The Good Apple Cafe, Derwent Street, Sunderland

The Good Apple Cafe
The Good Apple Cafe
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New cafe is the apple of my eye

A newcomer to Sunderland’s cafe scene is proving that missing out on meat doesn’t mean missing out on much.

I spotted The Good Apple Cafe mentioned on Twitter a couple of months back, alongside a plea from its tweeter to make the vegetarian and vegan place a success.

So, with a little time in between appointments on a day off, I decided to do my bit and check it out one weekday lunchtime.

The city centre spot offers about a dozen or so seats and has a short, but varied menu.

It features soup of the day (£3.20), with beetroot or lentil the choices when I called in; cheese and onion toasties (£2.20), which can also be made using vegan cheese; salmon and scrambled eggs on toast (£4.20) and all day breakfasts, with small (£5) and large options (£6.40) and vegan versions available, with the latter including avocado on toast. Wraps, which can be taken away with a 30p discount on the £3.20 cost, can be made to order with a vegan special of hummus, carrot, avocado, garlic tomatoes, red onion, spinach and toasted pine nuts, or roast veg, hummus and olives the choices.

Salads of blue cheese Waldorf – which includes a twist with blueberries – or smoked salmon, toasted and topped bagels of salmon and cream cheese, mature cheddar, roasted veg and brie or hummus and goats cheese, beetroot and sweet onion chutney, are also on sale.

I decided to go for a toasted chibattas filled with blue cheese, mushrooms and rocket. Although the other option, veggie sausage, roast vegetable and sweet onion marmalade was very tempting.

It was spot on, with just the right amount of everything in it, with a side serving of salad and crisps.

An easy enough task you may think, but it very easily could be done badly and was miles better than anything I’ve had in any of the coffee chains.

A sneak peek at other diners’ dishes gave me a few ideas about what to try next time.

With a pot of Teapigs tea and a vegan hazelnut brownie (£1.90), the bill came to £7.60.

I also took away a bag of brownies to share at the office the next day.

There are plenty of other sweet treats also on offer, including a lovely looking carrot cake.

As well as the food, there were a few other things which won me round – it’s new, independent, offers something different, the owners have good taste in music (i.e. same as mine) and it also features a board filled with events and plugs fellow ventures.

In addition to its own website, the cafe has a Facebook page that offers updates on what specials and cakes are on offer.

It is open from 10.30am to 3pm on Monday, 10.30am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday and 10.30am to 5pm on Saturdays.

Fiona Thompson