Sunday, 20 January 2013



The other day we had lunch at a vegetarian café, The Green Way Café in Matlock, Derbyshire.   We aren’t vegetarians although we eat meat only rarely. Most of our protein comes from fish - we're big on fish.

This is the second vegetarian café we’ve tried recently. The first was the Toucan in Minehead which we enjoyed so  much it prompted us to try the one in Matlock.

The Green Way is small, with about five tables, but for us the ambience is just right. I don’t know what it is exactly – a kind of friendly and genially relaxed earnestness. Whatever it is, it works for us. We both had cheesy leek parcels with an excellent salad and a simple traditional dressing. The salad was a treat - far more complex and interesting than anything we could possibly produce at home. 

Whatever it is, the food, the ambience or both, this unassuming little café  is the kind of place that suits us. We don’t go big on fine dining, paying eye-watering prices for bits and pieces piled in the middle of an otherwise empty plate. A café lunch is more our style.

I suppose people opt for a vegetarian diet for many reasons and with many interpretations of what constitutes vegetarian.

It is certainly more fashionable and socially positive than once upon a time. Vegetarian options on restaurant menus are now the norm, although I often sense a slightly tacked on feel. Steak house with veggie option doesn't strike the right note somehow.

Our only problem with vegetarian food is that we aren’t very good at preparing it ourselves. I do a decent vegetable curry and my wife does an excellent goat's cheese tart, but that’s about it, apart from some veggie burgers from Sainsbury's which aren't bad. 

Years ago I tried to make bean-based burgers and kebabs, but they weren’t much good. Actually that's rather close to bigging them up.

So we’ll pay a visit to The Green Way again and maybe pick up a few tips. Once all the global warming has thawed.


Scrobs... said...

Mrs S uses most of the veg we grow on the patch in enormous soups, with only meat stock, then several tons of leeks, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, kale (for colour), runner beans, squash, plus some dried lentils, and some small pasta as well, and I'm expected to walk the dog after all that...

Anonymous said...

Boil up mushrooms, make mauve sauce with liquor then stir in cubes of chopped Granovita Nut Luncheon. Serve with spud and greens of choice - delish.

Not easy to find, my local healthfood shop no longer stocks it preferring high-priced pills and potions.

Angus Dei said...

Being a carnivore I prefer to chew on dead animals, chickens, lambs, cows, deer and if available an 'Orse or two, veggies do make a nice side plate though:)

Demetrius said...

Veggie dishes can be very tasty and filling but need a variety and balance and ways of handling that differ from those of most meat dishes. My house trained boss says it is a different way of thinking.

A K Haart said...

Scrobs - I'd forgotten soups. Mrs H does some tasty veg soups mostly with odds and ends we have in the fridge.

Roger - I'll look out for that. We have no nearby healthfood shop unfortunately.

Angus - deer? That's posh!

Demetrius - I agree, veggie dishes are tasty and different which is good enough for us. We probably need a good veggie recipe book.

Sam Vega said...

First law of vegetarian cookery - leave burgers to the experts. They have the right type of culinary adhesive. My burgers look more like a rather dry soup or curry.

James Higham said...

Now, have you become vegan or just vegie, AKH?

A K Haart said...

Sam - I've given up on making burgers - too tricky.

James - neither, but veggie food is tasty and it makes a change.

Angus Dei said...

just the odd one that jumps out infront of the Honda AK:)