In Shoreditch, you will find a pub with a difference. The Green Vic aims to be the most ethical pub in the world, and they very kindly invited me and a plus one along for some dinner and drinks. So on the hottest day of the year Alice and I ventured out to discover if The Green Vic met it's own hype.
I was expecting to be confronted with a traditional looking pub, but The Green Vic actually has more of a bar feel. The Green silhouette of Queen Victoria hanging from the wall is the first indication that you've arrived. Emblazoned in big letters on the front are the words, PLANET BEFORE PROFIT. Inside the decor is minimalist and modern. It has a kinda inside the brewery vibe, with exposed metal fittings and bricks. I really liked it. We were offered a choice of seats, and chose to sit in a private booth downstairs, partly because the lighting was good, and partly because we were hoping it was cooler. Honestly no where was cool, but you can hardly blame The Green Vic for the 39'c heat can ya? In fact they are working hard to prevent 39'c becoming the new norm in the UK.
On each table is a menu explaining just why The Green Vic is so ethical. Honestly I read through it and felt so inspired, long term I would love to have my own food business, but capitalism absolutely sucks, and I always wonder about how I could make my own business ventures as ethical as possible. But The Green Vic have figured out just how to make business work at it's best. They employ vulnerable people, by working with Crisis, they are Carbon neutral, they are zero to landfill, so everything is recycled, composted or turned into energy, and so much more! They are also willing to offer advice to other businesses so we could see this model of business spreading even further. Big aims need big actions to back them up, and The Green Vic have certainly done that, Hype fully exceeded!
As soon as I opened the drinks menu I was pleasantly surprised, all the cocktails, and a lot of the other drinks provide donations to charities. They provide to over 40 different charities just on their drinks menu alone. There were a variety, from saving polar bears to helping veterans. Alice ordered a polar bear friendly pink gin cocktail, and I went for an Elephant in the room, Elephant Sloe Pink Gin with Strawberry and Vanilla Kombucha, that was helping to protect African elephants. There's literally nothing nicer than getting a little giddy on cocktails, while also knowing your helping the world, I wish all charity donations came with alcohol to be honest. The cocktails were also really tasty, the perfect mix of booze and fruitiness. I tried them both, I personally preferred mine, but both got knocked by pretty quick. All the straws are made from wheat steams, the natural by-product from wheat harvesting. Which actually do work a lot better than paper straws. Look I'm no paper straw hater, they work for a while, but they do get soggy after a bit. So these wheat straws are revolutionary and can shut all those right wing Trump voters the hell up.
The kitchen, known as The Green Grill, specialises in vegan junk food. The menu is insane, and I had a really hard time choosing what I wanted. We started with both starters, the chkn bites and the cheez bites.
The Cheez bites were basically mozzarella sticks, but oh my god were they good. They were super gooey and tasted just like the real thing. The only other vegan mozzarella sticks I have tried were the Marks and Spencer ones, but these were far superior!
The Chkn bites were made with soya I believe, althought the menu doesn't actually state what they are made from (if you have an allergy you may want to check this). We got ours with bbq sauce, but they also come with garlic mayo or ranch dressing. They were delicious, the texture was just like real chicken, slightly stringy in a good way! And the bbq sauce was one of the best I've ever had. I feel like these would be the perfect dish to give a tricky meat eating friend, to convince them vegan food is actually pretty damn amazing.
Next up were mains, and this is where I was getting stuck. Alice went for the chkn shish wrap, while I dithered between a hotdog and a burger. I went to order at the bar still undecided, so I asked the very friendly owner which he would recommend. He said the burgers had been on the menu longer, and therefore had been absolutely perfected while the hotdogs were a newer addition. I trusted him, so I went with his advice and chose the Red Devil burger. Both of the mains came with fries.
Alice's chkn shish wrap was so good, I was a little jealous (not that my burger wasn't good, I'm just greedy and want all the food all the time). The wrap contained the same chunks of chkn as the bites and also contained plenty of hummus, red cabbage and pickles. Alice described it as "just like a really good chicken shish, tangy, creamy, chickeny goodness" all without hurting a single chicken!
The red devil burger got it's name from the red beetroot bun it was served in, the roasted red pepper inside and also the spicy sriracha mayo. The patty itself is made from sweet potato, red kidney beans and coriander. It also comes with cheez. This burger really has a spicy kick so maybe not be for you if you're a bit of a plain jane, but personally I loved it. The sriracha heat paired perfectly with the sweetness of the sweet potato and red pepper, and the creamy melty cheez.
After dinner we were crazy stuffed. We did contemplate desert but left too late as by the time we summoned up the courage the kitchen had closed.I really wanted to try the "Rob's PB Waffle" but to be honest I was way too full to eat anymore anyway. So it was probably for the best, and this gives me an excuse to go back and just eat dessert! We ordered a couple of more feel good cocktails, and sat in our booth and took in the great soundtrack. Honestly all night they were playing my favourite kinda jams, lots of disco and soul! I think I slightly embarrassed myself by getting up and dancing at one point, not realising there was someone in the booth next to us, but hey ho. After finishing our drinks it was pretty late, but it was still 35'c so we made a mad dash back to the overground aircon!
A little on price, although we didn't pay for this meal I was conscious of the prices. I think The Green Vic is very reasonable, especially for trendy Shoreditch. The cocktails were £9.95 each, but a percentage of that is for charity, plus they do have a happy hour and a daily special charity cocktail for £5. The starters were a fiver each, while the mains were only £8 each. The desert we wanted to try was £7.50 and they also had a Cheezcake for £6. I genuinely think that's very good value for such amazing quality vegan food, and the portions were huge! I could easily have just had a main and been happy.
Thanks ever so much to The Green Vic for inviting me down. While the food was complimentary all views in this review are my own. I will definitely be returning and spending my own money soon!