Scores out of 5: Veggie friendly : 5/5; Vegan-friendly: 5/5 (to be reconfirmed); Value for money: 3/5, Quality of cooking : 3.5/5; Ambience : 4/5; Service: 3/5 ;Atmosphere: 3/5
It's a sunny Tuesday afternoon and after a spot of window-shopping in Oxford St , I head to fashionable Marylebone High St. I'm going to meet M, the manager of the local Oxfam shop, where I volunteer.
M's a committed meat-eater and invariably we verbally spar (nicely) about my vegetarian leanings. It's been a while since we met, so I offer to buy him lunch at the local vegetarian place - Eat and Two Veg. All dishes at this place are 100% vegetarian or vegan so, after some mock-moaning, M agrees to join me.
Eat and Two Veg reminds me of an old-style American diner with its comfy booth seats. In the past when I've visited, the waiters have guarded these comfy sofa seats with their lives, directing smaller parties to the less-nice normal chairs and tables. Today though, we are in luck, and are waved through to a cosy little nook.
In places like this, I feel obliged to order a burger and a milkshake. I'm on a diet. So I reluctantly forego the shake and plump for the cheeseburger. Martin grudgingly orders the bangers and mash. He regales me with stories of his naughty 8-month old son and before long our food arrives.
My cheeseburger is served with a huge helping of thin-cut fries, coleslaw and a mixed salad. The burger is good; the bun is firm but yielding, the chutney inside (although not my favourite, is quite nice and the pickle is good-quality). The soya-patty inside is on the good side of 'o.k.'. The fries are more-ish and the mustard dressing on the mixed salad is exceedingly good ,as is the coleslaw.
Martin reluctantly admits that his plate of food is a lot better than he expected from anything vegetarian. He warns me not to quote him. "If you tell anybody I liked veggie food, I'll pretend we never came here", he says. He can't resist nicking a few chips from my plate though. He thinks that this place does good, traditional cooking.
I concur - I've eaten at Eat and Two Veg on more than one occasion. I've always found that their food is competently prepared. Other dishes I have tried and can recommend are a Rendang curry (which is a wee bit too mild for my liking), an unbelieveably good mushroom stroganoff-ish dish (which has now unfortunately been taken off the menu, but could come back if enough of us ask for it), the crispy mock-duck pancakes (nice but a bit expensive for what they are) and the veggie all-day breakfast (although I don't think the sausages are anything special).
The service is passable , not un-friendly but not particularly outstanding. The prices are definitely Marylebone High St prices . Our meal which consists of two main courses , and no drinks adds up to twenty pounds. (Somewhat justifiable given that the food is definitely well-prepared.) It's not particularly cheap, so definitely not a daily-visit type place for someone like me.
However Eat and Two Veg, is definitely the kind of reliable place one can go to for a nice Sunday afternoon meal with family or a quick bite after a spot of shopping on Oxford Street. It's relaxed, it's simple.
Its somewhere you can take carnivorous friends to, for a veggie meal. I'm sure the veggie comfort food will win them over.
Note for vegans: Although a vegan option has been listed on the menu , the choices are more limited than the vegetarian options. Please call ahead or check the website to ensure you don't have a wasted journey.
Eat and Two Veg, Marylebone High St