Before I enlighten you with a few vegan/gluten-free hotspots, I have a couple of things to say. First of all another apology for the impromptu hiatus. It’s all a bit hectic at university with my final year exams and deadlines etc, finding time to squeeze in a cheeky blog post is becoming increasingly difficult – but have no fear uni shall be done and dusted for good in a matter of weeks!! Secondly, a moment just to share possibly the greatest news ever: I’ve been offered a permanent job at Waitrose Kitchen Magazine!!!! Can you believe it!? I have my final uni exam in two weeks, and then the following week I start my first real job! Not just any old job either, my dream job. I honestly can’t believe my luck! However, there is one negative to this amazing opportunity… I have had to compromise on the original plan to backpack around South America for three months with my sister. Naturally, I can’t just abandon my job for three months, so I’ve been allowed to disappear for 1 month’s worth of travelling instead. The new plan now (thanks to my incredibly understanding sister) is to visit Australia in that time and save South America for when we can both do it properly. Now, trust me, I am well aware of the endless benefits travelling the world would provide, but the world will always be there and this career prospect might not… So I bit the bullet.
Anyway on to Camden. A month or so ago Sophie and I organised one of our much anticipated sister dates. This time we chose Honest Burger to host it. You’re probably all thinking how can a pair who collectively avoid gluten, dairy, and meat go to a burger restaurant? Well obviously you’ve not done your Honest Burger research.
If you had, you’d know it’s no secret that this trendy chain is renowned amongst the gluten-free community for selling some of the best (if not the best) gluten-free burgers and sides. What’s great about this restaurant is that although it is a chain (they have 9 locations across London!), they seem to have stayed faithful to their good british food mantra. Everything on their menu is sourced locally and inspired by great British produce; and they regularly change their special in concordance with the season.
So of course when I went I ordered the special. However, I can’t exactly remember all of its components, and seeing as it was over a month ago the menu’s changed so I can’t check! But I know there was guacamole, bacon, chipotle mayo, and some mouthwatering beef, all sandwiched between two halves of a gluten free bun. There was also cheese but being dairy free I asked for sans fromage. The guacamole alone was enough to win me over – you can’t beat a good avocado – but the texture of the gluten free bun deserves a mention also, just the right around of crumble whilst maintaining a bread-y structure. Don’t underestimate the difficulty in baking a gluten free bun that doesn’t just fall apart at human contact! This bun managed to withhold all the meaty goodness and more! Vegetarian Sophie obviously ordered the veggie option which consisted of a spiced cauliflower fritter, tomato, shallots, and cucumber & coriander yoghurt – kind of like a falafel-y pakora encased in a yummy bun.
With our burgers came THE most delicious rosemary fries. Now I am not one to willy nilly pass off a particular chip as the best chip ever, but if not THE best then definitely very very close, at least the best I’d ever had. They were so crispy, but perfectly fluffy on the inside, and there were an abundance of super crispy ones (you know the semi-burnt kind left at the bottom) which are like my absolute favourite!! Best of all: gluten free – how is that even possible?? So crispy and great, no flour involved. Being the greedy buggers we are, we also ordered a side of gluten-free onion rings to share – again, no complaints here!
You’d think after all that we’d be too full to function, but you’d be wrong. After a little wonder around the food market (Global Kitchen is street food heaven and caters to every possible dietary need, well worth a visit if you’re in the area), we decided to give Cookies and Scream a try. Situated pretty much opposite Honest Burger in one of the many hidden pathways, it offers a variety of entirely gluten free and vegan goods. Sophie ordered the Affogato Shake topped with cookie dough balls and I went with choc-chip cookie ice cream sandwich. I do not exaggerate when I say this was heavenly. If no one had told us that this was vegan and gluten free, there was no way we would have known. Their stuff is so yummy they actually have a sign telling the customers not to ask what the ingredients are because obviously such vegan/gluten free goodness is top secret.
By the end of the day the pair of us were well and truly foodgasm-ed out.