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?

The Glasgow Veggie Diaries: The Spanish Butcher

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

I know what you might be thinking (and I don’t blame you!). Why visit a place called The Spanish Butcher if you don’t eat meat? The Spanish BUTCHER. Isn’t the hint in the name? The choices in vegetarian dishes are hardly going to be spectacular… are they?

But here’s why I couldn’t wait to visit The Spanish Butcher recently: firstly, the restaurant is the latest venture from the award-winning team behind some of Glasgow’s best-loved eateries, Hutchesons and The Butchershop. This filled me with a sense of confidence that I would have a good time, no matter what. I’ve enjoyed enough meals at these restaurants to expect fresh ingredients and attention to detail, so I was looking forward to seeing what would be on the menu.

The Restaurant

You can find The Spanish Butcher tucked away on Miller Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Walk through the door, pull back the Black Lodge-esque thick curtains and the modern, chic, softly-lit interior will reveal itself. The bar and dining areas have more than a hint of NYC about them and the relaxed atmosphere makes it all too easy to stay a while and have a drink, a light bite or a slap-up meal.

First things first (AKA the starters)

The pre-theatre menu, our waiter explained, is revised regularly to keep things fresh and seasonal. So today I’ll be sharing details of what I had to eat during my visit – just bear in mind that the menu might have changed by the time you read this!

To start, I had the gazpacho which, on the set menu, was the only vegetarian option. That being said, of the three starters to choose from, there was one meat-based dish, one seafood option (mussels, which my gal pal Casci opted for – pictured above) plus the gazpacho. If you ask me, that’s a pretty even spread, right? And I REALLY enjoyed the gazpacho, which was tangy and refreshing – I actually agreed that serving it warm would have spoiled it (as someone that has a whole Pinterest board dedicated to hearty, warming soup recipes – and let’s not dwell on how nerdy THAT just sounded – I was surprised by my enthusiastic reaction. Cold soup? Who even am I anymore?!).

The main event

Again, there was a fair spread of dishes on the menu – with something for most tastes. The veggie option here was the cauliflower ‘steak’, which I was intrigued by! When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the smell – rich and flavoursome. This was down to the roasted medditeranean vegetables that accompanied the dish, and their juices were almost marinating the flat-iron ‘steak’ in front of me.

What impressed me most about this main was that it wasn’t an afterthought – it would have been really easy to put a mushroom risotto on the menu and call it a day. But this felt equal to the other dishes, and, most importantly, it tasted amazing.

Just desserts

There was no chocolate on the dessert menu (scandalous!) but after two tasty courses, I was grateful for something a bit lighter! I opted for the lemon yoghurt mousse, which was served with crushed pistachio and shortbread. Sweet and tart, it was a lovely end to the meal. No-one likes feeling like they need to stop for a food-fatigue break on the walk home from the restaurant (and believe me, I know what I’m talking about – those city centre benches come in handy sometimes!), and I ate every spoonful of my mousse without feeling ready to pop afterwards!

Final thoughts

Yes, The Spanish Butcher specialises in showcasing quality meat sourced from Spain. Yes, it does aim to present these ingredients in a creative way that will delight foodies and leave them wanting more. But they do all of these things without leaving the vegetarians in the party high and dry – far from it. The same consideration and flair has been applied to the meat-free dishes on the menu, making the dining experience memorable for everyone. And surely, that’s what it’s all about?

Have you visited The Spanish Butcher yet? And I’m curious: what’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever pinned on Pinterest?