Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Ainsty Farm Shop, Green Hammerton

On a recent visit to Yorkshire, my husband and I stopped for lunch at the tea-room attached to the Ainsty Farm Shop, York Road, Green Hammerton, Yorkshire, England. We debated between the Chinese Restaurant across the car park, but chose the more traditional Yorkshire Fayre and we were very glad we did.Map of Ainsty Farm Shop

Of course the farm shop sells fresh fruit and vegetables, but also delicious home baking, and fresh meat, milk, butter and cheese. We took time to study all of these as we made our way to the tiny restaurant. It was a shame that we had already bought our provisions for the holiday because much of the food in the shop would have been perfect and the prices were very reasonable. We will not make that mistake again!Ainsty Farm Shop

The tea-room is on the far side of the shop, so we got a good look at all the products for sale as we made our way round. Everything is spotlessly clean and access is good for those who have mobility issues. The menu offers simple, tasty dishes for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

We were just there for a quick lunch on our journey. My husband chose a hot sausage sandwich while I had a cheese salad roll. Both were fresh and delicious. The sausages were fat and juicy and just what my husband had hoped for. The cheese salad sandwich was served in a freshly baked roll, with lots of salad: not the usual one piece of lettuce, tomato and cucmber you might usually expect. Both meals were also served with a generous side salad. They were very filling.coffee cake

However, we could not resist a piece of the home-made coffee cake to go with the rest of our drinks. The protions were enormous. I could not possibly finish mine after the large roll I had had. However, my husband could not see such lovely cake go to waste so managed his own slice, as well as my left overs! It was very good cake.

We enjoyed our meals at Ainsty Farm Shop, the service was good and friendly too. I highly recommend the Ainsty Farm Shop and will visit again.

Valerie Penny

 

Rare Flour, Ritchie Street, West Kilbride, Scotland

For many months there had been nowhere in this village to go for dinner in the evening. So it was with much interest that the community watched the re-furbishment of the building that became the local pizza and Italian Restaurant Rare Flourrare inside

The restaurant is small: normally set up for 14 covers but can hold up to 20 people if a group books. Indeed, it is always better to book a table if you plan to sit in. There is a take-away option too. However, as all the meal are made to order, even the pizza bases are made to order, so nothing is quick. Rare Flour is not a restaurant to visit for a quick meal.

rare ovenThe pizza oven is visible from the diningroom. It is interesting to watch the pizzas being prepared and cooked. The menu at Rare Flour also includes pasta dishes made with home-made pasta. The home-made burgers are also served on home-made buns. Indeed, even the condiments and deserts are home-made. This is all very unusual for such a small establishment, but attention to detail is evident throughout.rare dough

Rare Flour is a simple, bright and stylish restaurant in which my family and friends have enjoyed good, freshly made food. It also has a full alcohol license offering spirits, beers and wine. There are vegetarian choices and the access is good for those with mobility challenges. Rare Flour is a lovely local establishment and I highly recommend it.

 

White House Tavern, 302 E Hopkins Ave, Aspen, Colorado 81611, USA

My husband and our friend Bill had shared a fine day’s fishing courtesy of Bill’s family friend Glenn Smith of Taylor glennCreek Fly Shop in Basalt, Colorado. The fellows had a great time and luckily Glenn and his lovely wife, Serena, were able to join us for dinner that evening in Aspen. Glenn recommended The White House Tavern, Aspen, Colorado. What a good choice! It was awhite house tavern out very long time since I had last been to Aspen and it was my husband’s first visit, so we were happy to have a recommendation from a local.

The White House Tavern is quite small and is situated in the historic A.G. Sheppard House at 302 East Hopkins Avenue, Aspen. Throughout its history the building has been used for both commercial and residential white housepurposes. The building was constructed in 1883 on a lot purchased from Isaac Cooper for $300 and served as a miner’s cottage at the turn of the century. It remains one of the oldest structures in Aspen. The White House Tavern is an example of the Carpenter Gothic Style. This is characterized by wooden interpretations of Gothic structures. Carpenter Gothic homes feature steeply white insidepitched roofs, jig-saw cut trim elements and white color schemes with brightly coloured accents, such as the red door on The White House Tavern.

We were very impressed by the mixture of traditional and modern here. You can see into the kitchen and the lighting is strikingly modern and white eggsinteresting in such a historic building. The White House Tavern is not large and the six of us required the largest table in the place. Due to the small size, the venue does not accept reservations. However, we arrived early so managed to avoid having to put our white house tabbouleh and kale saladname on a waiting list, this is customary if all the tables are occupied. Bar seating is also available on a first-come, first-served basis.

white sandwich (1)The White House Tavern menu offers premium sandwiches, salads and dips along with distinctive wines, beers, and cocktails. They even adapted one of their sandwiches for me to a vegetarian version. It was delicious. We all enjoyed our meals and the lively and convivial atmosphere, exhibition kitchen and interesting artworks in the warm, wood paneled space that is The White House Tavern. We all had a lovely evening and, if you are in Aspen, I highly recommend The White House Tavern.

 

Valerie Penny

 

 

Peach’s Corner Cafe, 121 S Galena St, Aspen, Colorado 81611, USA

aspenIt had been many years since I last visited Aspen, Colorado, USA. Many years ago I spent a vacation there and am thrilled to be able to say I have skied in Aspen. That is an expensive pursuit there, now. However, more recently when friends, my husband and I visited it was summer and we had no plans to ski. We did plan to shop but we interrupted our shopping to have lunch at Peach’s Corner Cafe.

Peach’s really appealed to us because it is bright and clean. The food is Peachs-Outsideoutstanding and they have something for everyone on their menu, even for me as a vegetarian. My husband tried the burger and was not surprised that it was recently named Aspen’s best burger. Our friends chose salads which were fresh and varied. My vegetarian panini was delicious. It contained a wide variety of roasted vegetables.  The food is awesome and very affordable, especially for Aspen. The service is friendly too and we discovered that his little gem is run and owned by a local. That was a nice touch. They even have free Wi-Fi.

The Peach’s Corner Cafe does great coffee. Coffee is a big thing for my coffeehusband. It is one of the things that he is really fussy about. I did enjoy my latte: it was great. I also appreciated that the cost for the coffee was not extotioante. That is a real rarity for Aspen! The bright atmosphere of the store is nice, as is the decor. There s seating outdoors as well as inside and the view from the outdoor dining area is beautiful. However, we sat inside as it was a bit wet the day we were there.

The cakes and other baked goods are delicious. Apparently, Peach’s buys in from different local bakeries for different things, rather than contracting with just one bakery. That is clever as they choose the best from each. So, the coffee drinks are tasty, the food is top notch and the prices are reasonable. This is no tourist trap it is definitely a place to check out if you are in Aspen. In fact, if you are in Aspen, I would say that Peach’s Corner Cafe is a must.

Valerie Penny

 

 

MacKenzie’s, 2-4 Bridge Road, Colinton, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH13 0LF

I recently went to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit my Mother. It was lovely to have a few days relaxing, chatting and Mackenzie's outsidecatching up with her. During the visit she hosted a Sunday lunch for us to be joined by friends and family. She chose MacKenzie’s, located in Colinton to the southwest of Edinburgh’s city centre, for the occasion. MacKenzie’s is on Bridge Road and is an intimate cottage-style pub and restaurant serving traditional Scottish cuisine that my Mother found as being very nice. She had been there previously with friends. None of her guests had been there before. I enjoy going to new restaurants to review them, so I was thrilled.

MacKenzie’s looks quaint outside and smart inside. It is named after Henry MacKenzie, an Edinburgh lawyer and writer, who lived in the cottage adjacent to the restaurant in the eighteenth century. He is best known for his novel The Man of Feeling. MacKenzie, was editor of a magazine, The Lounger for a while and wrote an article praising Robert Burns poems in 1786. This enhanced Robert Burns’s reputation in literary circles.

macKenzies insideThe restaurant claims to be child-friendly, although there were no children there during our visit. It is certainly accessible to wheelchair users: that was important to us as my Mother is disabled and has mobility issues. MacKenzie’s also claims to be able to cater for vegetarians and those with gluten-free requirements. I cannot speak to the gluten-free claims, but I have a lot to say about their vegetarian catering. The restaurant specifically boasts a vegetarian selection. That was not true. The vegetarian choice of main course was take it or leave it. This was singularly inadequate and very embarrassing to my mother.

MacKenzie’s had been advised in advance that all my mother’s five guests were vegetarian, including a member of the nationally acclaimed band Broken Records. The Sunday lunch menu, the only menu offered to us, included three vegetarian choices of starter amongst the offerings. They included tomato and red pepper soup. Apparently this was very tasty. The melon fan and tomato and mozzarella salad were also very fresh, but all were singularly broken recordsunimaginative. My mother had a black pudding starter and she did enjoy that.

The entrees were the real issue. There were 8 on the menu. Only one, a roast vegetable tart was suitable for vegetarians. This, not withstanding that the restaurant had been advised of the number of vegetarians in my Mother’s party and its advertisements claim that it caters for vegetarians. The claims do not match my experience. The tart was perfectly pleasant, but again it was a choice that lacked both flair and imagination. My mother had the lamb. She said she enjoyed it, but she ate less than half. The selection of vegetables and potatoes offered was varied, but not plentiful for 6 people. I was still hungry at the end of two courses. That is very unusual for me.

So, five of us had desserts. These are homemade and, apparently, change daily. I had the chocolate and black cherry macKenzies tablecheesecake. It was delicious. Others amongst us had the lemon tart and the creme brulee. We all enjoyed our puddings but some of the portions were very small. We finished the meal with coffee or tea and mints.

Service at MacKenzie’s was very poor. Something was overlooked or forgotten at each course. I also got the impression that some tables contained regular customers. There was clearly more attention paid to these other tables and more pleasantries exchanged. MacKenzie’s will not extend its bank of regular customers if they treat first time guests with the disdain our table received.

While we all really enjoyed the company and the occasion, my Mother did not feel that MacKenzie’s offered her value for money. The menu and service also fell far short of my expectations. I cannot recommend this restaurant. There are too many other restaurants in Edinburgh in this price bracket that offer a more varied menu and better service.

Valerie Penny

 

Brew Wharf,14-16 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London, SE1 9AD, England

On a recent visit to London, England my husband and I were able to have dinner with our daughter and her boyfriend. They chose, Brew Wharf,14-16 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London and as it seemed to be central and very close to our hotel, we decided to walk. We must have taken a wrong turning. We got thoroughly lost. Having brew wharfgone round and round and becoming quite agitated we took a cab from where we were. It was central and so close the fare was under £5.00 but we would never have found it without the cab driver’s help! Stoney Street is little more than a narrow lane. Brew Wharf  is an interesting building, an  exposed brick railway arch bar and terrace with lengthy beer menu and pub type cuisine.

It has a wide selection of beers and the men sampled one or two. I can attest to the fact that they make a mean gin and tonic! Access is good for those with mobility issues and, although it was Saturday evening, the restaurant was very empty. The bar area was busier. However, as a vegetarian, I cannot recommend the venue for a meal. There was not a single starters or main course meal offered on the restaurant menu was suitable for vegetarians. I was surprised. It is a long time since that has happened to me in the UK. I was offered a pasta with a tomato sauce, but really, that is so unimaginative that we decided just to have a drink and go elsewhere to eat. I was disappointed.

After a some time, and to members of staff asking if we were ready to order, the duty manager came over and offered me a mezze from the bar menu. All the dips were vegetarian and the real import of the evening was to get together b w outwith the family, not to wander around London, so we stayed. It was good of the manager to arrange this. The amount of the dips, made me think the dish was meant as a sharing starter. The amount of pitta bread with it made me think the meal was for an anorexic dwarf.

My dips included babganoush, hoummous, guacamole, a tomato dip and a couple of others. It was fine but I would not write home about it. My husband chose the fish and chips and enjoyed it. My daughter had chicken. It seemed to be a very small portion, but she said it was good. Her boyfriend chose pork belly and said that was tasty too. However, bearing in mind that the restaurant only had three other customers, the service was very slow. There was no interaction with the staff. They seemed to be more interested in speaking to each other than waiting tables. Even our second round of drinks took a long time to come.

We finished our meals with tea and coffee. I was really disappointed by the lack of atmosphere in this restaurant because the building is really quaint and I thought it would be fun. It was not. I was looking forward to a nice meal. That was not to be. I also feel that the Brew Wharf is overpriced. I would not eat there again.

bw map

 

Valerie Penny

 

 

Azzuro, 35 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QJ, England

Azzuro is an Italian restaurant near London Bridge Station in London, England is on the main road and is easy to azzurrafind. Azzurro  is located on Tooley Street, opposite the entrance to the London Dungeon. It is a modern restaurant is open from midday until late seven days a week, serving top quality, freshly prepared, great value, Italian food. The downstairs bar comes to life in the evening and has a daily happy hour in the bar between 5pm and 8pm. It is a veritable tardis.  Azzuro looks tiny from the street, but it seems quite roomy when you get inside. My husband and I joined our daughter and son-in-law for dinner there when we were visiting the big smoke recently. It is always good to see them.

The restaurant was warm and the tables are not too close together.  Also, the restaurant was not too noisy. We could have a conversation. However, it was busy and I would recommend booking a table. The lavatories are downstairs where there was a bar with music and lots of atmosphere. There are also stairs to get to different parts of the restaurant, so I would not recommend Azzuro to those with physical disabilities or mobility problems.

restaurantImgThe staff in the restaurant were very polite and efficient and the menu is large and varied. Drinks arrived quickly and we did not have to wait too long for our meals. We started with a selection of black and green olives and breads to share. They really were delicious and the breads included onion bread, tomato bread, garlic bread and whole grain varieties too.  My husband is not that fond of olives, so he chose the bean soup. It was very thick and hearty with a wide variety of vegetables and beans in it. He really did enjoy it.

Our main courses were all different. My daughter chose a pasta dish, while my son-in-law had a pizza. They had had busy days at work and I was glad to see them both tucking into their dinner. My husband chose a steak. He was mapLondonBridge2delighted because it was cooked exactly the way he likes it and it was very tender. I was not so keen on my vegetarian rissotto. It sounded much more interesting than it was. Even black pepper and parmesan cheese could not save it. Still, three out of four ain’t bad!

We finished up with a selection of teas and coffees. There is a wide variety of tea and the coffee is a delicious blend. The restaurant offers good food, a friendly ambiance and excellent value for money. I would certainly visit Azzurro again, but I will not have the vegetarian risotto.

Valerie Penny