This was my first time at Mary & Archie, despite living super close. My partner and I were looking for somewhere to have a kick-ass Sunday breakfast and not having much luck at all.
Any Mancunian would assume Chorlton is haven for vegan food .... Sadly not the case. There is Tea Hive (which is great if you want mushrooms on toast) and an ENTIRE vegan grocery store, which is the best place on earth, but Chorlton isn't a spot with a wealth of vegan food options. (Which is okay by the way! I ain't the entitled type.)
We were walking past Mary & Archie and it looks gorgeous from the outside. I'm Australian, so anything with a great-looking coffee machine, big open doors, outdoor seating and fresh flowers on the tables is going to take my fancy. Once we sat down and got a glass of water, I felt I could close my eyes and pretend I was home in Brisbane... it had the same feel and vibe of a curb-side Aussie cafe. And I love that. (The weather is even nice today!)
We grabbed a menu and, as expected, there was no vegan breakfast (not shocked. Ever.) We approached the counter like naughty children to ask if we could be the Annoying, Menu-Changing People and the staff were fab. "Yeah, change what you want!" "Vegan? Totally fine."
THANK YOU. I guess we are in Chorlton. We can't be the first ones.
We sat down at a lovely table, right by the open doors and were served pretty much immediately. All the staff were ace - warm, friendly, didn't treat us like vegan-aliens. She jotted down our breakfast amendments and then, tragically informed me that they don't have soy milk. Only almond and coconut.
This is growing more and more common and it devastates me. I inquired why and she said they are just trying it out, seeing what sells best. Totally understandable - business need to be good businesses and stock what sells.
But I have gone to more and more places lately that are not serving soy milk and I fear it's a response to the fear-mongering around soy, which has been largely proven to be baloney.
There is a LOT of negative press around soy (though it has eased off in the last year or so) and I certainly took the time to do my research to see if there was something in it.
Is soy actually bad for us? To save you time and energy and me typing for ever and ever, here is an awesome video from Unnatural Vegan on YouTube that is great watching, and very well researched.
All I would say to cafes is - please don't shun soy for any health reasons. I WELCOME any comments on this post or on my Facebook page if you have new information to share - I am always eager to learn and I keep an open mind. But, from my previous exhaustive research and drinking soy every day for the last five years and feeling absolutely ace (not to mention my partner's 33-year-long soy consumption without sprouting boobs) I don't believe there is anything to fear. Science has done it's thing and they haven't found anything scary.
So, aside from my not-soy latte (which is not Mary & Archie's fault. As I am one of the only vegans in the world who don't worship almond milk) our experience was fantastic. The breakfast arrived and I nearly cried into the perfectly ripe, perfectly seasoned avocado.
It was delicious.
I highly recommend any vegans popping by this place. You'll get a lovely coffee (depending what milk you like!) a delicious breakfast and a very warm welcome.
Thanks Mary & Archie for treating us good :)
Mary & Archie is located in Chorlton at 111 Manchester Rd, Manchester M21 9PG
How To Spread The Vegan Word Without Being a Preachy A***hole
10 Reasons to F**king LOVE Ricky Gervais