Veggie Breakfast Watch: Good Morning Muffin at Leon, Birmingham.


  

Leon has been in Birmingham Street Station now for a few months since Grand Central opened serving its natural fast food and always seems to have a steady flow of people visiting. It’s range of food it offers is varied and caters well for Vegetarians and Vegans.  

Set in a light and airy cafe, it’s laid back atmosphere is the perfect kill some time place for those getting a train with plenty of floor space for luggage, or a relaxed funky lunch spot for those wanting something a bit different and it’s a decent place to bring children though it may be a bit short of space at busy times. It can be popular. Leon have also added outside tables in the forecourt of the station. 

I previously reviewed them last year and found the Vegetarian Hot Box I ate to be excellent and with many other vegan and veggie dishes on the menu its a good stop off point at lunchtime. See my review below:

https://t.co/PTWPKz2ZEt

Having tried their breakfast Vegetarian Good Morning Muffin a few weeks ago before I got a train I found myself very early one Saturday morning (as it opened at 6.30am) with Ruth in Leon again and had another for good measure. 

The Good Morning Muffin is a Roasted Portabello Mushroom, Free Range Egg, Spinach and Leon made Ketchup served in a lightly toasted English Muffin. Cost £3.75.

  

Take a runny egg, chunky roasted portabello mushrooms, delicate spinach and a tangy, and subtly spiced ketchup and you have a substantial early morning wake me up, or filling sustenance on the train. The Good Morning Muffin, felt light, not oily or fatty but a healthier alternative to some of the other places nearby. The portabello mushrooms were firm and are the meatier of the mushrooms with an earthier texture  and worked well with the tangy ketchup and oozy runny egg which was pitch perfect. Taken with a smooth flat white (even at 6.30am) it proved to be very enjoyable. 

  

 

Leon is well worth a visit and though its a chain, (arriving in London a little later discovered they are taking over our capital, but not the rest of the UK just yet) it’s ethos and menu selection for Vegetarians and Vegans is well worth discovering and for a quick breakfast, it’s recommended. 

     Cookbooks in Leon

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/18.PAPER_MENU_2016_JANUARY_V4.pdf

You can find Leon at Unit 25, New Street Station, B2 4QA.

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/restaurants/birmingham/

   
   

#Veggiebreakfastwatch: Birmingham Breakfast Club at Simpsons Restaurant. 


   

Ruth and I have been to Michelin Starred Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston, Birmingham a number of times since we met in 2007. 

We’ve been to celebrate Christmas, Valentine’s and at various other celebratory occasions and always found the food to be excellent and the venue a true place to celebrate. 

So to be invited with Ruth to the second exclusive and ticketed  Birmingham Breakfast Club (http://www.birminghambreakfastclub.co.uk/Michelin Starred three course breakfast was both thrilling and a lovely opportunity to try out the food of new head chef Nathan Eades formally of Epi Restaurant in Bromsgrove and whose vegetarian food so wowed me last year when I visited Epi. 

Simpsons has recently had a refurbishment with all of the restaurant area been revamped into a more minimalist airy space, which has a Scandinavian feel about it. Gone were the table cloths of before and the simple tables and clever use of space and light reminded me of Simon Rogan’s flagship restaurant in the Lake District L’Enclume. (My favourite meal ever).

Been shown the main single spaced empty dining room space was a thrill, and left me impressed by the use of space, the atmosphere and use of natural light from the beautiful garden space outside (with an alfresco decking dining space)  

It’s fresh modern style equated itself well for breakfast.

Simon Steggles (@Stegabyte) chief Birmingham Breakfast Club reviewer of breakfasts across the city did the honours and had also arranged for myself and fellow diners to see inside the kitchen at the end of the breakfast. 
    
  Main dining room.  Our smart breakfast table.

  

We began with a crunchy sourdough (sorry no photo) of excellent quality with a soft butter that melted in the mouth (though would have liked another slice).

A mixture of fresh Apple and freshly squeezed orange juice were also offered. The orange juice again of superb quality and very welcome. 

The three courses were presented beautifully and had all the hallmarks of Nathan’s delicate intricacy and presentation of more unusual and seasonal veggie ingredients. 

  

1) Celeriac: Celeriac and Potato Hash, lingonberries, celery.

A delicate and adventurous start. The hash lifted by the clear flavours of celeriac. The lingonberries (an edible fruit with a slightly acidic taste) a nice addition and offered a lovely red glow on top of the golden hash.

For me the standout dish. The dish that demonstrated chef Nathan’s cooking ethos perfectly. Simple ingredients presented well. An adventurous veggie option. 
  

  Salsify and Eggs: Maple roasted salsify, fried duck egg. French toast, maple mascarpone. 

