We've got a little announcement to make..

For those of you who follow us on social media, you might have noticed that our food posts have been a bit more American themed lately. Well that's because WE'RE OPENING AN AMERICAN DINER IN GATESHEAD and we are soooooo excited to finally be able to share our news with you. Think juicy burgers, saucy hotdogs, grilled sandwiches, mac n cheese, waffles, fries, milkshakes, man vs. food style challenges.. AND all 100% VEGAN! *wipes drool*

We've been in the catering business for a few years now and one thing we've noticed is that the North East vegan scene is seriously lagging behind. Edinburgh, Brighton and London are the big players in the vegan game and we thought it was about time the North East ramped it up. So here we come!

While Newcastle could do with a few more modern vegan eateries, we've decided to stay away from the City and turn our attention to Gateshead instead. After all, Grumpy Panda Food was born and bred here. We can't give the exact location away yet, but just know that we'll be in the city centre and not necessarily where you would expect.

We don't have any more information for you right now (sorry!) but keep an eye out on our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for the latest details.

Meals IN Wheels - Progress!

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you may recognise this post a few months ago..

@Grumpy Panda Food  'Sooo.. This old lady is the beginning of something new for us!...'

@Grumpy Panda Food  'Sooo.. This old lady is the beginning of something new for us!...'

Back in May we acquired the back end of a classic Mini with every intention of quickly doing it up for use at our Summer '16 events. Well, that didn't quite go to plan and four months, lots of boring compliance paperwork, a whole sketchbook of design ideas and basic body rebuilding later and it's allllmost ready for it's first lick of paint.

Firstly, we have to mention Stu. He's the man who found this gem for us, and he's seriously the coolest man we've ever met. From his workshop on a small industrial estate in Gateshead he makes furniture out of ACTUAL AEROPLANES (well, parts of them). Wall clocks from windows, desks from doors, drinks cabinets from trolleys, tables from wings, even a sofa from a jet engine! The furniture is shipped all around the world and it's fantastic. Great job Stu-art Aviation Furniture!

So, back to the Mini. As far as we know (which isn't much to be honest) she's a classic Mini Mk3. Car enthusiasts may object but for now that's all we have to go on. She's stripped down to the shell and cut just before the hand brake slot (remember we know nothing about cars so you'll have to bare with our terminology, sorry!). Like any girl of her age she's got a few screws missing and she's a bit rough around the edges so we've certainly got out work cut out for us. 

After strengthening the bodywork we were ready to get creative and put our plans into motion. We sourced and fitted a boot lid, reworked the edging,  fitted shelves made of pallet wood, and cut out sections of the floor to make it easier to serve from.

We'll post more updates as we go, so watch this space!





Edinburgh Fringe Festival

We crossed the Scottish Borders at the weekend, armed with loaded chipotle chilli nachos ready to exhibit at the Edinburgh Vegan Festival, an incredibly popular two-day event held at The Roxburghe Hotel in Charlotte Square. 

EVF formed parted of the Fringe Festival this year which brought a great atmosphere to the streets of Edinburgh and there really was something for everyone. Comedians, theatre shows, live music, street performers and amusement rides all added to the vibe of the city and it was a pleasure to be a tiny part of it. 

There was hotdogs, pies, falafel, curry, bean burgers and jackfruit wraps on offer for lunch and a huge selection of sweet treats for afters, but despite the choice we still managed to sell out before closing time! As we've always said, one of our favourite parts of travelling around food events is getting the chance to try other vegan produce. Our favourite stops this time were SGAIA's amazing vegan eggs benedict, Sharaf's tasty falafel salad wrap, Affogato's gelato and of course no vegan event would be complete without a trip to Missy's Vegan Cupcakes..

Selling out for us it was a win-win situation for us- it meant our food had went down a treat in a brand new city which was awesome, and it also freed up some time to take advantage of the mini golf which was conveniently placed right outside of the hotel!

It was our first time branching out of the North East but it certainly won't be our last. We loved every second of the Edinburgh Vegan Festival. Our fellow stallholders were lovely as always and it was great to meet the vegans and veggies of Edinburgh - what a friendly bunch of people you are! Thanks guys, we'll be back very soon! :) 

Remember to send your photos to us @GrumpyPandaFood or tag #GrumpyPandaFood and we'll be sure to repost them here! 


Thanks for visiting us veganlifestartsat40 :)

Thanks for visiting us veganlifestartsat40 :)

Thanks for the photo  bammaaa_  !

Thanks for the photo bammaaa_ !

Thanks for posting  puggle_lover_x3  !

Thanks for posting puggle_lover_x3 !

Thanks for visiting us!  yasminvspython

Thanks for visiting us! yasminvspython

EcoFest 2016

When we heard Metro Radio Arena was going to host the North East Vegan Festival this month we jumped at the chance to exhibit there - after all, not many small, independent catering companies get to say they've played in the same place as David Bowie!

