Urban Angel – natural food all the way!

For the 2nd instalment in my beat the #foodbloggerbelly quest I dropped in to meet with Gilly owner of Urban Angel at their Forth Street Cafe and find out more about how they cater for different dietary requirements and their approach to food.

Interestingly, right from the outset it was very clear that Gilly totally believes in her products, on offering me a cake and with a look of almost pitying disappointment when I said I couldn’t as I was on a diet she replied “there’s nothing bad for you in our cakes!”. And funnily enough although such confectionary doesn’t fit in with my current self-imposed low carb (processed foods) and low-fat diet, that I’ve already been struggling with and I’m only on week 2, I have to agree with her. Organic butter, local free range eggs and sugar are all good natural ingredients and everything is made from scratch.

the salad 'deli' counter

And there we come to the crux of it, Urban Angel was founded with ethical consumerism and good quality natural products at the heart and the belief in this ethos is convincingly absolute. Clearly passionate about food and eating out (I got some great recommendations for London trips) Gilly knows her stuff and balances considerations such as local v airmiles with regards to organic products and their menu and wine list are wholesome in a mouth-watering way if not specifically geared to a calorie/carb or fat counted  diet.

They do regularly cater for people with special dietary requirements, the most common being Gluten-free, Vegan and dairy-free although small changes could be made to a number of dishes to suit most needs.

inside Urban Angel in Forth Street

Sipping on my gorgeously warming and spicy biochai tea served with steamed milk & honey I was really enjoying talking with Gilly about her pretty sensible and engaging approach to food and found myself agreeing with a lot of it and again questioning some of the aspects of the diet that I’m currently on. (Note to self – once I’ve lost an initial chunk of excess weight I think I may well embrace this approach too.)

After the previous day’s complete diet derailment while lunching at The Honours it was time to get back on track so we tried their fresh soups of the day, the first a parsnip root, roasted garlic & caraway seed and a tangy lentil and the other a red pepper & tomato affair. Both were tasty although the lentil, red pepper & tomato had the edge for me, thankfully as that was the non-dairy lower fat option better suited to my diet. The home-baked foccacia on the side proved too much to ignore though so I had a little sliver to taste (& was very glad I did, yum!).

parsnip root, roasted garlic & caraway seed soup

The whole time Gilly enthused about food, to her it’s wonderful, the best parts of the day to her are breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks in between! (yes, she did mention them all) “If you’re eating good healthy natural food it’s hard to go wrong” she says and it certainly works for her, she’s tiny!!!

I left our meeting with plenty of ‘food for thought’ (pun fully intended) as well as some interesting things to look up – seabuckthorn juice – a pungent supplement that is amazingly high in Vit C that their pastry Chef uses in jellies etc and Bircher Muesli, oats soaked overnight in apple juice and served with shredded apple, that is both super tasty and also healthy and dairy free, WIN!

I’m looking forward to going back one evening in a month or two and sampling a little of ‘anything I darn well please’ all washed down with a glass each (I couldn’t choose between them) of their organic Malbec, Primitivo and Pinot Noir wines, safe in the knowledge I’m putting a little love and quality natural products back inside.

Urban Angel, 1 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JX • 0131 556 6323 

or 121 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DJ • 0131 225 6215 

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4 Responses to “Urban Angel – natural food all the way!”

  1. January 20, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Did you say no to the cake? I’d have struggled. I’d have also struggled just eating a sliver of ciabbatta, too 😉 I completley agree with you though: once my belly’s gone, low carb is getting ditched in favour of general better eating habits.

    Looking forward to your next post 😀

    • January 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

      I did indeed Jemma, but you’ll see why soon enough (if you didn’t see my fb update on Weds) when I fell spectacularly off the rails :o) It really made a lot of sense what she was saying and to be honest made a lot more sense than denying yourself, just need to shift some of the excess first!

  2. January 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Urban Angel remains one of our fave places for a spot of late breakfast or lunch. The staff are always wonderfully attentive and friendly, and frankly the eggs benedict are to die for. Not to mention the New York style cheese cake is also worth a visit alone. We recently visited their second cafe on Hanover street with baby buggy in tow. There were no free tables at the time, but the staff helped us carry the buggy inside and made sure we were comfortable while we waited for a free table. Excellent service, lovely food.

    • January 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

      ooh eggs benedict & NY cheesecake, not sure I can last a couple of months till I go back! At this rate if I ever manage to lose any weight it’ll be a bloomin miracle!

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