One of the offers I was most interested to hear about during our recently launched Vegan Restaurant Week was to be found at Cornerstone Cafe, a small family-run enterprise in Whitley Bay. Like other local Pulp Fiction, I’d wanted to visit for a while but simply hadn’t gotten round to it. This was the perfect opportunity to give them a try.
I’d seen updates on social media about daily specials, some of which sounded pretty fancy, and my curiosity was piqued when Christopher – the owner and chef – told me he would cook up a FULL Sunday Lunch during VRW. Yes, even including vegan Yorkshire Puddings! This was something we had to book in for, especially as it was the first time the cafe was to open on a Sunday.
The atmosphere of Cornerstone is relaxed and friendly. It has the feeling of a neighbourhood cafe and, as it sits on the end of a residential street, will very likely attract a loyal local clientele. I was first alerted to the vegan and vegetarian food being cooked up here by a friend who lives close by. She had popped in and noticed the menu boards on the wall, which features just as many meat-free dishes as not.
The fact that Cornerstone caters for all dietary requirements is something that makes them an appealing prospect. We visited with two friends who aren’t vegan, so we expected them to order one of the meaty options also being dished up during this inaugural Sunday service. They rather gamely said they would ‘go vegan’ like us, even with their stonking hangovers 🙂
The menu cited a Cashew and Pinenut Roast stuffed with Duxelles as the veggie and vegan option, which sounded blinking delicious. I was intrigued by dairy-free Cauliflower Cheese, which I believe was made with cashews, and the hard-to-pull-off Yorkie Puds. Outside the home this was the first time we’d found somewhere in the North East prepared to put them on the menu, so credit was due for attempting to produce more than the 6 I can usually create successfully. You can find my recipe here.
The only minor criticism I had was with the roasties, which I felt could have been a little crisper. While Cornerstone aren’t going to win any awards for pretty plating, it was the taste that won us over. The Nut Roast was one of the best we’ve eaten out and about.
We couldn’t pass on the opportunity to try our desserts, which featured a Cherry Crumble served with dairy-free custard or vegan Chocolate Cake. We got one of each to share and loved them both. The cake was moist and rich while remaining light, and the crumble’s tart cherry worked well with sweet custard.
With a BYOB policy we found just under £50 for our lunches – with mains a modest £8.50 – great value for money. It appeared the meat-free dishes were popular during the visit, which was heartening to see because of my aims for Vegan Restaurant Week. I hope the interest in Cornerstone continues as they are serving up something a bit different for those of us who don’t eat meat. Definitely one to add to our list of great places for a veggie Sunday lunch that doesn’t resort to risotto, which you can read here.
Thanks for reading,