Saturday, 3 April 2010

The George - Part III (or The End!)

The George used to be awesome! As you can see from my previous blog posts I loved The George a lot. My favourite things to order were the awesome meaty or chicken burgers with Redwood's bacon and Cheezly. Some of my friends favourite things were the nachos with Cheezly, vegan sour cream, salsa and guacamole and the vegan banana split.

Unfortunately The George has decided that they don't really care about vegans any more. They've been taken over by local pub chain Indigo Leisure and given a new manager who certainly isn't interested in the food side of things. He's explained that he wants to move away from veganism as he doesn't want people coming into his pub, ordering food and not drinking alcohol...vegans, apparently, don't drink enough. He's planning on focusing on the drinks side of things just like all the 100's of other pubs and bars all over Brighton.

So firstly they're not going to be getting any vegan substitutes for things any more, that means no Cheezly, no Redwoods bacon, no Fry's burgers, no vegan sour cream, no vegan ice cream, no vegan cream and no vegan mayonnaise. Secondly it seems to mean that they're going to be using Quorn sausages and labelling them as vegan and thirdly it means no more of my awesome vegan cakes!

When a friend spoke to him he said that if vegans wanted to eat there they could just order stuff without the cheese, nice!

I tried to eat there again. I perused the menu and ordered the pasta with tomato garlic sauce served with a side of garlic bread.


Now I'm not suggesting that this was by any stretch the worst thing I've ever eaten in a pub but it's nowhere close to how awesome The George used to be. The pasta was pretty bland and boring and the garlic bread...well that's just toast! It's nothing I couldn't throw together myself for a quick, cheap weeknight dinner and even though I do say so myself, I think I'd do it better.

There are loads of other great places to eat in Brighton, places that are vegetarian owned and operated and places that actually care about their vegan clientele so join me in saying screw you to The George try eating out at Aloka, Iydea, Terre a Terre, Wai Kiki Moo Kau, VBites, Infinity Foods Cafe, Red Veg, Food For Friends or Planet India instead.

Stay tuned for my reviews of VBites, Iydea and Aloka coming very soon...

23 comments:

  1. It's such a shame. I gave up on The George around two years ago- when it had half way decent vegan options, but service, hygiene, attitude of staff, and vegan mishaps were fairly common.
    It's such a shame that they're giving up. I wonder how long it will even remain vegetarian. How short sighted of them.

    It's mainly a shame because it's so rare to find a pub which serves veggie food- this is what made The George so brilliant!

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  2. Aww, that stinks, and I never even got to visit! They're really missing out on business, and definitely your great baking!

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  3. What a shame and very thoughtless of the new management.

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  4. Thanks for your posts on this. We're from Seaford and have gone to the George quite often in the past. Not again.
    I never found it a particularly pleasant place to drink/eat at the best of times but at least we could bring our toddler with us and have something vegan to eat.
    Oh well, onwards and upwards! Looking forward to your reviews of other places - we're moving to Brighton next year and need some tips. I do know Iydea do lovely cakes...

    Thanks again

    Matt

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  5. I could almost understand this if it was in any other town-it would be annoying as f*ck but I'd get it. But in Brighton??! How much business are they going to lose?! Idiots...

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  6. that's so disappointing!

    (there's a pub near me that goes to a big effort to get vegan substitutes - if they stopped, i literally wouldn't bother going back anymore, too!)

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  7. I took my staff there for our Christmas meal last year as I thought it would be a good halfway house for me the weird vegan and most of them who have no idea what a vegetable is. The food was pretty average, but what got me was how they made it all seem like they were doing us a massive favour by allowing us to have out party there! Everything was too much trouble. It's never been exactly haute cuisine, but at least somewhere you could go at a moment's notice in a hungry moment and be sure of a decent meal. Shame. It's not exactly rocket science to add a piece of vegan cheese to a burger. Seems rather spiteful, in fact.

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  8. Gutted it's still giving people more bad experiences, I was hoping it would go back to it's former glory when the new management came in. We haven't been there for 18 months since another dire meal.

