Vegetarian takeover at Hard Rock Cafe

In case you haven’t noticed, Glasgow is fast becoming one of the best cities to eat out in. Now we may have our very burger region (still not sure whether this is something to be proud of) but that doesn’t mean there isnt a place for folk who prefer their meals sans animal products. No matter whether you’re vegan, veggan, veggie or pescatarian you’re sure to find a boastin meal here in the Weeg.

We’ve come a long way from restaurants offering a frozen veggie patty in a bun and the ubiquitous roast veg & hummus wrap, but have we come far enough?  Well the folks over at Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow don’t agree and are re-launching their veggie menu. So in true 2016 fashion, they invited a few of us bloggers and our blogger husbands (or in my case my PhD wifey / vegetarian Irish Pal #2) to their soft launch to sample a tasting menu chock full of veggie treats.


The Menu

The menu consisted of 2 wraps and 2 burgers. I’ve ranked these in order of my preference:

1. Roasted Squash & Walnut Pesto Wrap

The roasted squash & walnut pesto wrap is served in a 10″ flour tortilla with a side salad. The ingredients include:

  • Salad Oil
  • Chilli Powder
  • Sriacha Walnut Pesto
  • Spring Mix
  • Red Onions
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Roasted Acorn Squash

Had you described this to me beforehand I’d have passed. Not because I’m an out and proud carnivore but because I would have expected blandness and an unappetising texture with this wrap. I was wrong. This was my favourite of the menu. The flavours were fresh and punchy. I loved the mix of sweet soft squash, crunch walnut pesto and the kick from the chillies. Gimme a side of skinny fries and I’d be delighted to lunch on this.

Black Bean Burger & Roasted Squash and Walnut Pesto Wrap

2. Quinoa Burger

The Quinoa Burger is normally served full sized with a side of skinny fries. The ingredients include:

  • Canola oil
  • Quinoa burger Patty
  • Hard Rock Cafe seasoning
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Baby arugula
  • Olive oil
  • Hummus
  • Tomato slice
  • Grilled red onion slices
  • Hamburger Bun

Unlike most veggie burger patties this had a fantastic texture, mainly owing to the inclusion of walnuts, which I loved. However I can’t tell you whether it was made on the premises or what the burger patty actually contains (asides from walnuts & quinoa), perhaps the full menu will list this info. The additional of hummus, while a little odd on paper, is a nice alternative to ketchup or mayo but I suspect you could ask for either.

Quinoa Burger and Grilled Veg & Halloumi Wrap

3. Grilled Vegetable & Halloumi Wrap

The grilled vegetable & halloumi wraps are served in a 10″ tortilla wrap with a side salad. The ingredients include:

  • Salad oil
  • Flour tortilla
  • Chilli powder
  • Mayo
  • Courgette
  • Aubergine
  • Red & green pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Halloumi

Full marks to Hard Rock Cafe for moving away from the typical hummus and roasted veg wrap, but I wasnt all that impressed with halloumi. The flavours were great, thank goodness for that kick of chilli powder to counteract the blandness of halloumi, but I found the wrap fell apart because of the amount of oil in the veg and water in the cheese. That said, the vegetables were cooked perfectly with just the right amount of al dente.

Grilled Veg & Halloumi Wrap

4. Black Bean Quinoa Burger

The black bean quinoa burger is normally served full sized with a side of skinny fries. The ingredients include:

  • Canola oil
  • Black bean quinoa burger patty
  • Baby arugula
  • Hard Rock Cafe seasoning
  • Tofu cream
  • Tomato slice

Like the quinoa burger, I can’t tell you what the contents of the patty are or whether its made on the premises. I’d like to think so. My low ranking of this burger is primarily due to my dislike of beans, its 1 of the 3 food groups I will not touch with a barge pole (peas and sweetcorn are the other 2 fyi), but also a little due to the blandness of the burger, which compared to the other 3 items on the menu, was surprising. I’d have liked to see a little cheese or a kick of spice or pesto to lift it.


The Verdict

Hard Rock Cafe is not a place most people would associate with vegetarian food and I’d be willing to bet it’s not high on vegetarians list of places to eat in Glasgow. So full marks to Hard Rock for recognising the ever growing diversity of peoples palates and branching out to provide a vegetarian menu, but some inspired items as well.

My main issue was that despite drinking water all evening I woke the next day with what I can only describe as a salt hangover. Ditto with Irish Pal #2. So I was curious, in absence of animal fats, was a liberal amount of salt being used to boost the flavour? And if so, was this necessary? I don’t have as problem with salt content of food per say, but I would like to see restaurants publish the nutritional content of their food (on the menu) so we could make informed choices in the future.

That said, I liked the fact Hard Rock didn’t solely rely on vegetarian burgers, because lets face it burger & chips can be a stodgy meal, and there are 1 or 2 items I’d be happy to eat again.

Note: Currently these items do not appear on the Glasgow Hard Rock Cafe menu online. All views are my own.

4 Comment

  1. Emily says: Reply

    Ooh I never realised that Hard Rock Cafe were launching this new menu – it looks great! Admittedly I’m not a veggie nor vegan, but I do often opt for meat free dishes on the menu, and some of these look really good- I really love the look of the roasted squash and walnut pesto wrap. I’d be really interested to hear if they are putting more salt in though!


    1. I definitely recommend the squash & pesto wrap Emily, it was lush! Even easy enough to make at home 🙂

  2. I must bear this in mind next time I’m up in Glasgow. As a vegetarian, it’s always good to get new places to try out xx

    1. Thanks Lynn, hope you enjoy 🙂

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