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.
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.
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!
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?