Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Have your veg and eat it

by Emily Barker.

Move over gay pride, Brighton is fast becoming the UK’s veggie capital as well.

Some of the best buffets in town are already dedicated to the anti-meat cause, including veggie-only curry houses in central Brighton and health-food favourite Foodilic on North Street.

Brighton is well known for its adoption of the latest fads: everything from vintage clothing to on-mass cupcake bonanzas (at least three cupcake shops have sprung up in the city in the last two years to join the likes of ChoccyWoccyDooDah on Duke Street).

Despite this vegetarian trend, however, last week saw the opening of the hotly-anticipated MeatLiquor restaurant on London Road.

Brighton’s very own version of the London-born restaurant was opened in the hope of attracting the city’s meat lovers to dine on its carnivorous menu of meat, meat and more meat.

Brighton MeatLiquor was even paid a visit by its very own celebrity - the London MeatLiquor’s Chilli Challenge champion.

The self-proclaimed Meat Man turned up to mark his territory, completing the challenge (a chilli dog, chilli burger and chilli fries in under ten minutes) in a gut-wrenching six minutes.

Local students have raved about the colossal size of the onion rings on Facebook and tables have been booked out to enjoy opening week’s half price deal; but the hype of the meaty comeback has done little to dent the veggie domination in Brighton city.

With over 600 restaurants in Brighton and Hove (making it second only to London in restaurants per person) at least a tenth of those are dedicated to the worship of salad, beans and all things veg.

The Lanes is a particularly good vegetarian hot-spot with an abundance of cafes and eateries serving solely or mainly vegetarian-friendly dishes.

North Laine in particular is also home to the infamous Infinity Foods where hippy mothers have been found wiping the shelves clean of organic baby food and recycled nappies.

The vegetarian trend seems set to stay, as eating well and being health-conscious has become a way of life for the nation as a whole.

With obesity levels soaring throughout the country, Brighton is at the forefront of the eat-well campaign, waving the flag for organic produce and five-a-day.
The weekly Churchill Square farmers' market is bursting with fresh and healthy local produce; Brighton Food Festival makes an appearance every year to promote fun and wholesome eating; and more permanent markets like Hove-based Taj (the Asian fresh food supplier) and the Falmer Farmers' market site have proved more popular than ever with locals and tourists.

Cutting meat from your diet seems to be a student’s way of keeping down the food budget, but the high supply and demand for veggie food in the city shows no sign of stopping.
It seems meat could be off the menu for a while to come.

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