- Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Eatery Hopping: Bicis Y Más, York

Ever since my last bike-riding escapade many moons ago in which I was catapulted over the front handlebars and landed (no exaggeration here) on my head, I have been less than enamoured with cycling. Understandably, I hope.

That does not mean, however, that I am by association less enamoured with bicycle cafés. In fact, Bicis Y Más ('bikes and more') has instantly jumped right to the 'loooooooove' end of my ratings. IT IS AMAZING.

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Having compiled extensive lists of eateries that I want to try in both York, Edinburgh and beyond, it was only a matter of time before I popped by to tick this one off. And boy am I glad that I did.

This place is a vegetarian café (with a lot of vegan dishes too) which transforms into a tapas-style bar in the evening, whilst also selling and fixing bikes and all other bikey accoutrements. It's amazing. I know I said that before.

Part of why I wanted to come here (other than feeling like a grown-up who meets chums for coffee (which turned into brunch (which turned into lunch))) was because I had been recommended a jackfruit dish. If you are unfamiliar with jackfruit, it's basically a savoury fruit that has the texture of pulled pork and is very popular as a meat substitute. I trawled York a few days ago in search of some, before finally locating it in Chi Yip, the pan-Asian supermarket. (Sidenote: if you do want to buy some jackfruit to try for yourself, make sure you get the young green variety - other versions are sweet and described as a combo of banana, apple and mango; also get it tinned - it's apparently a nightmare to prepare/shred yourself.)

Anyway, I have a tin of jackfruit sitting in my cupboard and am keen but tentative about cooking it. As luck would have it, here was an opportunity for me to see what potential the odd and humongously intriguing fruit possesses. (Spoiler alert: great potential. Great, great potential.)

We got a bit too engrossed in catching up on chat and life news so inadvertently forgot to look at the menu and choose what we actually wanted, so were taken by surprise when asked for our order. In a highly intelligent attempt to buy ourselves some time, we started our taste adventure with a mocha (Dani) and a hot chocolate (me) - both really indulgent and luxurious tasting, and that's even with my sky-high hot chocolate standards.

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The next hurdle was definitely choosing what to have. Although I had kind of already decided on the jackfruit option, there was a lot of sway potential elsewhere on the menu. All of which are just further motivation for me to return.

So we duly swithered and dithered and placed our orders, and then, a short while later, our food arrived. Steaming and freshly made and smelling absolutely divine.

Just look.

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So here we have herb and feta meatless meatballs in a tomatoey oniony sauce, served on a pitta flatbread with soured cream and a side salad. I can vouch for the deliciousness of this. In fact, it was so popular that once we had finished stuffing our faces and were having a leisurely wander round the shop to admire the bicycles, we heard people being told that they had run out of flatbreads so it would be served on ciabatta instead. (Probably equally scoffable.)

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And here we have the pulled jackfruit on toasted ciabatta with spicy barbecue sauce and zingy slaw, and a gherkin on the side just for bants. COME TO THIS CAFÉ. AND EAT THIS DISH. Really, truly, this is one of the coolest things I have ever eaten. It's a fruit. But it tastes (and looks) like BBQ pulled pork or chicken. I can only hope to be able to cook my jackfruit to such standards.

As a true testimony to the yum power of this dish, I completely and utterly avoid cabbage wherever possible and have never (EVER) liked coleslaw, but this component was also somehow really great.

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(Click to view these pictures in full size. Honestly, just do it. Look at that steamy goodness.)

The portions were enormous too, so it was just as well that we stayed for three hours by which time we had space once more in which to fit a slice of something scrummy.

As luck would have it, there was a vast array of scrummy somethings to choose from, but as an avid courgette cake fan there was one obvious choice.

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Chocolate courgette cake with vanilla frosting. Rich, fudgy, not courgettey at all. A massive success. Washed down with some tangy ginger beer, this finished off what was quite honestly one of the most delicious meals I have ever consumed.

Then, since we were practically weeble-shaped by this point, a stroll around the shop was very necessary. Although I am (for now) vehemently against getting back on a bike (I will more than happily jog alongside), that does not mean that I can't appreciate pretty bicycles.

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Like this one that hangs in the window and gives you the fear when you slightly nudge it and it swings around and the wheel spins and for a second you worry that you're going to have to shell out for this glorious bike that you managed to throw all over the shop. Thankfully, all it actually does is swing gently for a moment before finding its balance once more, and your pennies can remain in your pocket.

That is, until you fall in love with another bike so much so that you really do reconsider bicycling. This was just one of them. (Also very, very much in love with the colour of the greeny one behind it too. OHHH or imagine it in a duck egg blue. *swoon*)

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And then there are bike accessories too. There's really everything you could possibly need, and lots of things that you possibly don't, but they look nice so the line becomes a teeny wee bit blurred and suddenly you need everything in the shop.

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Not forgetting the tiny bikes for tiny people!!! Which honestly look so enjoyable that I quite wish I had had one when I was mini so that I'd be at least slightly less likely to go somersaulting through the air whenever I go near a bike now.

www.imogenmolly.co.ukwww.imogenmolly.co.uk

All in all, a great place. And it's only fifteen-ish minutes walk for me, fewer if I really power walk (which I probably always will out of sheer excitement to get there).

Omnivores and any-other-diet-ivores alike, if you have the chance then I strongly urge that you go here. Go for breakfast. Go for brunch. Go for lunch. Go in the evening and have some nibbles and vegan beer. Or just go to look at the bikes and ogle the food and "Oh alright then, I guess I could just have something small to munch on..." It is great.

www.imogenmolly.co.uk

*All photos in this post are mine. If you wish to use any, please ask my permission and credit me!*

2 comments:

  1. Buy the bike and reward yourself with a piece of cake! Go on, I dare you!!

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    Replies
    1. I think (for the moment at least) just a piece of cake on its own, sans bike, is my preferred option - wee bit more budget-friendly!!

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