There are plenty of restaurants and eateries around Edinburgh that are picking up on the demand for vegan options. Close to the university, there are already a few to choose from: RedBox Noodle Bar, BarBurrito, The Auld Hoose (all of which I will write reviews for soon) and The Potting Shed on Potterow.
If you haven’t been to The Potting Shed before, it’s a medium-sized pub with plenty of tables with live music from guest musicians playing regularly to customers. The story goes that Angus was tending his allotment when one day, he daydreamed that lots of people would travel far and wide to sample the produce he grew from his own plot. Together with the help of partner Morag, and his friends Billy the Fisherman, Farmers Campbell, Hamish and Jock, his dreams were realised and now various customers are served good food.
The pub has a rustic theme to it with farming and animal decor dotted around the space. Tables are well spaced out so you don’t feel like you’re sharing a table with other customers you’ve never met before.
For a pub menu, there are a lot of choices for omnis (almost all of the 2 sides of the A4 menu), but I can’t say the same for vegans. There are only two options for vegans and even then the ‘vegetarian’ and ‘vegan’ symbols don’t seem to be used consistently. Their menu can also be viewed online and while they mention that all dishes marked with a ‘V’ are vegetarian and those marked ‘Ve’ are vegan, none of the dishes are marked ‘Ve’…even those with ‘vegan’ written in the name of the dish.
Vegetarian/vegan options on The Potting Shed’s menu
I took the chance that the vegan bean burger was, well, vegan and I couldn’t see that there was anything on the menu that could be non-vegan, but I couldn’t understand why the symbol wasn’t displayed next to this dish if they’re calling it a vegan dish.
Vegan bean burger with peanut butter, avocado, skinny fries and a cucumber and chilli salad
The burger was quite nice, I haven’t had a burger when eating out since going vegan, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I hardly thought about the fact that the burger patty was made from beans, but it was really tasty and not dry at all. The fries were also nice, golden and crispy and the cucumber and chilli salad was a nice accompaniment.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the teaspoonful of peanut butter slapped on the inside of the top bun and two small slices of avocado. When you’re ordering a bean burger and two halves of a bun, there’s hardly any moisture in it and I was really looking forward to having something creamy (the avocado) to make the burger less dry. The peanut butter, I imagine, was to replace the sauce, but there was hardly enough of it for it to be a sauce.
On the plus side, the combination of the creamy peanut butter and avocado went surprisingly well with the bean burger patty, I wasn’t expecting that at all, I just hope they will review this and be a bit more generous with the peanut butter and avocado. I’m not expecting a lot, but two slices off the ends of a half avocado for the price you’re paying for the meal just doesn’t seem to do it justice.
The Potting Shed can be found on 32-34 Potterow, EH8 9BT. They’re open from noon everyday and close at 11:00pm Sunday to Wednesday, midnight on Thursdays and 1:00am Friday and Saturdays. You can call them on 0131 6629788 to make a reservation, especially at the weekends when places tend to get busy.
Have you been to The Potting Shed on Potterow? What was your experience like?