Having opened up this week (officially on the 8th Nov), Shoe Tree Cafe has taken over what used to be Teasy Does It on Heaton Road in Newcastle. What is particularly exciting about this new cafe is that the menu is vegetarian and vegan, which is great news for those who don’t eat meat or who are trying to cut down on their consumption.
We decided to pop along and see what Shoe Tree had on offer and were surprised by the transformation inside. Gone were the purples of Teasy Does It’s interior for a more cosy muted palate and a comfy swivel chair my sister made a beeline for. I was also impressed to see kids had been thought of with a little play kitchen, which I’m sure Dinky will be getting to grips with in due course.
The breakfast menu runs until 12pm and we managed to sneak in just in time, although we were told because of the crossover we could order from either menu should we wish to. I was keen to give the homemade vegan-friendly sausages a try, which are made using vegan wonder product seitan.
Rather than defaulting to good old Linda McCartney’s bangers as many establishments do (Harvester, I’m looking at you), Shoe Tree craft their own meats and cheeses. Taking extra care and time over the ingredients they use has paid off as the Big Breakfast I had was spot on.
Available with avocado instead of eggs for those who are vegan, I asked to substitute the baked beans for an extra sausage as I’m not a fan. Even though Shoe Tree also make these from scratch wasn’t enough to tempt me to try them, I’m afraid. I’m also not really that keen on hipster-favourite avocado, but paired with pesto and sunflower seeds it made a nice balance against the meaty bangers.
Soya or almond milk is available at no extra charge, which is something I’m pleased to hear. I can’t understand the additional charge being levied, especially when soya is often cheaper than dairy in supermarkets.
My sister opted for the Hail Seitan (£4), which was served without pickles at her behest. The only criticism I have with this was that it seemed a little on the expensive side for the size of the sarnie. There were no crisps or salad gracing the plate either. There’s no disputing the work that went in to crafting the deli-style slices of seitan in the sandwich, but it wasn’t as appealing to the eyes as it was to the tummy.
Three of the six options for desserts were vegan, which meant we absolutely had to try something chocolatey as we drained the dregs of our hot drinks. Gluten free is also accommodated with certain cakes, which is something that will be music to the ears of many gluten free vegans out there.
With a number of events coming up like Storytime and a menu aimed at little ones, Shoe Tree is really aiming to be family friendly. This is great news for me as I do struggle with Dinky now she’s a toddler and quite independent. A relaxed atmosphere, decent menu, and plenty of vegan choices means Shoe Tree is bound to be popular once word gets out about its opening. The cafe is currently not open Monday and Tuesday. We wish them well and will return soon.
Thanks for reading,
Fancy a belly busting breakfast? We list our Top Ten in the area here.