Longhorns Barbecue, Jesmond (Now Closed)
There are some vegans and vegetarians who won’t entertain the idea of eating in a restaurant which serves predominantly meat. While Newcastle has a few dedicated eateries to this dietary requirement, it would be very limiting to Canny Food if we took that philosophy. We know of vegans who simply don’t dine out for fear of cross-contamination and/or duplicity on the part of chefs. Thanks to the laws stating anywhere serving food must list allergen information this should be less likely to happen, making dining out with a dietary requirement less of a minefield.
Longhorns Barbecue was somewhere we’d previously enjoyed eating (see previous posts here and here), but I felt would be off-limits to us now as a family. I noticed a tweet from them about a new menu item – a Mac & Cheese burger – which I was surprised by. Did this mean we could actually visit again? I had to find out. I took along my meat-eating niece and nephew, as well as the Teen, during the Easter holidays to try out this new burger and to grill them (pun intended) over what veggies and vegans could eat if dining there.
One thing which really struck me was the friendliness of the staff. As soon as we sat down the kids were asked if they wanted to do activities. It was lost on this lot, who are now too cool for school, but it was appreciated. The kids menu features a choice of Chicken pieces, a Burger or a Hot Dog served with a side, juice and ice cream for just £5.50. This is really good value for money. My niece decided she would try the Chicken, while the rest of us ordered Burgers. She enjoyed her meal, and the highlight for her was the Gracie Beas Chocolate ice cream she had for dessert.
The Mac ‘n’ Cheese Patty (£8.50) is exactly what you’d imagine – traditional Macaroni and Cheese in a breadcrumb coating. It is topped with their coleslaw and served on a brioche bun. I personally loved the burger, although it was very filling. The slaw was definitely needed as the patty and bun would be dry on their own. The cheeses mixed are Monterey Jack, which melts well, and a hazelnutty Cheddar. Vegetarians needn’t worry about Parmesan being sneaked in as there is none. I doubled checked and it is fine for them to eat.The Smokehouse Patty is a double burger topped with bacon and Monterey Jack cheese. Served with fries, at £9.50 its a really good value and a filling option. The burger itself has a smoky taste, as you’d imagine from a BBQ joint, and the brioche held its own against the juicy patty and cheese combo. A special mention goes to those fantastic seasoned fries, which are skinny, crisp and have a sweetness about them. They are addictive too, meaning I kept stealing them from the kids!
Bought in from The Pudding Parlour, they are so decadent. The Teen struggled to finish his, which meant more for me. I’m clearly not watching my weight! The handmade local ice creams deserve a special mention too. There may only be a few flavours, but they are deliciously creamy. The last time we visited the dessert menu was smaller and just offered the Pudding Parlour goodies, but now the team have added waffles to the repertoire. I look forward to trying those the next time we take a trip to Longhorns.
Yes, there will definitely be another visit after discussing what’s on the menu that can be adapted for vegans. Their 3 Bean Sloppy Joe Chilli can be served without the brioche bun and slaw, making it vegan-friendly. With the bun and other bits, it’s vegetarian-friendly. The fries are also cooked in vegetable oil, so that’s another concern ticked off for those worried about how they are fried. I know some vegans may still not want to eat here because of the meat and that’s fine, but it’s great to see that they are thinking about non-meat eaters with their menu choices. The Mac ‘n’ Cheese Patty is really good, and I’d even recommend an omnivore giving it a try. Because of the pasta and cheese combination its heavier in texture to a normal veggie burger, meaning its more filling. I’m sure they’ll just stick to the smoky ribs or brisket though!
Thanks for reading,