I've recently decided to create a 'Free from' directory for myself when needing to find a suitable place to eat out.
I'm slowly building a list of places, which of course means I have lots of new places to try out!
One of these was incredibly local to myself, and I wish I had found it sooner.
'The clean plate' is a completely gluten free cafe.
Not only are they completely gluten free, but they also cater strongly for vegans.
This of course means not only do I not have to study the menu for gluten free items. But I know there's options that will also be dairy free (no dairy from cows for me)
The cafe is not far from Rayleigh station and is easy to find. There is no parking at the cafe, but lots of side streets to park in. So parking was not an issue.
Clean plate is not a huge place, and I've been told it can fill up quite quickly. However we were lucky and picked a relatively quiet time to go.
With a choice of tables, either inside or out.
First decision needed, was of course a drink….. I opted for a vegan milkshake.
The vegan option (aka dairy free) only came in chocolate. However I was given a choice of milks, and rather than going for the standard 'soya'.
I chose my home favourite of cashew milk.
Then of course came the difficult decision of finding something to eat.
When you're used to being given a couple of items to choose from, an entire menu is a bit overwhelming.
There is the standard page and then a page for vegan alternatives of the same.
It was a difficult toss up between pizza or pancakes.
But as pancakes is not an option I've found anywhere else, I opted for that.
I was able to choose the vegan pancakes so that they'd be dairy free, but with the standard menu sides toppings…. 'bacon and maple syrup'
The food was creatively presented, and delicious. The vegan pancakes had a slight hint of banana to them (which I'm assuming is because they're made with them as a dairy alternative) but were tasty and went well with the bacon and syrup.
I also had garlic bread, however ate this before I could take a picture of it (it was delicious though)
Not only did I have so much choice for a mains, but I then found they did raw vegan cakes.
Which of course I had to try.
Looking at the menu they also offer sandwiches etc to take away. Which would be perfect if you needed to grab a lunch en-route somewhere.
Having an entirely gluten free cafe, so close to me is probably not good news for my bank account or waistline. However I can't begin to express how great it feels to not have to worry about explaining my coeliacs.
With the dairy being my only worry, and the cafe catering so well for vegans I can eat most of what's on offer.
I will be going back…..regularly!