With a name like Steak Cattle & Roll, it’s easy to imagine your friends and co-workers reaching for the nearest paper bag to breathe into when you tell them that’s where you’re going for your dinner. Alas, SC&R (like several Glaswegian burger restaurants) have taken steps to up their vegan game. We took a trip to their Merchant Square branch to see what the script was.
Greeted by red neon signage, bare wood walls and dimmed naked lightbulbs, the decor was pleasantly rustic if a little generic; like many of their contemporaries, Steak Cattle & Roll aim for a modernised American diner aesthetic, but it’s done well nonetheless.
In terms of menu first impressions, there are six vegan mains available – four burgers, a salad and a wrap. Refreshingly, none of these options contained falafel – normally reigning supreme in the ”Restaurant Vegan Option” arena, Steak Cattle & Roll have ensured all vegan options subscribe to the American diner vibe, ensuring that the experience is (on paper at least) an authentic one.
While each option sounded exciting, we decided to opt for the top billing: The Classic Vegan burger. A vegetable based patty with vegan cheese, salsa, green and red slaws, pan fried onions and aioli, it sounded pretty promising. Sides-wise, we decided to eschew chips (we all know what chips taste like) in favour of some vegan spicy chicken tenders. Nice.
Having watched meat-based burger after meat-based burger float by our table, there was some trepidation as to how their vegan counterparts would compare in terms of stature. We needn’t have worried. Hearty as you like and piled high, The Classic Vegan on sight alone had the sheer brawn to quell any of the snickering that is often associated with the ”Restaurant Vegan Option”.
In terms of taste, it was rather hard to argue with. A satisfying bite, each element of the burger was spot on with the patty itself up there with the best this writer has sampled. The only let down was the bun being a glorified morning roll, but this is a pretty minor gripe, Steak Cattle & Roll have produced something very impressive here. The show was stolen however by the spicy chicken tenders. Seitan-based and doused in buffalo-esque sauce, these KFC-style ‘chicken’ strips were fantastic. Not terribly spicy but faithful to the original in terms of texture and aesthetic, those who were KFC fans before opting for a vegan diet will be thrilled with these.
Overall, this was up there with the best vegan-in-a-non-vegan-restaurant experiences we’ve had in Glasgow. With each burger coming in at under ten pounds, Steak Cattle & Roll are offering a reasonably priced, inclusive and authentic diner experience for vegans craving a beastly burger. If you’ve only got time for a quick bite to eat, be sure to make the spicy chicken strips your priority.
Check out their website here: