Meatless Monday

Meat Free (or Meatless) Monday is growing in popularity and Canton’s newest burger bar, Time and Beef, has wisely jumped on the bandwagon with Meatless Mondays when its whole menu goes vegetarian and vegan.

Steve and Sarah have converted the space next door to Home Bargains on Cowbridge Road East into a pared back modern diner/warehouse – think  exposed brick walls and sanded wooden tables with American tunes blasting from the stereo. As well as burgers, Time and Beef does breakfasts, lunches, coffee and cocktails. Whatever you’re ordering, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and service with a smile.

Today’s been just another manic Monday and the only thing that kept me going was a dinner date with burger and beer – and my friend, Jess.

After a quick gossip, we met Sarah who talked us through the menu. It’s a bit like Ikea in that you build your own: a burger and a bun is £7.00, then additional toppings, including homemade vegan cheese, cost £1.00, and sides such as sweet potato fries and corn on the cob come in at £2.00–3.00.

There are also a range of starters; I’m hoping that one day the deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese will be dairy free, but until then us vegans can choose from Alex Gooch sourdough bread with houmous or spiced pakora vegetables in tempura batter. Don’t come here if you’re on a diet.

Choosing the burgers is a pretty tough task, especially after a taxing day at the office, and we had to toss a coin to decide. I ended up with the four bean burger with vegan cheese and beetroot crisp and Jess had the pulled oyster mushrooms with hickory BBQ sauce and kale slaw. We shared a portion of the sweet potato fries, which is a good thing as the burgers are pretty damn filling.

My bean burger was subtly spicy and the tang of the beetroot was a perfect pairing for the ‘cheese’, which was cool and creamy, like a combination of feta and goat’s cheese without being too overpowering. Don’t get me wrong – it was delicious – but I had a serious case of food envy when I tasted Jess’ burger. Wow. Words can’t really describe the taste but you get a mouthful of rich, sweet and smoky flavours. It’s definitely one to try. The fries were just right too. The potato bun was a bit on the heavy side for our liking but apart from that, we were happy customers.

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Pulled oyster mushrooms with hickory BBQ sauce and kale slaw served with sweet potato fries. No filter needed.

With more and more of us choosing to go veggie or vegan (watch Countryfile’s special National Vegetarian Week episode here) or just to eat a bit less meat, it’s really refreshing to see Meatless Monday on the menu. Let’s hope more places in Cardiff follow on.

Time and Beef is a great addition to Canton’s growing restaurant and bar scene and Meatless Monday will provide you with a good start to the working week ahead. It might even make Tuesday a little less painful…

If you want to try some more deliciously indulgent vegan treats (it’s not all about clean eating, you know), check out my recent Wales Online feature.

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