Again a beautiful take on ‘bacon and eggs’ which was the non veggie version. A lovely runny Duck Egg, perfectly fried and set off by the beautifully named salsify (love that word, but a fantastic root vegetable) like pencils holding the egg up high the salsify, maple sweet and silky Offered new possibilities to a standard dish. Presented with the lush rich mascarpone, which I loved. Delicious.

  What an egg!

  

3) Cereal: Cornflake Pannacotta, milk foam. 

The ‘pudding’ of breakfast at Simpsons. Cornflakes to finish a meal, whatever next? Panna cotta infused with the cereal. Perfectly creamy, refreshingly indulgent even and a lovely way to end a superb breakfast. 

  

The Michelin Starred breakfast at Simpsons was a lovely experience, nice company (we all sat on one long table) delucious and exceptionally prepared food by Nathan Eades (who I later found out dis all the cooking himself without any assistance) was a fun way to spend a morning. It whetted the appetite to return for dinner with Ruth next year for another celebratory meal. It also proved that under the head chefship of Nathan Simpsons will be a standout restaurant for Vegetarians to visit in Birmingham. Thanks chef!

  Espresso at Simpsons

  Main Dining room with garden view.

  Gardens at Simpsons

    In the kitchens of Simpsons. Where art and sweat meet. 

  Bar area at Simpsons

  
    Cow Milk jug. Sweet!

 Main Dining room

A word of thanks to Simon for inviting myself and Ruth to the Michelin Breakfast at Simpsons. The cost was £25 per person (superb value).

We paid for our breakfast in full and my review is honest as always. 

If you like my veggie breakfast reviews then check out others in my blog. 

Plus from next year I will be looking after the veggie part of the Birmingham Breakfast Club website:

http://www.birminghambreakfastclub.co.uk/ 

Please Keep checking back for my veggie reviews. 

http://www.twitter.com/BrumBrekkieClub

https://www.facebook.com/BirminghamBreakfastClub

For details about the Birmingham Breakfast club see the link here:

http://www.birminghambreakfastclub.co.uk/full-english-about-us

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Simpsons restaurant, 20 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3DU.

0121-4543434

http://www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/simpsons_rest

#Veggiebreakfastwatch: Kitchen Garden Cafe: Kings Heath.


The full veggie as I call it can come in many different forms. Some with veggie sausage, some without, some with fried egg, some with scrambled. Some with beans on the plate, some (my preference) in its own pot. There’s no right or wrong way, but for me generally it’s all in the egg. The egg, and how it’s made, can make or break a breakfast. I always hope it oozes and has a lively bright yellow yolk. But then that’s the thing about eggs, the joy is in the beholder. The choice is yours. At least at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath it’s free range and in this case organic. 

  
  
The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road In Kings Heath is a funky kind of place. It’s wooden rustic tables look like they’ve seen a lot of the years. It’s their ethos of organic produce and veggie friendly menu that makes this place a jewel in Kings Heath. With a garden centre, deli and live music and events programme attached to it, it’s a place for all occasions and has a real community feel. 

There are numerous vegetarian breakfast options, that also include the veggie hash potato with onions with a choice of grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a free range egg, (see review below)  pancakes and eggs florentine. 

http://t.co/aFE5Y6AVLD

The Kitchen Garden Full Vegetarian includes veggie sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, free range egg (fried or poached) grilled tomato, fries slice and toast (Brown or white) for a bargain £6.95. 

  
It’s a delicious breakfast, in fact almost perfect. Good veggie sausages, a perfect runny fried egg. Only where it falls down is with the mushrooms, which are a bit hard I this occasion, but I’ve had it before when they’ve been perfectly cooked. The beans are on the plate (not to everyone’s taste, but ok for me.) I like the fried bread slice. Always welcome, and not greasy or oily but just enough to make it fried bread, so not too unhealthy. 

I like the Kitchen Garden Full veggie. It’s a good size, good value and with a coffee or tea a nice way to begin the day in a funky ethical and free range kind of place. Again service is friendly, relaxed and staff are happy to adapt the dish for dietary or other requirements (such as the beans) yes you Ruth!

My parents also enjoyed their veggie breakfasts and have become big fans of The Kitchen Garden Cafes home cooked food. 

It’s a lovely place for any time of day. Though breakfasts are only served until 12. 

      

     For pudding. 

  Cappucino 

  For afters Homemade Fruit Cake. 

   

          
   
 

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

I paid for my breakfast. All opinions are my own. 

You can find The Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 

Meat Free Monday’s: The Vegan Grindhouse at The Mockingbird in Digbeth Birmingham. 


       
 

Monday’s will never be the same if you are a Vegan or Veggie in Birmingham. 

