Vegan Mofo: Mod’s at Thirsty Scholar, Manchester

Vegan Secret Supper 003

Day Nine:  Most Retro Recipe

Spam is retro, isn’t it? I was certainly surprised to see it listed on the breakfast menu at The Thirsty Scholar in Manchester!

The Thirsty Scholar is located under a bridge and looks a bit daunting to a mild-mannered lady like me.  But it is worth venturing in, because the bar staff and Mod, the chef, are all really friendly and helpful, and the portions are gigantic.  It’s not refined, elegant food:  it’s big and greasy and hits the spot.  So while it wasn’t the best breakfast I’ve ever had, it was exactly what I expected, and I will have it again one day when the mood takes me.

It consisted of three toast triangles (one of the best serving sizes we’ve encountered), some mushrooms, roasted tomatoes (boo!), lots of beans, sausages, and spam.  The spam was a bit unnecessary, I thought – it was an extra bit of meat that didn’t really contribute much to the dish.  In fairness, I may just have been underwhelmed because I never tried real spam, so didn’t have much to compare it to.  The menu listed a solitary hash brown amongst the components, so imagine my delight on finding two hiding there under the toast!  They were delicious, as was the black pudding, which costs extra but is hard to resist when it’s available.

We went there on a gorgeous summer day and dined at the picnic tables outside.  The main drawback to Thirsty Scholar is that they don’t start serving breakfast till 1pm on Saturdays.  That’s just lunch, is it not?  I suspect it’s very much intended as hangover food:  the late start, the greasiness.  I imagine it would be very good for that.  For me it will be a rare indulgence.

Speed of service:  There weren’t many people there before us, so service was quick and really friendly.  4/5

Value for money:  Considering how cheap and cheerful the setting is, I feel like it could have been either a bit cheaper or a bit more plentiful (I’m basing this on how massive the helpings are for the burgers, chips and onion rings).  It was £7 for the breakfast, with an extra £1 for black pudding – but we got that £1 back as they were short of sausages and we only got 1 each.  3/5

Quality of cooking:  The mushrooms really let this dish down – there was no seasoning, and when I cut into them, they oozed liquid everywhere.  I would have preferred the black pudding to be sliced up and fried, as Mr HH always serves it nice and crispy when he takes to the kitchen, and it’s sublime.  2/5

Creativity:  The black pudding was a great addition, but the spam didn’t add much at all.  It was pretty much a bog standard fry-up, which is fine if that’s what you’re in the mood for.  2/5

Total:  11/20

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11 Responses to Vegan Mofo: Mod’s at Thirsty Scholar, Manchester

  1. I loved eating Mod’s food when I was in Manchester & this looks like a pretty epic breakfast.

    • Jenny says:

      I remember being astonished by the portion of chips and onion rings the first time I had a burger there. If you’re hungry, it’s the place to go!

  2. Vegan spam?! I didn’t even know such a thing existed! Being old enough to remember the real thing, I’m hoping they don’t taste alike. Looks like a decent fry up though, I always like a potato element in the brekkie.

    • Jenny says:

      Yeah, I always had the impression that spam wasn’t really a meat you would choose for its taste. To be honest, the vegan version didn’t have too much flavour, it was more of a generic imitation meat…probably a good thing!

  3. Jennifer says:

    WOW! What a plate! I didn’t know that vegan spam existed either! LOL Great post!

  4. Caroline says:

    Aw, dear Mr Mod. Pleased to see him getting a shout out. I’m pretty sure that the spam Mod uses is Fry’s Polony, the big sausage one that you buy frozen. It’s ages since I’ve had a breakfast there, i used to live up the road and am very find of the Scholar. I don’t think black pudding used to be on it. I love that black pudding and we often have it in breakfasts at home.

  5. ameyfm says:

    I’ve never even heard of black pudding! I sure wish I could go out somewhere for a full english breakfast. When I tried cooking one for myself for mofo, I was so annoyed at how many dishes it took and how much work it was to make each component. I would probably even be happy with a fairy mediocre one… ha ha! Plus, I love the tomatoes. Sorry.

    • Jenny says:

      I never make a full English at home, but my boyfriend does, which means I’m on washing up duty. It is the worst – he has to use basically every pot and utensil we have! I’d really recommend black pudding if you can get your hands on some. It’s really nicely spiced, and you fry it so it’s good and crisp on the outside.

  6. Pingback: Vegan Mofo: The Hideaway, Urmston | Herbivores' Heaven

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