Deputy Digital Editor Holly Pittaway sampled the latest vegan adaptations that Britain’s best loved food chains have to offer this Veganuary
It’s Veganuary and you know what that means? More giant corporate fast food conglomerates looking to expand their market to the financially untapped vegan population! In other words, I tried the Greggs ‘Vegan Steak Bake’ and the Subway ‘Meatless Meatball Marinara Melt’ sub, and here’s what I have to say about them:
Greggs’ ‘Vegan Steak Bake’
Having never had an actual ‘Steak Bake’ I have very little to compare this plant-based alternative to, but nonetheless it was very pleasant. The sister of the ever popular ‘Vegan Sausage Roll’ that was introduced last year is much larger and meatier than its counterpart, though a little too large for one sitting in my opinion – had I not shared it with my mum I think I would have found it stodgy.
The ‘meat’ is soft and not too meat-like, something that I prefer in a vegan alternative. However, this might potentially dissuade a meat-eater from purchasing in place of the original ‘Steak Bake.’ The taste of the filling was quite similar to onion gravy (emphasis on the onion – if you aren’t a big fan you probably won’t like this), while the pastry was thick but overall pretty much the same as the ‘Vegan Sausage Roll.’
If I ever found myself hungry and passing a Greggs, I would probably consider buying this again; but of their two vegan pastries, the sausage roll is far superior.
Subway’s ‘Meatless Meatball Marinara Melt’
I used to be a massive fan of the ‘Meatball Marinara Melt’ sub when I was a meat-eater, so having the option to try one of my old favourites, but more sustainably, is fantastic.
As far as I can tell, the sauce is the same as the normal marinara sauce, while the meatless balls are a lot tougher than the meat version – the taste, however, is good and quite smoky.
The vegan cheese is a bit of an acquired taste, and I have not acquired it. It’s a little on the pale side and has an overly ‘cheesy’ taste which is a bit odd. I did ask for extra cheese, though, which was a mistake in hindsight, so next time I try this I’ll definitely go for less. Of the two vegan fast food items that I tried, this was definitely my favourite.