Saturday, 25 February 2012

1847 The Vegetarian Bistro

I think 1847 bistro in Manchester opened around a year ago but it was only this week I finally got round to going. All the food is vegetarian or vegan and it's more of special occasion than every day kind of place. For this sort of meal I would usually have to venture out to Yorkshire on the train to the wonderful Dandelion and Burdock so it's a welcome addition to the city centre. I forgot to take a photo of the starter but it was deep fried cubes of salt and pepper tofu with wasabi and satay and soy sauces to dip it into. Very nice consistency to the tofu and not covered in chillis like salt and pepper stuff often is which was good news as chillis don't like me very much so it was nice not to have to spend ages picking them off!

The food was really nicely presented and the photos from my rubbish camera really don't  do the presentation justice. Here's our mains - above is Chestnut and Shallot Pie, celeriac puree, roasted beetroot wedges and scalloped potatoes with a drizzle of red wine gravy. Below is Beer battered tofu with fat chips and minted mushy peas. Both were lovely and portion sizes were just right, not too overfacing which was good as I wanted to try dessert. It's just the sort of upmarket comfort food that I love.

Oops, talking of dessert - I was too busy talking and eating to remember to photograph it! It consisted of a whole vanilla poached pear with ginger sponge and Gin and tonic cake with a cucumber and black pepper granita - that's what was in the shot glass. The pear was a bit too much on the subtle side but the sponge was lovely and I enjoyed the G&T cake. I'd heard mixed reviews about it and I'm not the biggest fan of gin but it worked for me and the granita was delicious.

The name 1847 comes from the year that the Vegetarian Society was founded in Manchester. In fact one of the people who kicked it all off was a Reverend Cowherd from my home town of Salford! We went on a Wednesday and it was busy throughout the night. I'll be keeping an eye on there menu changes and would definitely go back.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Better Than Takeaway Tea

Yesterday was a really long day which involved getting up at 6am to get 2 trains to Leicester to go to a Crafts Conference and then not getting home until after 9pm. It was a really interesting day but by the time I'd travelled home on a noisy train packed with lots of people getting drunk ready for a night out in Manchester I was ready for some peace and quiet on my sofa with a DVD and some comfort food.

The plan was to grab a takeaway from Barburrito or Rice which are right next to where I get my bus home in Piccadilly. When I got off the train though I was not in the mood for either. Then I went in the Co-Op and found my new go-to almost instant tea! Italian potato gnocchi, lovely little dumplings which unlike those sold elsewhere are egg free and labelled as suitable for vegans, thank you Co-Op! Served simply with some onion and mushrooms fried in a little Vitalite tossed in some Suma sundried tomato pesto. It was the first time I've tried this ready made pesto brand and it was the nicest shop bought vegan pesto I've tried so far. This took mere minutes and so hit the spot!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Two years ago I was not having a good time in life. My personal life and work life were both in difficult places that did not get better for quite a long time.  I decided to try to do something with a positive focus for myself and took up blogging and two years today this little blog was born! In that time I've really enjoyed blogging, making new blog friends, taking part in Vegan MoFo and getting involved with setting up Cake Liberation Front and Vegan Drinks Manchester.

I don't know where this picture originally came from to credit it but let me know if you do! It made me laugh and is actually so not me. I once brought so many pinatas back from Mexico it's a wonder that I didn't get stopped for suspected smuggling, there's nothing like a good old bash with that pointy stick!

Edit: Looks like pic might be Cyanide and Happiness

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Week off

I've just had a weeks holiday from work. I was really looking forward to it. I had loads of plans to get things done on my flat. Mainly the last few bits of DIY that need doing and some painting in the bathroom from where I had to repaper from a leak from the flat above. I've been ill the whole week though and spent most of it in bed :( This last weekend has perked me up though with some nice things and lovely people. Yesterday I got a surprise delivery of Ms Cupcake cakes! 

Yum, yum. They really are the best! Ferrero Rocher, Black Forest Gateau, Vanilla and Rhubarb and Custard. I was good, I shared them with family and friends. Even the 16 month old twins had some - start em young on the quality vegan cakes!

Today I had a leisurely brunch with my friends Helen and Debbie. We got the bus just up the road to Withington to Fuel a veggie/vegan cafe that I've not been to for a while. They've revamped the menu and I must say I was very impressed!

For the vegan breakfast you get toast, marg, 2 sausages, a mix of sweet potato and potato wedges, spinach, half a grilled tomato, mushrooms and a spicy 3 bean mix. It was just the right amount of food and the flavours went really well together. They seem to have upped their vegan cake offer and there is soya milk available too.

Finally, this made me smile. I have a little etch a sketch which I keep in the bathroom. It's always interesting to see what guests do with it! This was a joint picture from Helen and Debbie. Hope you've had a good weekend too.