    Just means we should all get together and take over a pub in Brighton ourselves, now there's clearly a gap in the market!

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  10. SO SAD! By the way, that Cheezly Red Cheddar is awesome.

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  11. Oh that's such a shame to hear, The George has been a favourite place of mine for years. I know it's had good & bad patches but i loved having the option of vegan pub grub.
    It seems daft when there's so many other pubs in Brighton all doing the same thing.
    That's terrible about the quorn sausages. I shall warn other vegans i know who go there.
    Such a disappointment. :(

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  12. Shame about the George, but their loss in the long run! Antoher cafe i camn recommend is the Sanctuary Cafe on Brunswick St East. Its one im going to be reviewing shortly on my blog at www.manaboutbrighton.co.uk . Lovely vegan cakes also!
    Good luck

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  14. I am so sorry! That sucks! The mostly vegan place in my street has now meat on the menu. What's that all about? :(

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  15. I popped in to The George on 7th April and spoke to the new chef Malcolm. He says he will definitely be doing vegan food as he is well aware that around 40% of their customers are vegan.

    They will remain a veggie pub. They are not 'moving away from' catering for vegans, they are moving away from meat and dairy substitues (though he did say he would still have vegan mayo) and concentrating on actually cooking. I think that is good news.

    He is self employed and has been hired by the new management to handle the food side of things. They are closing on Sunday for 2-3 weeks to install a new kitchen and will reopen with a new menu of fresh cooked food such as home-made sausages and tapas dishes. He is not veggie himself so is welcoming feedback and suggestions on his steep learning curve. He seemed like a nice genuine bloke so let's give him a chance and not write off The George yet.

    I was also told there is a new manager starting at The George soon (Mark I think). At the moment the wine listed on the blackboard doesn't include info on which are vegan.
    They are changing all the pumps and will have lots of ales. We need to make sure they realise how important it is to know what beers and wines are vegan and label them as such.

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  17. That pasta dish looks like it could have come out of a can! Not cool. I'll miss the burgers muchly :(

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  18. That's too bad! Now that they've lost their niche maybe they'll go under...

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  19. always enjoyed eating and drinking there - proper vegan options, not just leaving the dairy stuff off - good memories - will miss it

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  20. Maria, It's great you had a chat with the chef. I'm sure he's a lovely bloke. The manager told more then one person I know that they were planning on moving away from veganism and all conversations I have had with him have been along similar lines.

    Whilst I have no problem with the chef himself the food at the George has been going downhill, the vege burgers have been the cheap potato and sweetcorn filled kind you get in the supermarket and the 'hand cut' chips on the menu my husband had last time we were there were oven chips. I'm all for cooking from scratch and not using so many pre packaged foods (even the old guacamole was frozen!) but I would expect more from an all vege place and hope that whilst the pub is shut for a few weeks that the chef will be working on some new and more inventive vegan recipes.

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  21. I personally haven't eaten at the George for a year or longer because the food went downhill so much and there were many much better options.

    The guy I met is a new chef, he'd only just started when I met him so has not been involved in the previous menu. There is a new manager coming in too - he may be there by now, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see what they do but fingers crossed it will be an improvement.
    I'm just concerned that if all the vegans who used to go there write it off now rather than trying it again it won't matter what they do - they'll experience a lack of demand for vegan food and drink and then veganism really will be off the menu for good.

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  22. Once upon a nice pub with a beer garden, The George has apparently now become a petty, rude and homophobic pub with new management.
    We went there with a group of about 15 and later at night, when the pub was less than half full, we asked the manager if he could turn down the loud, horrible music and he said it's company policy. When we told him it's bad customer management he insulted us by saying we have been there for a while and not getting many drinks and that I should go home if I want a lime cordial and soda water. Out of the 15 people only 2 had soda&lime cordial and the rest were drinking alcoholic beverages and two people had dinner. When we said we're leaving the manager acted very rude and directed homophobic insults, justifying it by saying he can say it as he's gay.
    I have never seen such a bad customer service and will never step in this pub under the current management.

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