries. To give some sweetness maple syrup was drizzled, along with a dollop of peanut butter. It goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid of asking whether vegan dishes are available in some establishments, even if there isn’t one listed on the menu. There’s also a salad and Avocado on Toast (naturally!) that are also suitable.
I also ordered a Tropical Juice (£3.95), which was made with pineapple, pear, apple and ginger. This refreshing mix was a great way to cool down on an unexpectedly hot day in September. I found the prices reasonable and the staff were very accommodating. We’ll definitely return.
Arch Sixteen, Gateshead
Following on from my review of Temperance Coffee, which has recently ‘popped up’ on a trial basis nearby, I decided to try out another central Gateshead find. Arch Sixteen has been serving up coffee and creativity for over three years now. As well as a menu featuring local produce such as crab fresh from North Shields Fish Quay, there are regular open mic and busker nights scheduled.
I ordered a Grilled Pepper and Feta Sandwich with Dinky and found the atmosphere welcoming. Arch Sixteen is very much a hub for the community, with locals popping in to have a coffee and a chat with owner Pam.
My lunch came to just over a fiver, which included my drink too. Rather than having specific vegan options labelled, Pam has said that she can easily accommodate those with dietary requirements because her food is freshly prepared. Dishes like soup are usually suitable for veggies, she said, although there’s plenty for those who eat meat if that doesn’t tickle your tastebuds. My dad would love the Ham & Pease Pudding Stottie she serves up! There’s also a range of dairy-free milk – not just soya – for those wanting a cup of coffee. For those, like me, who have bemoaned the lack of independents in the town we have clearly been overlooking this wonder near the High Level Bridge. Put it on your ‘to visit’ list immediately, but not on a Monday (they’re closed).
Thanks for reading,
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