Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

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.

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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

The Crosse Keys, 9 Gracechurch Street, London, England EC3V 0DR

On a recent visit to London, for business and pleasure, I stopped into the Crosse Keys pub in Gracechurch Street, London, England, for breakfast!  It was just next door to my hotel and offered breakfast at a very reasonable price with a large glass of orange juice and a mug of Earl Grey tea. They even catered for my vegetarian diet, delicious!outside

The pub is situated in a beautiful building that looks as if it may have started life as a bank.  As it is close to The Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, I suppose that is not too surprising.

It is very large and a little daunting to enter alone. However, the staff and locals are friendly and everything is very clean. There are one or two steps into the building so access for disabled people may be a little challenging.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed my breakfast. It was served hot and was very tasty. I would certainly recommend this venue. It is not fancy but definitely fits the bill for cheap, cheerful and tasty meals.

Valerie Penny

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The Rock and Sole Plaice, 47 Endell St, London WC2H 9AJ

Last time I visited London, England, I was able to visit with one of my dearest friends, Anne Marie. We had not seen each other for a couple of years, due to my ill health (see: survivingbreastcancernow.com), but it was as if we had been apart for ten minutes. Some friendships are just like that.

rock & soleWe had tickets to go to see “The Pajama Game” at the Shaftesbury Theatre but met early so we could have dinner together and a good old catch up. I am vegetarian and Annie loves her fish, so she guided us to The Rock and Sole Plaice. It was super! It was a warm, dry summer evening so we sat outside and shared a hummus and flat bread starter. The portions are enormous! Had we known this we would not have had a starter. That would have been a shame, because it was delicious.

We shared a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a salad with our main courses. Annie had the haddock and chips. I had the fired camembert and chips. Neither of us could finish our main courses either! The salad was fresh and crisp, the meals hot and clearly freshly prepared. We really enjoyed our meal and compared to most prices in London, the cost was very reasonable. I look forward to eating at The Rock and Sole Plaice again in the future.

Valerie Penny

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Elia Greek Restaurant 24 George Square Glasgow, G2 1EG, Scotland

My sister and I agreed to meet up in Glasgow, Scotland for lunch, completely forgetting that it was the first Saturday of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. As soon as we realised that we decided to book a glasgow-2014-commonwealth-gamestable for lunch. The city was very busy and lively. The weather was warm and spirits high. So we had to choose a restaurant that we could both get to easily.

When I was in Crete staying at Hotel Galini, reviewed on this site at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.com/2013/10/13/hotel-galini-c…s-crete-greece/, I met a man who mentioned that his friend owned the Greek Restaurant in George Square in Glasgow. I discovered we could book a table at Elia so, armed with this recommendation, and as my sister and I both enjoy Greek food, we booked here for lunch.

It is a nice air conditioned restaurant with a varied menu and attentive staff.My sister and I both chose the same starter: but then who can resist hummus and pitta bread. It was delicious. Our main course was vegetarian moussaka with salad and I chose rice while my sister had chips. Again, the dish was very tasty and the portion too large for me to finish.

eliaWe were glad we had booked a table and both very much enjoyed our meals. This is a restaurant I would certainly visit again, and not just because the city was busy! I highly recommend it. ‎

Valerie Penny

Hong Kong Chop House, 33 Swinegate, York, YO1 8AZ, England

My husband and I were visiting York, England recently with my mother. Her favourite kind of food is Chinese.  So when we met my cousin and his wife for a meal on the Saturday evening we booked a table at the Hong Kong Chop House.  It is in the centre of York, situated in the Swinegate and is on the ground floor so access is easy for those disabled people who may have mobility problems.  We were originally shown to a table with benches on either side, but there is no way my mother would have been comfortable there so we chose a table in the window with chairs, instead.  The restaurant is warm, but not particularly spacious and when I ordered a gin and tonic and was offered a gin and soda water in the absence of tonic, I suppose I should have been warned.