The news is that esteemed and popular Vegan Street food traders The Vegan Grindhouse are taking over The Mockingbird at The Custard Factories kitchen all day on a Monday from August 10th for the rest of this year for a Meat-Free Monday’s special.

  

BIRMINGHAM INDEPENDENT VENUE AND POPULAR VEGAN STREET FOOD COMPANY TEAM UP FOR MEAT FREE MONDAYS STARTING MONDAY 10TH AUGUST.

The teams behind the successful Mockingbird Theatre, Bistro & Bar and Midlands based vegan street-food company The Vegan Grindhouse have collaborated to host a new destination event every Monday in Digbeth, Birmingham.

The event, The Vegan Grindhouse presents Meat Free Monday’s at The Mockingbird which is taking place every Monday from 10th August at Mockinbird Theatre Bistro and Bar, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA. 

The Vegan Grindhouse chefs will be serving up an all-vegan Americana style brunch menu from 11am-2pm, featuring waffles, scrambled tofu, granola, BLT and bagels. 

Then every Monday evening from 5-9pm there will be a new menu featuring food from different regions of the USA, such as burritos, Philly cheesesteaks, meatball marinara subs, mac’n’cheese and all American sides and desserts. There will be gluten free options available on each menu also. 

In addition to the food, Meat Free Mondays will also feature free film screenings in the theatre, music and a range of vegan beers, soft drinks and plant-based milks for coffees and teas.

Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “We are so excited to take on this weekly residency at The Mockingbird. To give people a fully vegan restaurant menu every Monday is a great way to promote the Meat Free Monday message of reducing or eliminating their meat and dairy intake due to health, environmental or ethical reasons and this is a great opportunity for people to try exciting new vegan food and see why going meat free is a viable alternative diet and lifestyle.”

The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox travels around the wider Midlands area to markets, festivals and street-food events to bring their high-end Americana handmade organic vegan food to a wide range of customers. 

They have traded across the UK including Birmingham, Warwickshire, Blackpool, Manchester, Wales and London since starting the business in April 2014 and have many more events booked throughout this year working with some of the big names in Street Food events.

The Vegan Grindhouse is a small independent all-vegan mobile catering company from the West Midlands, who produce organic, fair trade, cruelty-free tasty vegan Americana street-food and treats.

The Dinner menu will change each week and will be announced prior to the Monday. 

Contact the venue for reservations or just turn up on the day/night. 
So introduce non vegans and veggies to a meat free meal with new dishes not served up by The Vegan Grindhouse on their truck. 

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/2015/08/exciting-announcement-meat-free-mondays.html?m=1

The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 YAA. 

   
 

  
Dinner menu for The Vegan Grindhouse Meat Free Mondays. 

#Veggiebreakfastbrunchwatch: Kitchen Garden: Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


  
If you thought that the High Street was all that Kings Heath in South Birmingham offered then think again. Tucked down York Road, is a gem that when explored brings much reward. 

  
Through some smart iron gates, lies a pathway that meanders through an organic garden centre, past an organic farm shop and deli and thus to an old brick Mediterranean style patio and court yard with a cafe. 

The garden centre is one of the jewels of Kings Heath and I spend many a time mooching through pots and snapping up veg plants and perennials for my new garden. It’s an oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of busy city life and a sun trap with shades on and free from pesticides. 

The farm and deli shop sells local produce from organic free range eggs, home made pies, pasties, sausage rolls. Plus an array of organic wines, cheese, beers, jams and preserves which are made in house. 

  
   
  

 
The Kitchen Garden was renovated and restored and used to be in part a former blacksmiths and also a hard ware shop. It’s a diverse community enterprise that serves the area well, and is a great space for families ( it has a specially created children’s area and is a meeting place for families). 

The Kitchen Garden has a bohemian vibe, with its hand painted signs, pots of herbs, plants, garden statues, and cosy cafe. It’s a community one stop shop, and at night you can find live music, comedy and poetry (poetry bites, that I’ve lustily partaken in many times). It’s also been a temporary home to many pop up restaurants, Epi, with chef Nathan Eades, Blue Rabbit, and currently Nomad until the end of August.

  
Within the cafe you will find an excellent choice for Vegetarians and Vegans. Using the best seasonal, local and fair traded produce including organic when possible. It’s a relaxed space to be, to socialise, to recover from the night before or to work. They have free wi-fi access. 

The menu covers breakfast, including a full veggie, free range eggs, Huevos Rancheros, eggs florentine, continental pastries, bagels and the Hash Potato with onions. Plus fair trade, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, herbal teas and juices. This is served until midday from 8am. 

Having been before I’ve eaten and enjoyed the Vegetarian Breakfast which includes veggie sausages, free range egg (fried or poached) mushrooms, baked beans, grilled tomato, fried slice and extra thick toast. A feast of the veggie kind for £6.95. A bargain. 

