The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Epoch

Epoch

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here

Recently I went along to a special tasting evening at Epoch, a new restaurant and lounge on the ground floor of Princes Square. I hadn’t heard too much about Epoch since they opened their doors a couple of months ago, other than the menu being inspired by dishes from around the world. So, I was looking forward to finding out a little more (and trying out some of their vegetarian dishes while I was at it!)…

Epoch

The Restaurant

Occupying the space of two former units, Epoch’s spacious restaurant flows through to a comfortable lounge area (or is it the other way around?) decorated with pops of colourful contemporary artwork and stylish furniture.

We started our evening relaxing in the lounge before heading through to our table.

The Menu

Made up of small plates, Epoch’s menu is separated into meat, vegetable and fish sections – making it easy to navigate and pick out a few to your taste. Two or three per person are encouraged, as is sharing!

There are four vegetarian, five meat and four fish dishes. All in all, I think that this is a fair and balanced approach with the small plates – the veggie dishes don’t feel like an afterthought and there aren’t less options than with the other sections. In addition, there are the usual breads and olives to nibble on and all of the side dishes at Epoch are meat-free.

Epoch

If wine is your bag, the restaurant does plenty of that too (and the team really know their stuff when it comes to the ol’ grape juice, so don’t be shy to ask them!). I skipped on the wine (surprise!) and instead enjoyed a lovely pomegranate faux-hito with my food.

Epoch

What I Ate

I started the meal with a vibrant plate of pickled seasonal vegetables, which were served with a herby mayonnaise. As well as looking very pretty, this was a fresh, summery dish. Real talk: it’s not one to pick if you’re really hungry, but it would make a tasty accompaniment to something more substantial, like the gnocchi. Speaking of which…

Ah, the gnocchi! This was hands-down my favourite part of the meal, and I even cheekily enquired if you could order a large portion from the regular menu (you can’t, BUT I am not above ordering three plates of the same thing, believe me!). I’d never had gnocchi with a filling before, but this came filled with roasted gorgonzola and walnut – it was a game-changer! I loved the squash puree on the side too.

Epoch

I also tried the broccoli dish, in which tender broccoli came with peas, fine beans, coconut and curry leaf, before finishing up with peach rosemary ice cream. The ice cream was made in-house, and served with shortcake and creme anglaise. As some of you will already know, I have a huge sweet tooth and really enjoyed the dessert at Epoch!

One thing that I DIDN’T eat, but I really want to go back and try, is the ‘Epoch eclair’, which sounds like a chocolate, hazelnut and caramel dreamboat that I would like to to get to know a little better.

Epoch

Final thoughts 

Epoch have created an inviting space where you could happily spend a few hours catching up with friends and not feel hurried out of  the door. I could see myself spending more time in the lounge area than the restaurant (either with friends or just having some alone time with an eclair and coffee…), but I have no doubt that I will be back for more of the gnocchi sometime soon too.

I’ll be interested to see how the menu changes from season to season but, for the time being, there’s a good selection of flavours to please most and a decent amount of the menu is vegetarian.

Have you checked out Epoch in Princes Square yet? And tell me, have you ever ordered three of the same dish while dining out?

 

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: Bread Meats Bread

New to The Glasgow Veggie Diaries? This series is where you’ll find me sharing the most awesome meat-free food options around town, so whether you or a member of your posse are vegetarian, feel free to use this as your official guide to who is doing it right!

You can also catch up with all of my previous Glasgow Veggie Diaries entries here

Today’s edition of my Veggie Diaries takes us to Bread Meats Bread, something of a Glasgow success story. There are very few places in our city that people will happily wait in line for, especially as there is so much choice available. But the original Bread Meats Bread (on St Vincent Street) STILL has people regularly queued out the door, dying to get their hands on their famous burgers or a plateful of poutine.

Now, that’s all very well and good for our meat-eating buddies, but what about the vegetarian options? Actually, I’d heard pretty great things!

We headed up to Bread Meats Bread’s newer Great Western Road restaurant for lunch over the weekend to check it out…

The Restaurant

Bread Meats Bread has a big, sunny corner unit just a hop, skip and a jump from the Botanic Gardens. There are plenty of tables inside, which meant we could be seated right away (even though they were very busy!) amongst the cheery yellow booths, smart tiles and industrial light fixtures. The restaurant is also ideally placed on one of Glasgow’s busiest streets – with plenty of windows for people-watching.

The Menu

Let’s get down to it: does an award-winning restaurant with a focus on meat (well, it IS in the name!) have much on their menu for veggies? Surprisingly, yes! As well as seven specially-created vegetarian and vegan dishes and a dedicated section of the menu, some of the grilled cheese sandwiches and sides are also meat-free – so all in all, a pretty decent amount. No token sad salads here!

