Friday, 13 February 2015

Hands down to the Lansdowne.

On Wednesday, G had to venture into Leicester to buy some Okra for a curry he's making me, and one that I believe will be featuring on the blog courtesy of Sarah at a later date! I decided to tag along mainly for one reason: I wanted to try out the vegan menu at the Lansdowne pub.

Located on the London road, a mere five minute walk from the train station, the Lansdowne is part of the Orange Tree group. I'd seen another vegan foodie based in Leicester talk about the place so I thought I'd venture there myself, and after nosing at the menu I was eager to get my chops around some polenta fries!

Now the place has a really nice interior, with a mixture of beautifully designed furniture, and just a relaxed atmosphere. We arrived for opening at 12, and within the first half an hour a steady flow of customers entered- which I think is always a good sign.

Like I said I did look at their autumn menu before we went, and had my heart settled on their Mediterranean Vegetable stew- full of butternut squash, grilled pepper, aubergine and artichokes in a rich red pepper sauce served with mashed flageolet beans. But I wasn't hungry enough for it, so instead settled on the homemade raw carrot hummus and grilled veg sandwich on a nice ciabatta. It's nice to see on their menu that they source their breads from a local Leicestershire bakery. I love businesses that are conscientious of their stock sourcing- and supporting local trade!

I upgraded the sarnie (for £2) to make sure I had the chance to sample the polenta fries, and G had a veggie burger, consisting of halloumi & sweet potato which, like their other burgers, comes with the choice polenta fries or normal wedges. And oh boy, those fries were divine. Nice crispy edge and chewy soft middle. I'm not sure how I've never made them before, especially with a bag of polenta sitting in the back of the cupboard. Let's just say, the polenta won't be staying there forever, and with a vegan polenta recipe in my newest cookbook, I shall definitely be making my own. 

Now, the restaurant was great. Whenever I had any questions about the food the staff were super accommodating and quick to get answers. The deserts board seemed to have no vegan options but when asked the kitchen gave me the option of a lemon sorbet or mixed berry samosas. Being pretty full, and with neither option screaming out to me I declined. 

One thing that niggled me: the lack of sandwich/lunchtime/lighter eating choices for vegans. Don't get me wrong, what I had was absolutely tasty, filling and satisfying. I just wish there had been a tad more variety. Their other vegan dish choices seemed more like an evening meal affair. 

Saying that, I shall be going back (this time in the evening) to make sure I get a taste of that appealing Mediterranean stew. Even G said he'll go for a vegan option next time.

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