One of my big fears about Mr. Canny’s veganism was whether I’d still be able to enjoy my favourite meal – a good old Sunday lunch. The Quorn substitutes that pubs and restaurants offer are not always suitable for vegans, which limits our dining options. I called out on Twitter for recommendations, and NE Veggie Socials informed me that The Town Wall had a vegan Nut Roast on their Sunday menu. Fabulous news.
I wasn’t keen on a pub Sunday lunch for myself, feeling that they usually comprise of microwaved veg or prepared too far in advance Yorkie Puds that dry out before the pass. There are notable exceptions to that rule documented in this blog, so I put Mr. Canny’s needs before my own.
The Town Wall has always been a hipster bar to me, manned by bearded plaid shirted graphic design students who are often too busy talking amongst themselves to serve a G&T or Wylam Galaxia. That said, it’s one of the few bars I’ll frequent if I happen to be out in the Toon on a weekend. On our visit there was a super friendly girl who could be a Abercrombie & Fitch model serving, and thankfully she was more attentive than the usual staff. The only complaint I had was that although I specified a vegan lunch for Mr. Canny when ordering, another member of staff came to our table to ‘double check’ before it was served.
I chose their 28 day County Durham Topside of Beef for my lunch. It arrived pink, which I’m sure my midwife will tell me off for eating. I should have really enquired how it was served, but most places we’ve eaten recently have served this slow cooked. I’ve no big issue with rare meat, but I think this was probably undercooked by most people’s standards. I think for £9.45 the vegetables were a bit lacking in terms of quantity, and I would have loved a dollop of creamy mash. The roasties were crisp, and the jug of gravy helped with the Yorkshire.
Mr. Canny’s vegan offering at £8.95 seemed like better value for money, although an extra roastie to compensate for his lack of Yorkie Pud would have gone down a treat. His gravy was tasty, much to my surprise. The nut roast itself wasn’t dry, as some can be. He didn’t feel like he was ‘missing out’ with his recent conversion being able to enjoy this Sunday institution with me, and I hope more pubs follow suit in offering a vegan option. It’s amazing how many meat substitutes available on the market aren’t suitable for vegans before of the milk or powdered egg that’s involved in their production processes. Quorn is releasing a vegan line in the UK soon, so perhaps this will help those in the industry cater for those with specific dietary requirements.
With Mr. Canny’s pint and my soft drink this lunch was a touch under £25. Not cheap, but certainly worth it for Mr. Canny to have an enjoyable eating experience. The sacrifices I make. If you know of other vegan friendly establishments for Sunday grub feel free to leave a comment. Recommendations are always welcomed here!
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