How do you spot the vegan at a dinner party? You don’t have to – they’ll be sure to tell you!
Sorry, another bad joke ... but the food at Harley’s Coffee House is seriously good.
Although not strictly vegan – the Camelon cafe sells meat and vegetarian produce too – those that avoid all animal produce are well catered for. The family business opened almost a year ago and since then has been notching up rave reviews from the online vegan and gluten-free communities.
I took my meat-eating friend and son to Harley’s to see what the fuss was about and were impressed at the friendly atmosphere, fantastic prices and delicious food.
While Harrison tucked into his pork sausages, I opted for the Vegetarian Flying Scotsman – veggie haggis with a creamy sauce and cheese served in a panini while Jacqui had a pulled pork and barbeque sauce panini. Both were served with coleslaw and salad; at £4.50 each the price is akin to fast food joints but the quality is far superior.
Run by mother and daughter Karen and Lynn Leckie, with Lynn’s aunt Yvonne Harley helping when needed, the idea to cater for vegan and gluten free diets came from vegan Yvonne who also bakes the vegan-friendly cakes and biscuits.
Having never tried a vegan cake, and sceptical on how a cake could possibly taste good without butter or milk, I shared a ‘stab cake’ – or a vanilla cupcake with tiny knife biscuit and raspberry jam ‘blood’ – with Harrison. It tasted light and delicious, and if I didn’t know, there is no way I’d have guessed it was an animal produce free cake. I admit, I was beyond impressed.
The cafe was bustling and it’s clear that in under a year, Harley’s has found its spot in Falkirk’s busy cafe scene. With a focus on community, the cafe is a drop off point for Falkirk Foodbank and operates a suspended coffee scheme, allowing customers to buy food and drinks which are given to those less fortunate.
The cafe is open Tuesday to Sunday and hosts supperclubs regularly – visit the Facebook page for details of the next event.
All the meat comes from Patrick’s of Camelon across the road while the vegan burgers are all home made to a secret recipe.
As a vegetarian, I’ve toyed with the idea of becoming vegan at various points but been hesitant to give up cakes and cheese.
But if a vegan diet can taste this good, veganism is back on the menu.
Harley’s Coffee House
12 Union Road, Camelon