So, in January, I milked my birthday celebrations as always and had a girly weekend in Bristol. The only plan we had was vintage shopping, tea and cakes and plenty of eating out. We hung out in Stokes Croft for the whole weekend. The first time I ever spent any significant time in this area, someone tried to mug me, I turned into She-Ra – the perpetrator looked pretty shocked, and ran away. I may dress like a 1940’s housewife, but I still like to think I’m a badass when needs be. I have loved Stokes Croft ever since.
One place that really wowed us this weekend was The Runcible Spoon.
A tiny place that was originally Cafe Kino (a vegetarian collective-run cafe), which has now moved down the hill and across the road. The service was too-cool-for-school nonchelant but it didn’t matter. It’s a tiny place, with a small kitchen and it was pretty busy. They gave us free appetisers (Stitchelton and Brocolli Soup) served in wee vintage cups. I hate blue cheese, but this was rocking. I then had a Stitchelton, apple, celeriac and walnut salad (my idea of hell due to the blue cheese) but I was hungry and wanted to line my stomach. This salad was banging. The creamy mild blue cheese was beautiful and the combo of the nuts and fruit with my favourite celeriac was lovely. My main was a vegetarian suet pud with sweet potato puree and purple sprouting brocolli, again, very very nice indeed. This was served with a red onion marmelade with is pretty ace and similar to one of mine – recipe blog to follow.
It’s worth mentioning at this stage that there’s only one vegetarian option on the menu, because it’s a tiny menu with just three options. It’s worth checking before you go, just in case you don’t fancy what’s on offer.
The two other places we ate were not so spectacular. The Social in Stokes Croft was good, more interesting than usual pub grub, so thumbs up there. I had an open sandwich (cheese on toast) with some very lovely chutney and chunky chips.
The Old Bookshop in Bedminster was disappointing. This new venue is very easy on the eye. Full of trinkets and magical things to look at and a beauty of a tiled bar. The menu read beautifully. I chose tapas dishes to sharesy with my mate Sian. The risotto-stuffed peppers weren’t cooked – the risotto needed another 10 minutes. There is nothing quite so yuck as an over-nutty risotto. The mushrooms were soggy. The Patatas Bravas were too sweet. It did not hit the spot. Did I say anything? Nope. I was too hungover. It’s a fairly new place though, so I’ll let them settle in and give it another go as the venue was ace, staff friendly, and it’s only a 10 minute walk from my best bud’s abode.
I didn’t go to specific vegetarian eateries in Bristol this time around as I have been to all of them before and we all wanted to explore and venture to places none of us had ever been (three of the girls reside in Brizzle). I’ve listed my favourites below…
I do love Bristol. In all its culinary glory.
Thali Cafe – began in festivals (if you go to Green Man Festival, you’ll have eaten a Thali Cafe dish or two for sure) and now there’s three cafes in Bristol. Beware though as they’re not all veggie any more. I really hate the smell of fishy fish, so I usually avoid the Thali Cafe that serves fish dishes. Eeek. But now I’ve heard all venues serve meat AND fish. Not happy.
Cafe Kino – A vegetarian collective cafe. Nice food. Shiny new venue.
Cafe Maitreya Social – Maitreya was one of my favourites in its old home in Easton, but I have yet to visit the new place. They now “showcase some of the city’s thriving artistic talent through live music events, performances, and exhibitions of local art & illustration” sounds a-ok to me.
Souk Kitchen – one of my favourite Bristol eateries. Halloumi to die for. Nuff said. If I’m really honest, this is the place I stole my halloumi and pear recipe from…
Bordeaux Quay – A splurgey-place to eat for a special occasion (in my world) drink desert wine with deserts that are to die for. Not the best array of vegetarian choices, but what’s there is pretty ace. At the moment, one of the vegetarian starters is a salad of deep fried globe artichoke & radicchio with roast garlic purée. I heart artichoke.