Vegan Tuesdays at The Grub & Grog Shop, Leeds
The Grub & Grog Shop started as a pop-up but now resides in the building occupied by Northern Monk Brewing Co, at The Old Flax Store off Marshall Street in Holbeck. I went down to check out the food on offer on ‘Vegan Tuesdays’, when you can get two vegan mains for £10.
The building in which Northern Monk Brewery Co and The Grub & Grog Shop are located is impressive. It’s a huge Grade II listed red brick former mill in an area of Holbeck with other grand buildings dating from the Industrial Revolution, including Marshall’s Mill and the spectacular Grade I listed Temple Works. The Grub & Grog Shop is based in the Northern Monk Refectory on the first floor, where you can choose from an array of the brewery’s beers on tap – amongst which are several vegan options.
I ordered a great tasting pint of New World IPA, a hoppy 6.2% brew, and sat down to enjoy the Refectory interior. The large bright space has exposed brick walls and industrial metal pipes running along the ceiling and when we visited at around six in the evening, the sun was streaming through the Refectory windows and filling the whole room with light.
The Grub & Grog Shop inverts traditional menu labellings as it’s the vegan options on the menu which are the default, unmarked dishes, and the meat, fish and vegetarian dishes which are marked – with either an M, F, or V. I can’t think of any other eateries I’ve been to where that’s been the case and I think it’s a good idea, as it helps normalise veganism and challenges the belief held by many that it’s some kind of weird, niche diet.
On the regular dinner menu about half of the mains are vegan, whilst on Vegan Tuesdays all but one of the mains are entirely free of animal products (the only non-vegan main being a vegetarian cauliflower cheese). It was nice to have a good choice of dishes, with vegan cassoulet, haggis, borsch and mulligatawny on offer, all accompanied by a variety of gravies, sauces, vegetables, grains, beans and pulses.
My partner and I both went for haggis with roasted roots, mash, gravy and greens, which usually costs £7 each but on Vegan Tuesdays will set you back just a tenner for two. Everything is cooked from scratch and when the food arrived it looked very appetising, with the meal being stylishly presented.
The Grub & Grog Shop use fresh and where possible organic ingredients, which really came through in the flavours and textures of the well-prepared vegetables and greens. It wasn’t the biggest meal in the world and so didn’t last too long, but it tasted great and was well worth a fiver.
An attractive bar, excellent beer, and high quality food all mean that I’ll definitely be returning to sample the other dishes on offer on Vegan Tuesdays. And hopefully the inventive and tasty cruelty-free dishes will help to persuade vegetarians and meat eaters to go vegan, too – it would be great to someday see The Grub & Grog Shop serve an exclusively vegan menu!
Update: Better get down there quick if you want to eat The Grub & Grog Shop’s food at Northern Monk, as unfortunately they’ll soon be moving out!
The Grub & Grog Shop
Northern Monk Refectory
Marshalls Mill, Holbeck,
Leeds, LS11 9YJ