On this occasion I decided to try the Kitchen Garden’s famous Hash Potato with onions with extra Grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a poached egg. With coffee. 

   

 
I have to say, it’s one of the best veggie breakfast items I’ve had for a long time. It was different. A lovely feast of flavours, crunchy Mediterranean veg, with a runny poached egg, with fried onions and fluffy potato. Beautiful. Maybe that’s why it’s famous. Maybe in hindsight it would have worked better for me with a fried egg, but I’m funny with eggs…next time. That though was my mistake and my personal preference, a lovely veggie breakfast for just short of £6.

   
 Kitchen Garden cafe’s rustic chunky wooden tables, watch the wobbling ones😀

Inside the cafe is light, airy, with art on the walls from local artists. It feels a chilled out spot, away from the main streets, an oasis to create and wile away time. I like the rustic charm, the nooks and the homely feel. It’s represents all that’s good about Kings Heath, the community and the slightly alternative vibe. 

It’s one of the best places for veggies in the area, it’s intent on creating something tranquil and satisfying. 

Giving back more than you imagine when you enter 17 York Road. 

   
   
   
   
Lunch is served from 12-3pm. For menu see below. Please note items may change. 

http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk/index.php

http://www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk/cafe.php?pid=lsm&lsm_id=197

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊

My breakfast was paid for in full. My thoughts and opinions are my own and Honest as always. 

Kitchen Garden, 17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7SA. 0121-443-4725.

For details of events. Restaurants, and contact information see their website. 

Kitchen Garden also has a sister bar and eatery two doors down called Fletchers serving food and drinks daily. 

Birmingham Independents day: Saturday July 4th. 


On Saturday 4th July, while America celebrates its Independence Day, BrumHour invites you to share #BrumIndependentsDay across social media and support your local businesses. 

If you don’t know #BrumHour and use Twitter then you should make yourself familiar with it. Every Sunday from 8-9pm is Brum Hour where the opportunity is there to shout out your business, blog or whatever takes your fancy, a new shop you’ve found, an event or just a jolly good meal. It’s a very supportive hour, and all the better for it I believe. 

Dave Massey from BrumHour (and I quote) said “I’ve seen businesses across the UK take part in Small Business Saturday in previous years and I wanted to do a version we could do in Birmingham”. Dave works hard to promote the Birmingham scene and has been a massive support to my blog and his posts on his blog are eclectic and interesting. 

https://brumhour.wordpress.com/ 

This Saturday join in using #BrumIndependentsDay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
For me it’s about highlighting great Independent businesses in and around Birmingham and shouting out that they are the cornerstone of all that’s good about Birmingham and what makes this city unique, alive and current. And I believe it’s fun to explore. 

Next week in fact sees pop up kings Two Cats open up their permanent restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter, with some good veggie options. Stay tuned for more. 
Also a new Greek deli called Treat has opened in the Great Western Arcade and seems to be doing a good trade. Expect fresh salads, pies, figs, cheese, and Greek coffee. This joins All Greek Deli on Stephenson Street near New Street station. 

Recently Harborne has welcomed Paradice Gelateria to its indie ranks.   Serving cooling ice cream, waffles, deserts and drinks. 

   
   
A fantastic Flat White at independent coffee shops Yorks Colmore Row and Yorks Bakery Newhall Street. 

   

 

  
Amantia Mediterranean and Spanish  restaurant Birmingham City centre. 

   
 
Vegetarian Veg out Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham

   

   
Vegetarian Sunday lunch at The Plough Harborne. 

   

 
Gas Street Social and its veggie brunch #allyoucaneatbrunch Mailbox Birmingham. 

  

Blue Ginger restaurant Kings Heath. 

   

 
Henry Wong in Harborne

   

   

    
Veggie tapas, courgette salad and Gin Martini at Fletchers Bar in Kings Heath

   

    
 
Veggie breakfast bap, flat white and cappuccino at Grand Central Kitchen opposite New Street Station

   

 
Flat white at Faculty Coffee and tea in Piccadilly Arcade in City Centre. 

   

 
Veggie burger at The Victoria pub on John Bright Street. 

   

 
Coffee or breakfast  at Cherry Reds on John Bright Street City Centre and York Road, Kings Heath 

Of course I can’t mention Independents in Birmingham without mentioning independent Birmingham and the great work that Joe does in the city 

For details of the many independents in Birmingham not just food take a look at their website. 

App coming soon. 😄👍

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/

Also bag yourself an IB Card via their website for discounts at many independent establishments in Birmingham. 

For more great independents check out the Colmore Business District Food Festival on the 4th July in Victoria Square. 

  

See my post for traders and menus. 

http://t.co/FtCNg5Hwr0

Thanks for reading and have fun. 

Andy 😊