Over the last few months, I’ve watched a local patch of land transformed into a rather glorious looking local eatery. As soon as I could I took to their website to see if they catered for vegans and made plans to visit asap to tell the people of Sheffield all about The Eight-Foot Way. Here are my honest thoughts.
The Eight-Foot Way
The Eight-Foot Way is located on Chaucer Road (S5 9QY), just off the busy dual carriageway heading towards Sheffield from Parson Cross. It used to be a patch of land, not doing much, and I’m unsure what it was before then as I’ve only lived in the area since the end of 2016.
It is part of the Marston’s group and one of their Generous George restaurants. Generous George pubs aim to make people feel better about themselves and also donate 1p from every dish to locally selected charities; you get tokens with your meal to decide where the donations should go.
The pub has an indoor and an outdoor play area for the kids, Eban enjoyed having a little play outside before we left. They also have an ice cream parlour where you can grab tubs, cones and sundaes as well as a pizza kitchen where their fresh pizzas are made.
I was invited to visit the pub during a pre-opening trial. It was the first Sunday the staff had worked with actual guests and they had the added pressure of a photographer whizzing around taking photos of everything.
With that in mind, I think the staff did pretty well. They were nervous, you could tell that but it was to be expected. Give them a couple of months, and a few extremely busy Sunday lunches and they’ll be professionals.
It’s your usual order at the bar style pub, so when you’ve decided what you want you head up with your table number, order food and drinks then take drinks back to the table. Within five minutes the waiting staff looking after your table will come over with cutlery/napkins and will confirm your order – this is a nice touch.
As with any pub, they check how your meal is when you’ve started tucking in – normally just as you’ve taken an enormous mouthful. Tables are cleared away after and you are prompted to order any extras from the bar, such as desserts or coffees.
Right. So, if you’re not a vegan then you’ll probably get on great with the menu. It’s you’re standard pub menu of burgers, classics and roasts. A large selection of starters, mains, sides and desserts to suit any taste. There are also a good selection of vegetarian options should that tickle your fancy.
The kid’s menu is again, what you’d expect at any chain pub. Choose a main, choose a carb and choose a side. A selection of puddings and starters are also available.
They look to have a fairly good drinks selection. We opted for the unlimited refills on soft drinks, I do love unlimited Pepsi. There was even Hobgoblin on tab which is one of Aaron’s favourite drinks.
Our Meals & Thoughts
I’m going to firstly say, I was so excited to give this pub a try but as a vegan, it really isn’t good. The meal selections just weren’t up to a good standard, especially not with how popular veganism is becoming.
There were no starters suitable, or if they were they weren’t marked with the “ve” to indicate it. The mains came with two options. The first was a choice of two pizzas; veg or tex-mex but both you had to remove the cheese to make them vegan. I passed on this option because I like good pizza and I like there to be cheese on it so I’ll just reserve that option for Zizzi or Pizza Express who do use vegan cheese.
The other main option was Huevos Rancheros. The menu describes this as “Toasted tortilla wrap topped with spicy Mexican style breakfast sauce with black beans and salsa, two fried eggs, guacamole, sour cream and chives.” you just remove the eggs and sour cream, then replace them with mushrooms and extra guacamole to make it vegan.
I would describe it as a slightly spicy Mexican-style bean soup, on a tortilla with a couple of over-cooked mushrooms and a bit of guacamole. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted ok but not as nice as it sounded. Given the choice, I’d rather head to Las Igunanas and pay the extra £4 for one of their dishes (because they’re AWESOME!).
Then the sides, again not many for a vegan and even then they’re confusing. ALL the fries in the menu were listed as vegetarian*, as were the onion rings, yet the allergens list on their site has them listed as vegan.
The * stands for the fact that certain foods such as the fries might be fried in the same oil as meat products. Personally, Aaron and I don’t mind that because there is no animal product in our food.
We decided to risk it and opted for some Tiger Fries which are a mix of skin on fries and sweet potato fries. These were actually really nice.
So Eban is a flexitarian. As he’s eight he has the choice of what he wants to eat, when he’s not at home. While at home he eats the same as us so it’s all plant-based but he’s allowed the choice when out for a meal, if he has a school lunch or when out with grandparents.
He actually showed disappointment that he didn’t have a vegan option should he have wanted one. There are a couple of vegetarian options such as pasta, Quorn sausages and pizza but no actual vegan option. The sausages could easily have been made vegan by using a different brand such as Linda McCartney or even Asda’s vegetable sausages are a nice vegan option.
Instead, he opted for ribs with corn and potato waffles. He enjoyed it, you could tell by the BBQ sauce all over his face but it was still just a standard pub option.
I love my puddings so when I see a vegan dessert on a menu I get a little giddy. Their “Zing While You’re Winning” dessert is listed as vegan if you take the cream off, which is fine. A “Lemon and lime sorbet with summer pudding bites, raspberry sauce, squirty cream and strawberry pieces.” sounds right up my street. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn’t bothered. There was just too much sorbet and not enough of everything else.
I ordered the sharer one for us all. Aaron had about two bites but it was then too sharp for him. I love lemon, lime, raspberries and strawberries so I was almost certain I’d be able to share the rest with Eban (the pudding monster). He gave up not long after.
There were four visible pudding bites, possibly more at the bottom but by the time I got there they were liquid. We must have left a third of it and I NEVER leave pudding.
The service was good, the food was hot and to say it was the day before they officially opened it all went well. If you eat meat/dairy and are looking for pub grub then this is a good choice, especially if you like places such as Hungry Horse or Fayre & Square pubs.
If you are vegan and everyone in your party is vegan then I DON’T recommend coming here. There just aren’t enough options to make it worth the visit and even then, some of the options are confusing.
If you’re looking for somewhere suitable for everyone, with a similar style menu then check out a Harvester. We went there recently and the vegan options were REALLY good – not to mention the salad bar.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go places with a limited menu such as Wetherspoons but I expect a little more thought to have gone in to the dish.
I wasn’t asked to do this review, the reason I was there the day before opening was because I’d won a table with £15 credit towards a meal via their Facebook page. I had been planning to visit within the first couple of weeks of them opening anyway, I was just lucky to have been invited early.