Weekly Round Up – Colmans, Zapatista and More

One of the things Mr. Canny finds frustrating about blogging is the fact I like to try new places all the time. This week I have caved to his demands and we’ve returned to some ‘old faithfuls’, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a round up. Some of these eateries were previously visited when he was an omnivore, so rather rehashing our old opinions we’ve been looking from a fresh perspective. I also popped into a new Low Fell addition while I was out and about for lunch which I thought was worthy of a mention. Enjoy!

The Vintage Cafe
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One cafe we have visited previously on account of its vegan offering is The Vintage Cafe in Birtley. Mr. Canny was mighty impressed with their breakfast and wanted to return to try something else from the menu. I even purchased our Christmas Cake from them!

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We popped in on this particular day to pick up some goodies for friends visiting, knowing that the majority of their scones and cakes are vegan and gluten free. Mr. Canny noticed they had pancakes on the menu, so we decided to stay and try them out. Made without eggs and using soy milk instead of dairy, I wasn’t expecting them to be as tasty as regular pancakes. Boy was I wrong! Served with a fruit compote and maple syrup, they were light and delicious. I was going to attempt eating mine while holding Dinky, but Tracey insisted she ‘helped’ out with the baby, which was lovely. At £3.75 per portion they were a steal. With prices like these I don’t know why there aren’t queues out the door for this little gem. A must visit.

imageColmans Fish and Chips

imageThe last time we ate at Colmans the boys both enjoyed their fish (see blog here). This visit was a little more difficult, with Colmans not really offering much for vegetarians and vegans. That said, the staff talked through options with us and were knowledgeable on the subject. We dined with Brazilian folk who had not visited before, and they said they were the best F&C they’d had in the UK. High praise indeed, although they did say the portions were too big for them! The fish was light and flaky, wrapped in a perfectly crisp batter. They weren’t keen on adding ‘scraps’ to the mix, however!
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I was a true Geordie lass and ordered Curry and Chips. The chips were as they should be, chunky and ‘tanned’. The curry is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans, so Mr. Canny had his with mushy peas. Quite a sad state of affairs.

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Colmans offer great quality fish at reasonable prices to take away, which guarantees they remain popular with daytrippers and locals alike. At less than £40 for the 4 meals and drinks to eat in it wasn’t a cheap option for us however, but because our guests enjoyed their traditional English chippy experience it was more than worth it. Just a shame Colmans don’t offer veggie options like Magpie Cafe in Whitby do (see review here).

Zapatista

With two Newcastle branches, you are never too far away from an awesome Zapatista burrito for lunch. We love the place so much it has featured not just once but twice on the blog!

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Their Sweet Potato Chilli is suitable for vegans as a filling for your burrito, provided you avoid the cheese and sour cream. All the salsas available are free of dairy, so they’re ‘safe’ too. Naturally this is Mr. Canny’s go-to when he visits. This time round I tried out the Chickpea and Halloumi burrito, which was very good. I’m not a huge fan of chickpeas, but they weren’t as offensive in this mix. The rice and black bean combo is still a favourite of our resident Brazilian, with him finding it well cooked and spiced.

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Zapatista is the Subway of Mexican food, and that is in no way an insult. We appreciate the fact that you can customise the order to your specific tastes, as in our family we clearly are very ‘picky’ by some people’s standards. At £4.80 for the vegan option I also think they are good value for money. For the omnivores there are plenty of delicious meaty options on the menu too, with my old favourite being the Spicy Shredded Beef. Slow cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, it packed just the right punch for a wuss like me.

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The queues every time we visit attest to its popularity, so I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in Newcastle to sing their praises! Mr. Canny is gearing up to take on the ‘Belly Buster Challenge’ – 3 packed burritos consumed in 10 minutes – which he thinks will be a piece of cake. We’ll keep you posted on whether he’s successful when he attempts this!

Gracie and Frankies, Low Fell

imageA deli that has recently opened up in Low Fell, Gracie and Frankie’s is a lovely addition to the dining scene of the area. It claims to be a coffee shop, although I personally don’t feel there’s enough room to be sitting inside. I picked up a sandwich and a slice of Victoria Sponge to go, and was surprised by how reasonably priced it was. With so many sandwich and jacket potato options, as well as delicious cakes on offer, G&F is a great local lunchtime pit stop.

imageSpeaking with the owner, there is a plan to provide more vegan options with cakes and the like going forward. She said she’d like to accommodate all dietary requirements, which is a bold statement and it will be interesting to see if this happens going forward. Located just at the top of Beaconsfield Road, it has become very popular with the locals in the relatively short time it has been open. Check out their Instagram to drool over the cake photos.

Thanks for reading,

Pip x

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