I feel the earth move
Here I go again. The selfish, fat, gay vegan is going to bad mouth a restaurant that makes vegan food. I don’t know how I live with myself. But seriously… I gotta call it the way I see it, right? You wouldn’t want me to be all fake and lovely about a place if it just didn’t set my world on fire.
So here we go. Sorry Earth Cafe of Manchester. Your food and (some of) your service left a whole lot to be desired.
Let’s get one thing straight. I would never go into an establishment and expect them to fail me. Nor would I expect the food to change my world. I enter an eatery with the expectation of good quality food that is clearly labeled and will fill me up. At Earth Cafe I got clearly labeled food but not much else.
The setting in itself is rather charming and I had a good vibe going in. This mood carried on as the server greeted me warmly and explained how the pricing worked. So far, so good.
None of the food looked overly appealing to me. I left Josh to do the ordering as I couldn’t muster up much excitement for the uninspired dishes in the food display unit. As he gave our order, I meandered to the cash register area to read signs stating prices for ice cream. The server down this end of the counter was a different creature.
All of my questions (some of which I had to ask twice) were met with one word answers and zero eye contact. I’m not some precious customer who needs to be fawned over, but this guy was openly ignoring me and being rude. I told Josh I was fed up and headed off to find a seat.
Josh arrived just behind me with the food and we excitedly dove into our selections… and then we stopped.
Most of the food was on the cold side of luke warm and none of it tasted of anything. There was a vegan quiche that was watery, lacking of texture and tasteless. Josh took a few bites of it and the accompanying salads and left the remainder on his plate.
I was faced with a flavourless array of mushy items that I don’t even like to recall. The plantains were tasteless and verging on cold, the stew/hotpot tasted of not much and the roasted potatoes were overcooked and cold. I feel like an A-grade moaner as I type this, but it really was dreadful.
Our experienced slid further down hill as I bit into a cold vegan sausage roll made of Sosmix. I don’t think it had any spice, flavour or condiment at all. It possessed no taste except cold pastry.
I won’t be hurrying back next time I’m in town, but I would be interested in giving the vegan cakes and desserts a try. If I lived in the area, I would probably pop in now and then to check out what was being served.
Please, please, please don’t take my word for it. Go to Earth and check them out. Food I like isn’t liked by everyone and I would be delighted to hear good things about the cafe. My dear friend Anna who I trust thoroughly claims to be in love with their menu and food review sites such as Yelp are brimming with positive reviews. It could just be me!
Post any positives reviews below. Tell FGV readers if you like what Earth does.
Visit Earth Cafe online for location and opening hours.
I’ve always looked at the selection and left because it always looked like the flavourless mush you describe! Glad I didn’t make a mistake and go in! It’s not like vegan food is hard to find in Manchester, why waste time on rubbish>
It really doesn’t look good, does it?!
That’s such a shame to read. I’ve always had positive experiences there, but haven’t been in over a year so maybe things have changed. (My best experience there is non food related, when Johnny Marr was standing right in front of me in the queue!).
So glad to hear good food stories. It’s good to show multiple voices about a place. The Johnny sighting is brilliant!
Things have definitely changed. I went in recently and there wasn’t a lot of choice. But of what there was, the “creamy” vegetables were not creamy at all (and I know you can make creamy-tasting vegan food), the vegetables were undercooked, and despite being hungry I struggled to finish my food due to the taste. I used to love their food (though I preferred the long-since closed-down Basement cafe), but ever since it appears to be taken over the prices have got slightly better and the food has got a lot worse. The water jugs aren’t refilled much either.
Woah that looks terrible. Reminds me of this crappy veg place we went to in Malmo Sweden. Everything was so blah, cold and the waitress looked like she didn’t give a… I don’t think vegan food in cafe’s is well prepared as it’s probably done so far in advance, is not fresh and barely seasoned! Yikes
Earth Cafe is a funny one and seems to sharply divide opinion.
I used to live in Manchester but haven’t for a couple of years, so things may have changed, but I can definitely say that being served lukewarm/cold food or getting bad service wasn’t typical when I was there. In fact the main complaint I remember hearing about was the price – because they pile on a bit extra for each item and such – but we were skint students so our perspective on that was somewhat distorted.
Shame really because cold food that’s meant to be hot isn’t acceptable, I hope it’s not gone downhill and your experience was a one-off.
I do highly recommend the vegan cheesecake (again, based on 2-3 years ago) if you decide to return. Based on the rest of what I’ve read on this blog I suspect you’d thoroughly enjoy it. Can’t remember much about the other desserts, one suspects they might be health foody in a way that can only be described as criminal, but the cheesecake was magnificent.
Speaking of Manchester culinary gems, have you been to This N’ That curry place? It’s very near Earth Cafe.
Never heard of This N’ That… I will investigate next time!
It’s not vegan or veggie, but it’s this tiny little shabby-looking shack of a place tucked down a side street that’s barely visible where you can get three veg curries and rice for £3-4 that are simply breathtakingly tasty. And not in a ‘this is my local takeaway and I love it’ sort of way, in an ‘oh my goodness this is actually amazing food’ sort of way.
Only kidding, I’ve had some terrible experiences in v*gan cafes/restaurants – I find overly positive blogs about everything to do with veganism really sickly.
Credit where credit’s due, but there’s nothing wrong with the odd bad review here and there 🙂
If you say everything is lovely, people don’t take you seriously. I’m hard hitting!
hello! I am sad to say this review does sum up my last few experiences of earth cafe, its a shame becuase i like the atmosphere and used to go a lot (despite the prices: i’m in a job and always found it a wee bit pricey). this n that is fab, as is yadgars (best dahl in manchester in my view) if you don’t mind going to non v*gan places. I also heartily recommend local legend mod serving food at the thirsty scholar (gorgeous, cheap, plentiful but sadly limited hours) and a visit to the cake liberation front. i got here becuase of your thoughts on the globe in glossop btw, i agree it is amazing! Thanks for such an ace blog x
Thanks for the kind words.
I haven’t been to Earth Cafe but really enjoyed Bistro1847 and YeoPans on my last trip to Manchester.
Great site! I remember just a few years back when Earth Cafe was Buddhist-run and by Buddhists who loved good food! It’s been sold on and it sounds like the lurv and the food have gone walkabout. Shame. But I can recommend The Rice Bowl in Cross Street (near the town hall I think?) – they have a dedicated veggie menu that is nearly all vegan and is both delicious and reasonably priced.