Saturday, 21 March 2015

Grub & Grog - Brunch - Leeds



Please note Grub and Grog are no longer located at Northern Monk Brewhouse, you can now find them in Sheaf Street Cafeteria 

Last weekend I went in search of an non-traditional breakfast, and by traditional I mean your full English fry-up, or your regular bacon sandwich. This mission led me to wander around a virtually deserted Holbeck Urban village, admiring old mills and buildings until I found - Grub and Grog.

Grub and Grog have made their home in Northern Monk Refectory, a brewery in the site of a disused mill in one of Leeds' most industrious areas. The building is a beaut, strong and asserting. 

I've heard good things about Grub and Grog, from bloggers and locals alike. They've also made an appearance in the press recently. Namely The Guardian, or its weekly companion The Observer. This worried me. Would their new found fame mean they were full to the rafters, would I be later told  that they were much better when they first started out. Neither was so. 


A fairly leisurely morning saw us dining just before 12pm (brunch time) there were plenty of tables and a relaxed quiet atmosphere to boot. The current customers were a couple of bearded hipster types drinking ale, an older couple also brunching and a man with his dog. This eclectic mix added to the atmosphere and didn't make me feel out of place. 

Breakfast/Brunch is served until 3pm on a weekend so you are free to have a leisurely lie in (as we did). Leeds were playing on this Saturday and whilst the other bars/eateries nearby were brimming (the bus for Elland Road picking up supporters just round the corner) this place felt untouched and sacred. I hope it remains so. 


The menu is simple, crumpets or toast, bowls, buns and hash. The physical menu is clipped to a metallic clipboard so heavy it makes me wonder if this has been done to deter thieves from stealing it. I could barely lift it across the table let alone out the door. 

Orders are taken at the bar and paid for there and then. 

Drinks were brought over first, I ordered a flat white, jumping on the craze. It's been a year now since I've started drinking coffee and my taste buds have started evolving. I can now taste the difference between blends and brands. Starbucks I've learnt are a no-no and should only be consumed if essential and a necessity. Mochas are now becoming too sweet for me and I'm struggling to pick up the coffee flavours from the chocolatey syrups. 

Grub and Grog's coffee is one of the good ones. I know that this is a specific brand of coffee but although my taste buds are evolving it would appear my memory is not. Should anyone wish to help me out here please comment below? I'm sure it has a 'star' in the name although I can't be sure. 


D opted for a tea. A refreshing change from a bag in a cup it came complete with its own attractive set up. I really want one of these teapots, they've been selling them in TkMaxx for a while, I'm still in the process of convincing myself it's a necessity. 






In line with my mission I chose the most obscure thing I saw on the menu. This happened to be the oxtail hash (feel free to disagree this is my own opinion) served with crispy kale, egg and brown sauce. 

This unassuming dish was the best thing I've had in my mouth in a long time (steady... Dirty minded so and so's). Everything on this dish was done to perfection and it all paired perfectly. I'm not brown sauce's biggest fan, I have to admit, but this home-made sauce more than hit the spot. I lapped it all up, everything single little bit, taking my time to enjoy it. Oh my. What a dish. 


D went for the bacon bun which doesn't come with any run of the mill bacon, this is home cured bacon, served with a hash-brown, egg and roast tomato sauce. I took a bite, it's in a league of it's own when it comes to bacon rolls but it didn't have a patch on my breakfast. Sorry D. 


Worried, as I always do, that there wouldn't be enough food I ordered some toasted sour dough bread with butter for us to share. I used this to lap up the rest of the remains of my hash. Next time though I might have to have a try one of those home-made crumpets and see how they weigh up. 




The decor is in with the fashion of stripping things back and baring all. I'm warming towards this trend, as it plays in to my fascination of history and old buildings, being able to see what was there before sparks the imagination. 




Overall we had a bloody good breakfast, for not an overly extortionate price either. My hash was a mere fiver, and although possibly expensive in greasy cafe terms it's not expensive in good food terms. I'll hopefully return again soon, perhaps next time for lunch, although I can't guarantee I won't order the hash again. 

For those vegan/vegetarian friends rest assured there are plenty for you on this menu. Celeriac fritter buns should get your taste-buds going, something I've not seen anywhere else.  

I also can't wait to try out some of their ales. I would have tried one after brunch, it was a weekend after all, but a sensible trip to the travel agents was on the horizon and I didn't want to accidentally book a trip to Australia in my ale infused laid back state. 






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