What do Derby folk say about Carnero Lounge?
Some say our coffee is the best in Derby. Some say we have the best hospitality, including a great kids corner. Some say we’re the perfect spot for people watching from our huge windows (that open right out) and outside seating, as we’re on a great spot on St. Peter Street pretty much in the city centre. Some say we serve a delicious vegetarian breakfast (from our fantastic range of food and drinks that includes full kids, gluten free and vegan menus). And some ask why we have a photo of a smiling man being rubbed with lard on the wall.
(Text from thelounges.co.uk/Carnero)
I love having my own menu. Some reatsuarants are adding all of their vegan or vegetarian dishes to their own menu and honestly, it is one of my favourite things. Instead of having to sift through the main menu, you can have everything suitable to eat on one page. It's so much simpler and something that I am seeing a lot more of.
I had the vegan breakfast when we visited. At the time, this came with falafel which were crispy on the outside, and crammed full of flavour on the inside. I could honestly have eaten a bowl of these 0n their own.
The second star of the plate was the spinach which had been wilted alongside wood fired red peppers. I love spinach, it’s delicious and so good for you. Packed full of loads of vitamins and iron too everyone should eat it. Trust me at Carnero Lounge they nail their spinach. It was seasoned well, and the natural flavour was allowed to shine through which I really enjoyed. It also wasn’t covered in oil, which is always a bonus.
The mushrooms were also fabulous, but I always love mushrooms in fairness. They had been sauted in non-dairy butter, and complemented the plate nicely. The beans, although wonderfully presented in an tiny enamel mug, were just beans after all and I would have preferred it if the hash browns were made in-house and a little crispier, but not everything can be perfect after all. I would go back again, to see what changed have been made. The staff did let us know that they change the menu often, and that even though it's a chain the different locations offer different dishes and drinks.
The Carnero Lounge is an oddity of eclectic furniture and decoration, but done right, so as to be interesting, rather than untidy.
The staff are friendly, and always happy to advise if needed, especially if you don't know which cocktail you fancy.
As with most new places, I was going to choose a burger, as it is a fairly safe bet, but something interesting caught my eye; The Superhero Burger which was made up of a beefburger, buttermilk fried chicken, smoked streaky bacon, slow-cooked pulled pork, melted cheese, tomato, red onion and burger sauce and topped with Cajun-spiced onion rings. It was one of those moments where you wonder if you are hungry or just greedy.
It was well built when it arrived, with no collapsing or mess that usually comes with such ludicrous burgers, and was actually stable all the way through eating. It was a lot of food, but definitely worth it!
I can also recommend their cocktails, as we were dining just as the 2-4-1 offer was ending, and they allowed us to "bank" a few drinks on our tab to be collected later. When we were not sure of what to have, we let the bartender decide and had some of the most interesting cocktails ever. My tip, if you are adventurous, ask for the bartender to surprise you with a cocktail. It may be one of the most interesting drinks you have ever had.