So we went to visit my Dad in Tockwith, near York and decided to go out for tea on the way back.
"You want to go to go to Monk's Cross, it's great, they have a Giraffe!" Said Dad, Giraffe seems to be his new favorite place to eat.
Now, if you've read my previous blog post about the Trafford Centre, you will know my dismay that the Giraffe there do not sell their only vegan option. So out of interest, we took my Dad's advice and went to visit the wonder that is Monk's Cross.
When we got there, we were a little disappointed. Bolton Middlebrook beats this place hands down. The Giraffe didn't even sell the vegan option, and the only other viable option was Nandos, and if I wanted to go there, well I could just go to Middlebrook and then drag The Boy round the new Lifestyle section of the huge TESCO and then the awesome health food shop inside the Tesco that sells tons of vegan goodies too.
So after a bit of a tantrum from me (I don't cope well with hunger) we decided to head to York and visit El Piano, a vegan and gluten free restaurant in York centre which also has two other branches in Malaga and Granada in Spain.
We got there, got seated and then came the hard part of figuring out the menu- the starters are pretty straight forward, however it was the main that confused us but basically you order a hot dish, some fritters and then a salad.
For starters we both ordered tempura vegetables in a ginger beer batter which came with a teriyaki sauce. For drinks, The Boy ordered a Fentimans Victorian lemonade and I ordered a toffee shake with coconut milk (you could also choose to have it with rice or soya milk).
We both enjoyed our starters, but then tempura vegetables will always get a thumbs up from us. The only criticism I had was the carrots could have been cooked a bit longer. As for my shake, it tasted quite strongly of banana and at first I thought that maybe they had got my order wrong as there was a banana shake on the menu, however the waiter confirmed that it was suppose to have banana in and kindly added more toffee for me. I'm not the greatest fan of raw banana, and even after the extra toffee it tasted quite strongly of banana. I may have misread the menu wrong, but this isn't something I would order again.
Unfortunately, my phone doesn't seem to have saved the pictures I took of the rest of the meal, so you'll just have to use your imagination!
For mains I went with sweet and sour tofu, croquetas (which also had banana in, but I think the flavour mellows on cooking) and hummus, The Boy had moussaka, falafels and hummus. I was a little disappointed with the tofu, there was a distinct lack of tofu and mostly consisted of onions, however the croquetas and hummus were super tasty (especially the hummus), The Boy really enjoyed his meal, and after reassuring me that the moussaka wasn't that creamy I think I might try it if we visit again. Whilst waiting for the main, The Boy spotted that the table behind us had ordered a jug of sangria and despite driving and therefore only being allowed a glass and a half, insisted that we ordered one. Him being limited to a glass and a half meant that I got to drink the rest of it!
Now I don't often get the option of dessert when we eat out, so despite being full to bursting (not helped by my new skirt I bought off ebay that is a little on the tight side!) I insisted on ordering cake. The Boy ordered the carrot cake, whereas my trained eye instantly spotted the chocolate mousse pie. Both desserts were lovely, the mousse pie was stodgy just as a chocolate dessert should be, and the carrot cake was light with a little spice.
I would definitely go here again, I usually go to omni restaurants, so to going to a place where I could have everything off the menu was amazing, and not having to worry about whether the wine was vegan was great too. However, the biggest bonus was that The Boy loved it!