It is great to see high street chains with more than one vegan choice for main courses on their menus. Having been to Las Iguanas a few times I had a fair idea on what to expect from the Latin American-inspired eatery. We popped along to the Grey Street branch in Newcastle and, with their 241 cocktails in our hands, browsed through the vegetarian and vegan menu to see what tickled our fancy on this particular visit.
Main course choices included the Fiesta salad (with butternut squash, carrot, cucumber, avocado), mushroom fajitas, and a quinoa salad. I opted for the Moqueca de Palmitos while Gavin decided to try the Veggie Chilli. I felt I also needed to introduce him to the wonder of Cassava Fries, something Las Iguanas specialise in. Heartier than your average chips, these chunky chips are served with a slightly spiced tomato dip and he seemed to enjoy them.
While I do grumble about the preponderance for salads on vegan menus, the ones offered by Las Iguanas are quite filling. That said, on this occasion we were definitely looking for more substantial dishes while enjoying the cocktails available. The Moqueca de Palmitos was a success, as always. Using palm hearts as a substitute for the traditional fish in this Brazilian dish is a great idea as the vegetable matches the texture and colour of the ‘real deal’. The creamy sauce and slightly piquant pico de gallo were a good contrast. My only disappointment came in the same portion of rice which accompanied. Definitely an imbalance in the sauce to carb ratio in my opinion, anyway.
Gavin really liked his Veggie Chilli, which he said surpassed his expectation of what a chain would serve up. The filling mix of sweet potato, butternut squash & chickpeas with spiced tomatoes was one I would definitely recreate at home for him.
We decided against desserts, although we really need to samplecreamy coconut pudding served with mixed berries & a mango purée. It sounds interesting and makes a change from sorbet for us vegans.
For those new to vegan food and wondering whether you can dine out in chains trying out Las Iguanas would be a good introduction to how easy it is. We’ve listed some others in a post for those taking part in Veganuary or interested in the meat-free alternative here.
Thanks for reading,