As I’ve said before, a carvery isn’t the obvious dining option for the vegan-about-town, however, it may surprise you to learn that there are more vegan options to choose from here than at many similar styled establishments. If you wander into a typical pub you’ll be lucky to get a baked potato and beans. More often than not, you’re simply offered chips (and who knows what fat they were deep fried in…) Cheerfully, Toby Carvery is a UK-wide chain who seem to have observed that meat-eating people have vegan mates who should be catered for.
And so it has come to pass that on their menu they have three main meals suitable for vegans. When you order them though, be sure and ask for a plate of veggies, as the ones in the main carvery area are cooked in butter. The roasties are fine though, as they’re cooked in vegetable oil.
First we have the Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Wellington (they used to have a nut roast wellington, which I remember being nice.) I’ve not tried the new version, but it looks good and I’ve had favourable reports from companions. To be honest, I rarely turn down pastry.
Next there is the Lentil Cottage Pie, which is my favourite. The lentils are always big and tasty, never a mush, and the gravy and crunchy crustiness round the edge would have most meat-eaters sold I reckon.
Last but not least, there’s the Butternut Squash Crumble, which manages to taste both healthy and yummy at the same time, which, let’s face it, is rare. Most types of crumble are fine with me. I’m quite partial to the rhubarb variety, but that’s another story…
Another thing that sets this place apart from most of its rivals is the fact they have a vegan dessert on the menu that isn’t fruit salad! Praise be! Not only is it not fruit salad, it’s chocolate! Chocolate and Cherry Torte to be exact. It’s moist enough not to need any of the dairy add-ons they have, so you can happily enjoy the torte naked. (No, not like that.)
So there you have it – a very vegan-friendly carvery. My local one now even has pictures of vegetables on the walls! So, even though you may be forced to walk past a counter full of heated up dead animal parts, it’s no worse than accidentally finding yourself in the meat section of the supermarket. Just walk on by. Nobody is forcing you to eat anything you don’t want to and you don’t have to wait long for vegan sustenance as the service tends to be fairly quick. All this plus a cheeky beer made for a very pleasant night out with friends.
You can find your local Toby Carvery here.