For no particular reason, or without much thought, I have decided to embark on Meat-Free March. For anybody who knows me, I am sure they would bet on me failing spectacularly. However, I’m now over a week in and I can honestly say, not only have I not failed so far, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Seeing as after March, I will probably never purposefully choose a vegan-only restaurant, I thought now was the appropriate time to test one out. My in-depth googling led me to head to V-Rev Vegan Diner. Here, they pride themselves on their American style burgers but in an all plant fashion. Their menu, which includes, chicken and beef burgers and hotdogs, made me uncomfortable as I’ve never fully understood the whole meat alternative thing. However, it did lead me to be intrigued. So, with a willing housemate, I headed into town. Frustratingly, when we arrived, the door was locked and we were told that on that day they had decided to embark on a ‘deep-clean’. All my psyching up was for nothing. Feeling deflated we helplessly wondered around the Northern Quarter in search of a vegetarian-friendly menu.
Recognising the name, we approached Trof and browsed their outside menu. Due to seeing a few vegetarian options, us being absolutely starving, and it seeming fairly busy inside, we decided to take the plunge. We grabbed a few beers from the bar, found a table by some classic Northern Quarter exposed brickwork, and sat down to properly inspect the veggie options (my housemate had kindly decided to steer clear of the meat options tonight too). We decided to get two different vegetarian burgers and share them half and half each —something I love doing — as I hate getting food jealously over the other person’s meal. The menu stated the burgers came with fries, which was a nice surprise as restaurants are increasingly labelling chips as a separate side dish, not included in the main; a ludicrous thought especially when ordering something like a burger. Each plate cost around £9, a welcome change to some of the overpriced meals that can easily be found in the nearby vicinity, so we decided to treat ourselves and order a side of ‘green bean chips’ (only later to find out they had sold out).
We popped to the bar to order and the chatty waitress followed us back with cutlery and our beloved condiments. When the food arrived, we were pleased by the size of the burgers; not too intimidating, like the ones where you just can’t work out which angel is best to attack, and not too small, no one likes a small burger. First I started with my half of the ‘beef and white bean burger’ which actually included: beetroot, a cashew and white bean patty, harissa, coleslaw, and guacamole all encased in a generous focaccia bun. The flavours worked well and we especially enjoyed the thick lathering of avocado and the slight hint of spice the harissa brought.
Impressed with our first choice half, we simultaneously moved on to try other choice of burger. This time it was the ‘halloumi shroomy burger’, a mix of marinated halloumi, Portobello mushroom, red pepper, lettuce and aioli, all in a brioche bun. When I bit into the burger, the rich aioli oozed out causing multiple stains on my white shirt, but I didn’t mind because it all added to the experience. The combination of halloumi, sweet red pepper, and Portobello mushroom worked particularly well, and it left me feeling like I would definitely combine the three flavours again in future. My mind remains unsure of brioche burger buns, but as my housemate quite rightly told me, that’s entirely down to my personal preference. We scoffed and dipped our fries to our hearts’ content, and once we had finished, we both slipped back into our chairs, happy and full.
Despite, not planning on heading to Trof, I’m glad we did. It left me believing that the rest of my three weeks as a vegetarian is do-able, and I might even continue enjoying it.