Like most people in Norfolk, when I awoke to find the sunlight streaming through the windows on Sunday morning, I was itching to get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D, in spite of the fact that I had plenty of housework to do. Calling up a friend, I made plans to take a walk around the lake at Whitlingham so we could have a natter while making the most of the weekend.
Of course, once I’d had my walk, it was only right to feel the need to replace all of the calories that I had burnt off in the course of my perambulation. Ever the genius, my friend suggested we try a vegetarian place that she had heard about in Trowse and I couldn’t help but be intrigued.
The River Green Cafe is located on The Street in Trowse, with decking and tables overlooking the village green and the river. My first impressions were good – the decking was neat and tidy, while the big patio doors let lots of beautiful light into the restaurant. It was the perfect setting for a bright sunny day.
The moment we walked through the door, I was hit by delicious, hunger-inducing smells of garlic, warm bread and herbs, while I was struck by how bright and clean everything looked.
Taking a lunch and main menu each, we decided to sit outside while we made a decision. I had expected that I wouldn’t be too keen on the vegan and vegetarian options – expecting them to lack substance and ultimately leave me hungry, unlike last weekend’s full-on meat feast – however, there were lots of meals to tempt my fancy. From fennel and celery soup and veggie burritos to mushroom Wellington and sharing platters, I was amazed by the number of options.
However, having had an energetic walk, I decided that I wanted something calorific and substantial, so chose the mushroom and mozzarella burger with chilli salsa and chips.
A non-disappointing veggie burger
Now, I know what you’re thinking: what could possibly go wrong with a veggie burger? But believe me, there’s a lot can go wrong. It can be too watery, too bland, too dry and so on, so I was very happy with the burger that appeared at River Green. Not only did it look good, but it tasted lovely too.
The moist portobello mushroom had a hint of garlic and was accompanied by the salty tang of sundried tomatoes and creamy, mild mozzarella. The wholemeal seeded bun was pretty good too, giving plenty of bite to the burger and absorbing the delicious mushroom juices.
But it was the chips that really won me over. They actually tasted of potato. Not fat. Not salt. Potato. It actually made me believe that the chips were nutritious. I was stunned. They were particularly good with the tasty salsa, which didn’t make it into my burger, but served as a dip for my chips.
At £7.90, the bill was very reasonable. I know that there was no meat involved, but the produce was tasty and cooked well and the service was similarly excellent. The waiting staff were cheerful and friendly, while being attentive without being pushy.
I can honestly say that I will be back for another visit in the summer, so I can enjoy a glass of wine and a meal on the decking without having to wear a coat. I will be keeping an eye on their menus too, so I can be sure that I’m not missing out!