I’ll be honest, there’s not much that will convince me to get out of the house these days. But, when I heard that GRUB were planning an all vegan street food event for Veganuary…I knew I had to get in on the action.
So, before I get into what I ate and the event itself, here’s what the line up looked like.
Yakumama – Latin American Street Food! Serving Arepa, Wontons and Plantain Stew
Oh/Mei/Dumpling – Beautiful, tasty dumplings, handmade in Stockport
Otto-men – Mediterranean and Ottoman inspired deliciousness
Manjits Kitchen – Vegetarian Indian Street food
Fritto – Italian Street Food, making jaws drop with their fresh donuts, polenta chips and panzerotti (deep fried calzone to me and you)
In Truffle We Trust – Local chocolatey truffle goodness
Pasta Factory – Local vegan friendly restaurant who I have blogged about already here. They had their amazing homemade cheeses, crackers and pasta for sale
Los Antojitos – Vegan Mexican Kitchen, selling salsas and hot sauce
Blawd – Local bakery who bake over at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter
Coffee Cranks Coop – Awesome Manchester based workers coop, providing tea, coffee and hot chocolate
Just allow yourself a moment to take all that in.
There we go. Doesn’t it sound amazing? I spent weeks drooling over this line up.
Sadly, I couldn’t try it all (saving for top surgery is financially ruining me dontcha know) but my recent lack of appetite gave me enough funds to have a bloody good go at it. Having pals with me to share was also helpful, especially as my belly game is poor right now.
We arrived early because there was way more interest in the event than Grub anticipated and I take warnings of queuing times and traders selling out very seriously indeed. Also, more time for face stuffing.
The venue is super cool. I really like The Alphabet Brewing Co. I went to scream along to Iron Chic there last year and it’s a great space run by really cool folk. Sadly I can’t comment on the booze because both times I’ve been, I’ve not been in a drinking place but I hear very good things about it. It is pretty chilly because heat and brewing don’t mix, but if you wrap up warm it’s all good.
I had planned to go round taking loads of pictures but I somehow ended up queuing for dumplings pretty much immediately.
Oh my LORD. These were good. Really, really good. I did think they sounded a little bit healthy for my tastes but good grief, they were magic. I could eat these over and over again. Both the dumplings were frigging tasty and I really loved the sticky rice.
As soon as I finished my dumplings, I headed over to Blawd to sort out take home cake because there was no way I was gonna let it sell out while I was there. I went for the Chocolate Fudge Cake and the Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownie because chocolate and caramel beat everything.
They had some non chocolatey stuff on offer, like a Lemon and Lavender Cake and Banana Bread which looked great.
The Chocolate Fudge Cake was my favourite out of the two, really moist and the icing was super rich and delicious. I loved it. The Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownie was also pretty spectacular, sooo sweet, I think I heard my teeth whimper. I don’t want to be the guy that says ‘too sweet’ but I’ve had to save the rest for later because it was too much for one sitting for me.
As soon as I was caked up, I caught a glimpse of my friends Arepa from Yakumama and was offered a Wonton to try.
It was so good that I ran back to the queues for more food. It was a long wait, I think I was there for nearly 30 minutes as it had got veeerrry busy by this point. Totally worth it when I ended up with one of these in my hands.
I split this with a friend of mine to save tummy space. It was incredible. By far my favourite thing at the event. Delicious. It had all my favourite things, black beans, guac, plantain, chimmichurri… I was kind of sad I only had half of one but I also spent that queuing time next to Fritto and had already decided to get their £10 deal..
So that’s where I ate my Arepa…in the queue for fried food. I’d like to say I do this struggle for you dear readers, but that would be a lie. I queued for a long time. My Arepa was finished within seconds and I lost all feeling in my toes. I got to watch all the doggos visit the dog bar though, so that was good fun.
I finally got my hands on ALL THE FRIED THINGS! Polenta Chips, a Donut and this BEAST of a fried Calzone (I had to steal the Calzone and Donut pictures from their website because I ate them before I could take my own pictures.)
I only managed a few of my polenta chips (SO GOOD) before my body gave up. I’m sorry, I told you my belly game has taken a hit in recent months. I took the donut and calzone home though and they were frigging delicious. I can say the donuts are better fresh from the fryer (I’ve had these before at Levenshulme Market y’see) but they were still good and the calzone heated up fine in the oven at home and made a great breakfast this morning.
This was the point where I just had to stop. I couldn’t eat anymore, I had plenty to take home in my bag and I’d spent a lot of money. Also, it was HEAVING at this point and folk were queuing to get in outside. I was sad not to pick up an almond cheese from Pasta Factory or any of the hot sauces from Los Antojitos. I was also silly enough not to load up with a brew or two from Coffee Cranks while I queued…next time for sure.
Because…there will be a next time! Grub have confirmed that the event was a success and they’re planning to do an all vegan event sometime soon. Yisssss!
I was also told on the way out that there is always at least one vegan option at all the non vegan events each week. This is pretty cool… but like I said, it’s hard to convince me to leave the house unless there’s plenty to gorge on, so I’ll need to keep my eye on the line up to see if those tasty Arepa’s are due to make another appearance. I will venture outside for those any day.
So thank you Grub for hosting such an awesome event. I can’t wait to see what you have planned for us vegans in the future. Keep it up!