Farplace Animal Rescue, the organisers of NEVFest, joined forces with hundreds of local businesses like ourselves to create the regions first EcoFest, a huge event that was enjoyed by thousands of like-minded visitors. There was a great variety of food, arts, crafts, charity and information stalls and live music played throughout the day. In the centre of the arena Nissan, BMW and Tesla showcased a number of electric and hybrid vehicles - a great treat for all the environmentally conscious car enthusiasts!

We took along our Black Eye Panda Pockets and the newest addition to the Grumpy Panda menu, loaded Chipotle Chilli Cheese Nachos and boy did they go down well with you lot! In fact, our nachos sold out quicker than anything we've ever made before (and yes, that includes our mushroom burgers!!).

At events like these we love to try out our fellow stallholders produce and stuff our faces with the latest veggie trends, and EcoFest you certainly didn't disappoint! I can't even begin to describe how awesome our post festival dinner from Unless Hardcore Vegan Catering was, and of course like any good vegan should, we overdosed on perfectly sweet cakey sugary goodness from our friends at Missy's Vegan Cupcakes!

Sadly we won't be exhibiting at the next North East Vegan Festival in November as we're on holiday but we look forward to returning next year, and in the meantime you can keep track of us using our calendar

It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and plenty of new ones, we really have to thank you for all of your amazing feedback and support, we couldn't do this without you! 

Remember to tag us in your Grumpy Panda Food photos @GrumpyPandaFood or #GrumpyPandaFood and we'll make sure to re-blog them! 
Thanks for the photo  @yorkshirevgn  follow his blog   here  .

Thanks for the photo @yorkshirevgn follow his blog here.

Thanks for the photo  @ellenwatchesmovies !

Thanks for the photo @ellenwatchesmovies!

Beets Your Meat!

Our customers are always curious about our beetballs and we’re constantly asked how we make them. A lot of people just think they’re balls of beetroot in a tomato sauce so they’re very pleasantly surprised once they bite into them! The balls themselves are actually a blend of roasted beetroot, caramelised onions, pearl barley and oats, and although we can’t give our exact recipe away (sorry!), we thought we’d give you some tips on how to make them!

Cut your beets into small chunks and season well before roasting.

Cut your beets into small chunks and season well before roasting.

Once you’ve roasted the beetroot you need to purée it. This is the base of the mixture and from here you can add any extra ingredients such as onions, carrots or dried herbs. Try experimenting with different vegetables to make some tasty combinations.

Think of your favourite flavourings and what type of ‘meat’ you’d like to create. We serve our balls in a rich marinara sauce so we opt for more Italian seasonings such as oregano and basil, but Lincolnshire or Cumberland seasonings also work perfectly.

To stiffen the mixture we use oats but you could substitute these for breadcrumbs, polenta or chickpeas depending on your personal preference.

Once you’ve perfected your mix it’s time to roll your balls. We find they work best when rolled to the size of a ping-pong ball, but again this is all down to personal preference.

We pan fry our balls before marinating them in sauce and placing them in a bain-marie for service, but they’re equally delicious when oven baked.

Newcastle Vegan Festival

We were excited to exhibit at Newcastle Vegan Festival yesterday which was held in the beautiful Assembly Rooms. Like NevFest back in May we kept our menu to mushroom burgers and beetballs which went down a storm once again!

We love meeting fellow traders and finding out about all their vegan goodies-  Tyne Chease and Freet were our particular favourites this time around, as well as Missy’s Vegan Cupcakes whose sweet treats are to die for! There’s so many lovely people in the vegan trading world that we’re constantly learning and meeting new friends.

Burgers and 'Balls!

We were lucky enough to exhibit at NevFest (North East Vegan Festival) at the Stadium of Light a couple of weeks ago, and it was fantastic! Such a great atmosphere. We had one of the biggest queues in the whole stadium and sold out of everything within a few hours, despite doubling up on our portions from last year!

Our ‘chefs secret’ mushroom burgers made a verrry popular return this year, many customers remembered us from last year, and many more came back for seconds! From all of the amazing feedback we received, we’ve decided to make our burgers a permanent Grumpy Panda food, and will be coming with us wherever we go!

We also offered ‘beet’ball marinara subs, and the response to these was incredible! Think of a fully loaded meatball marinara sub roll – the kind you get from the popular green, yellow and white sandwich shop – make that entirely vegan, and add crunchy onions on top.. delicious! The ‘beet’balls themselves are a blend of beetroot, caramelised onions, pearl barley and our secret spices, and they’re marinated in a rich Italian-style tomato sauce. Whack that in a sub roll, top with crunchy onions and voilà!

We’re so lucky to be able to do what we love, and have people love what we do. NevFest is an amazing event in support of an equally amazing cause (check out Farplace Animal Rescue charity – the guys behind it all. They operate a no kill animal sanctuary in the North East and run almost entirely on donations!) We can’t wait to join you again for NevFest 4 in November!

We were so busy during the festival that we never got a chance to take any photos of our burgers and ‘balls.. So here’s three of our team enjoying the attention ;)