ImageThere were five of us at the table and the waiter decided the best time to take our order was when one of us was in the restroom!  We ordered a variety of starters from vegetarian spring rolls to spare ribs, but they arrived very slowly and at varied intervals.  However, the dishes were tasty when they arrived. There seemed to be too few staff and those that were there seemed more interested in the “take away” side of the business than caring for the patrons in the restaurant.  We sat with the empty plates from our starters for a long time before they were taken away and it was even longer before our main courses came out from the kitchen, one at a time.  Indeed, my cousin was presented with half of his meal and was nearly finished that before the rest of it arrived! My husband’s meal was a small portion and only luke warm at best.  The serving staff were sullen, slow and humourless.  The service was truly atrocious.

When someone finally came to take away our plates from our main course, after my cousin had asked them to do so, we decided not to have a dessert, we asked for teas and coffees.  Even that was a challenge!  The restaurant was out of coffee.  Not out of a particular blend – they had coffee on the menu but no coffee on the premises.  They also had no Indian tea.  The offer was Chinese tea or Jasmine tea.  Now I know this is a Chinese restaurant, but they are catering for a British clientele and not everybody enjoys Chinese tea.

However, having been to China several times, I am quite partial to it, so my cousin, his wife and I all had some Chinese tea. The teapot was quite pretty, however the tea tasted of virtually nothing, possibly dust, but nothing delicious. Either the tea was very old and dry or there was little tea in the pot. hong-kong-chop-house-york-1So, could I recommend this restaurant? Not favourably. Would I go there again? Not by choice. Did I leave a tip? Yes, stock your restaurant properly and serve the food warm, timeously and with a good grace.

Valerie Penny

The York Roast Co., 78 Low Petergate,York, England

york roast coThis little restaurant was a real find! We were on a shopping expedition in York and were finding it difficult to make a lunch stop where we could get in with my Mum’s wheelchair, when we stumbled upon this!
There were no stairs to get in and there are a few tables on the ground floor (although most of the seating is upstairs). The staff were very nice. It is amazing how fast they work – this is a busy place!
The choice of food is not wide, having said that, for a restaurant that specializes in roast meats, they do even offer a tasty, imaginative vegetarian option.
The disabled toilet & baby changing facilities are also down stairs and are spotlessly clean.
This was the first time we had used the restaurant, but it will not be the last.

Valerie Penny
chicken-and-stuffing

Kama Sutra, 331 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland

I was in Glasgow recently for the Glasgow leg of the tour of Broken Records, my nephew’s band. My sister suggested we all go for a meal before the show and, there are many excellent Indian restaurants in Glasgow, so I suggested we go for a curry.  As my niece’s flat is in Sauchiehall Street, she suggested Kama Sutra.  it was only after we were seated she admitted that, although she lives near the restaurant, she had never actually been there!

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The restaurant is warm and welcoming and the staff are very kind and helpful. The restaurant has good access for disabled people and also does a very good value early evening meal. Two courses for only £9.95. The choices on the early menu include traditional British fare like a prawn cocktail starter and a fish and chip main. It also includes vegetarian starters and mains too. All are served with a choice of naan bread or rice (even the fish and chips)! Although we were right at the limit of time for the early meals the staff were happy to ensure that we could all choose from this menu. It was a nice touch and done with good grace.

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The starters were all quite tasty and the meat eaters enjoyed their mains. However, the fish served in the fish and chips main was quite mean. It was also not well filleted so my friend did not eat all of this. She was laughing though at the idea she would want to eat a naan bread to accompany her chips! The vegetarian main dishes were seasoned so similarly that those that tasted both could not tell the difference. The vegetarian meals were hot and spicy but not very tasty.

I quite liked the ambiance of the restaurant and the staff were very nice. However, as I am vegetarian and the veggie mains were not amazing, I would not seek out this restaurant again. There are many Indian restaurants in Glasgow. I will try another next time.

Valerie Penny