That being said, a large amount of the meat-free options at Bread Meats Bread are made up of meat alternatives, such as seitan, pastramheat and vegan bacon. It’s not really my cup of tea, but there were still a couple of options that were just vegetables so I wasn’t stuck. I also liked that the menu (and the staff) offered vegetarian and / or vegan alternatives to a lot of what was on there.

What we ordered

The BBQ pulled mushroom bun sounded so tempting that both Gary and I ended up ordering it! And it did not disappoint – a massive portion of sweet, smoky oyster mushrooms served in a fluffy brioche bun with house slaw made this dish a super indulgent treat. I’m not ashamed to say I finished the lot!

We also ordered some sides – Gary went for the maple vegan bacon sweet potato fries and I picked out some good ol’ onion rings. Gary loved the flavour combo on the fries, which came topped with candied vegan bacon, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and coconut. Sweet n’ salty at its finest! My onion rings were also awesome – battered, not breadcrumbed (an important detail, trust me!) and a really generous portion size.

Final thoughts

The food that we had was amazing and we would 100% go back again. The fact that a place that specialises in meat dishes has been considerate enough to have a ton of veggie and vegan options on their menu is nothing short of rad. For most vegetarians, the menu presents a lot of choices! I would like to have had more options that didn’t involve seitan (not today, seitan) but that is just down to personal taste and I’m sure most people would really enjoy Bread Meats Bread’s vegan take on buttermilk fried chicken – after all, how many places in Glasgow are offering that?!

Have you tried out Bread Meats Bread? And I just gotta know: when it comes to onion rings, are you team batter or team breadcrumb?

Merchant City Festival 2017: What to Check Out

Summertime in Glasgow means a few things are for certain: there’s less chance of you getting soaked as you go about your day (oh, sunshine – how I’ve missed you!), the ice cream van in Kelvingrove Park will do a roaring trade (because any price is reasonable when you’re spending your day basking in the sun, loving life…)  and, finally, Glasgow’s festival season kicks off!

Yup, Glasgow LOVES a summer shindig and, hot off the heels of recent TRNSMT and Mela festivals, we now have Merchant City Festival launching on 22nd July.

This nine-day celebration of arts and culture is jam-packed with events and activities. We’re spoiled for choice with music, comedy, exhibitions, street food, club nights, performances and much more – so deciding what to check out over the festival period is tough! 

I’ve got my eye on a few things and I thought I would share my Merchant City Festival 2017 picks – just in case you need help making your mind up, or if you’re new to the festival altogether and don’t know where to start!

Red Bus Bistro

Hanging out in a 1966 Routemaster bus has vintage style written all over it but throw a tasty afternoon tea into the mix and it’s EVEN MORE appealing! The Red Bus Bistro will be stationed in Wilson Street on the 22nd and 23rd of July serving teatime treats by day and cocktails n’ deli platters by night.

Massaoke

Part gig, part karaoke and 100% party, Massaoke’s events have been sweeping the nation and, for one night only (29th July at the Old Fruitmarket), it’s coming to Glasgow as part of Merchant City Festival. What’s Massaoke? I’m so glad you asked! A live band plays everyone’s favourite hits while the lyrics are displayed on huge screens, inviting the crowd to belt out the words together. It’s so crazy it just might work. I’ve got my ticket – see you there?

Punk Archaeology

Anyone walking around the city can see the spirit of 1970s punk well and truly lives on in Glasgow today and this one-off event delves a little deeper into punk history and culture. With a panel of guest speakers exploring punk in Scotland (and Glasgow in particular of course!), the evening will then be concluded with a special screening of Derek Jarman’s 1978 cult movie, Jubilee. Get in touch with your punk roots on 26th July at City Halls.

Merchant City Photography Tour: Glasgow Doors Open Day with Dreghorn Photography School 

The eagle-eyed (and very loyal!) amongst you may remember I had a class with Dreghorn Photography School a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’d recommend learning some tips from these guys whether you’re a beginner or seasoned snapper! They’re running two free classes (places booked via Eventbrite) on the 23rd and 29th, and will be giving their attendees exclusive access to some of the areas beautiful buildings to nail that perfect shot.

Big Feed on Tour

If you love mouthwatering street food and a friendly atmosphere, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Big Feed’s regular indoor markets which have foodies all over town swooning. Showcasing the very best of Glasgow’s indie food vendors, their events are already becoming pretty legendary so, when I heard they were going ‘on tour’ to Merchant City, I popped their dates in my diary. Catch them on Brunswick Street on the 28th, 29th and 30th of this month.

Phew! Can you believe that I’m only scratching the surface here? You can find out more about these events, plus the ENTIRE Merchant City Festival 2017 programme, here!

Will you be visiting the festival this year? And what are some of your favourite things about Glasgow in summer?