Saturday, 20 September 2014

Vegan MoFo 2014 - Review: Brass Monkey Leith

I'm pretty sure everyone's aware of the results of the referendum, so you're probably not surprised that I didn't blog yesterday.  I actually hadn't intended on doing so today, but I had to get my laptop out to order pizza (for Mike's birthday, yay!), so I thought I might as well.

Yesterday evening I met a lovely Aussie PPKer for dinner at Brass Monkey in Leith.  I keep hearing that they have great vegan options, and they do have a really good booze selection, so we decided to give it a try.  I hadn't been there in years, and last time I only managed to get bread and olives to eat, so I figured anything had to be better than that.

First, the booze:  Both their food and drink menus are online, so you can have a look at them.  Like I said, they have a lot of good options for vegans.  My concern, of course, was the cider selection, and it doesn't disappoint.  They have Thistly Cross, which is made somewhere in the Lothians and is fantastic, as well as Jeremiah Weed (which I don't really consider cider but I guess it's not really classifiable).  I went with the Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash, which almost tastes like alcoholic root beer.  So good.  Beer-wise, they have Brew Dog and Innis & Gunn, amongst others that may or may not be sfv.

For dinner, I had the falafel burger, and Michelle had the veggie chili.

So, the falafel burger.  As you can see, the bun to burger ratio is about 3:1 (if I'm being generous), and the bun was really floury.  The burger itself wasn't great - mushy, bland, and unseasoned.  It was really only edible with the chips (which were pretty decent).  I'll note that I specifically asked for the bun to come out dry (it usually comes with some kind of onion jam and a chutney or something), so maybe they're hoping the condiments will serve for flavouring.  But you shouldn't have to rely on condiments to make something edible.

Michelle's chili, on the other hand, was actually pretty good (sorry, no pic).  I had a bite with one of the accompanying tortilla chips.  I probably wouldn't have enjoyed a whole bowl of it (British chili is just not really chili to me), but it was infinitely better than the burger.

So, a mixed bag, but only 2 entrees.  We didn't have any starters, and I didn't even bother to see if they had any vegan desserts (I doubt it - very few places do unless they're actually veg*n).  I wouldn't suggest avoiding the place because maybe that burger was off.  They also have a falafel sandwich that might be good (like, possibly actual falafel, not a slab of mashed chickpeas with veg and coriander mixed in).  And, you know, they try - they actually have quite a few vegan or veganisable options.  Ultimately, it's a pub, so if you go in expecting pub food, even if you have a bland burger, you're still gonna have a better experience than in most other pubs.  And even if you have a bad food experience, they'll getcha drunk (and much more cheaply than a lot of other pubs - I'm pretty sure I spent £2 more for the same drink at a different place).


  1. Yeah, I couldn't bring myself to post yesterday either :( I do like the Brass Monkey in Leith, but only as a pub food place which has some vegan options.