So, as everybody who knows me (save those living in a nuclear bunker) are aware, I took part in Veganuary last month. And I was truly surprised by how easy I found it, even as a self-confirmed fromage-aholic. It inspired me to try of new recipes, eat loads of veg and, thanks to the array of restaurants who got involved in the scheme, eating out as a vegan wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d imagined.
But, even with the tide firmly turning in favour of eateries offering more plant-based options for customers to choose from, there are some places which as a vegan you wouldn’t really consider venturing to – and Meat Liquor is one of them. So, when Meat Liquor invited me to come and sample their new veggie / vegan range I was pretty curious.
Meat Liquor has vegan options?!
Yes, I thought there had been some terrible misunderstanding too. Surely a restaurant with the word ‘meat’ in the title that specialises in American style fast food is no place for a vegan to dine. But, I was assured by Sally, the friendly manager of the Meat Liquor Brighton branch, that there were in fact several fully vegan options on the menu to choose from. And many more veggie dishes which could be adapted. Interesting!
Feeling as though I was due an indulgent meal after eating so many veggies throughout the month, we pondered the menu and looked forward to eating something deep fried and delicious. It was nice to see so much variety available for veggies and vegans rather than just one token option -or as you find in many fast food style restaurants, none at all.
We started proceedings with one of the special ‘dry-ish’ cocktails. These were a colourful collection of juices which can be ordered without alcohol (dry) or with alcohol (wet?!). Naturally we opted for the alcoholic option. I had the root 69 which was beetroot, fresh lemon juice and soda with a shot of ocho blanco, and was really impressed! I don’t like overly-sweet drinks so this was a real hit for me. Plus it had vegetables in it so therefore must be healthy…That’s just science.
The blue-corn tortilla chips we had took me straight back to Mexico, I’ve never seen them in a restaurant back home until now so it was great to be able to try them again. For those of you unsure what a blue tortilla chip is all about: Blue corn is the new yellow corn, get with the program! I steered clear of the dip they were served with as it wasn’t vegan but it was made from cheese and also contained beer so sounded like a winner for those not participating in veganuary – my dining companions (Susie of Love Food Brighton and the lovely Sarah F) happily polished it off on my behalf.
For mains we shared the hippie burger, black bean chilli fries, fried pickles, satan fingers and onion rings (which weren’t listed as vegan on the menu but we were informed were). Yes, you are correct, that is a lot of food.
Highlights included to be the hippie burger, as it’s always exciting to be offered a veggie burger option that isn’t halloumi (especially when one isn’t eating cheese). The chilli fries were great, especially as they are the super skinny fries which are my fave. I also enjoyed the satan fingers because you don’t often see satan on a menu, plus I’m spice-fiend and these were hot and well-seasoned. My only complaint would be that they were pretty greasy but I guess that comes with the territory when you are eating a tray –or trough- of deep-fried food.
All in all we had a great meal, were pleasantly surprised by the number and quality of veggie / vegan dishes available and enjoyed ourselves – particularly fuelled by those tasty “dryish” cocktails. The food at Meat Liquor is very indulgent though so don’t skip the gym, arrive hungry and expect to leave drunk, extremely full and swearing blind you’ll never eat anything fried ever again… until the next time.