September 12, 2013
For my final night in Glasgow I went to the last of the veggie pubs in town. The 13th Note is a long-running music venue, playing host to local luminaries like Teenage Fanclub, The Pastels, Belle & Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand. It was started by the guy behind Mono, Stereo and The 78 although it has since been taken over by someone else. It still has a very, very similar vibe to the other venues - there's live music, a relaxed bar area and a pub-style veggie menu.
Unlike the other venues, the 13th Note isn't entirely vegan - there are a handful of well labelled cheesy options - but the vast majority is animal product free. There's a wide range of snacks and starters, covering cuisines from all around the world - including dhal (£3.95/$6.95), salt and pepper tofu (£3.95/$6.95), sweet potato fritters (£4.25/$7.25) and Greek salad (£3.70/$6.30). The mains are similarly diverse, with a mix of burgers, curries, noodles and the quintessential Scottish haggis, neeps and tatties (£6.95/$11.85). I was still a bit full of soup and sandwiches, so I wound up choosing a couple of things from the starters menu.
The herby meetballs in napoli sauce with garlic bread (£4.25/$7.25) were hard little spheres of TVP drowning in a pot of tomatoey sauce. The garlic toast was nice and crunchy, but otherwise this wasn't the most exciting dish.
More satisfying was the vegan spanakopita served with a smoked paprika dip and a basic salad (£4.25/$7.25). The vegan cheese was a pretty reasonable imitation of feta - salty and a bit rubbery - and was combined with spinach and pine nuts in a crispy pastry cigar. It would have been great to get a bit more spanakopita for the price, but that's the risk of ordering from the snacks menu I guess.
After two starters I found myself still a bit on the hungry side, so I explored the dessert options, choosing the vegan cheesecake with chocolate sauce (£5.65/$9.60).
This hit the spot nicely - tangy cheesecake with a hint of lime and a distinct lack of the occasionally problematic tofu-aftertaste.
The 13th Note would be a standout venue in most cities, but in Glasgow it's competing with a bunch of other places working in a very similar style. I quite enjoyed my visit - the staff were lovely, the music great and the general vibe welcoming and relaxed. Sadly, the food fell a bit short of the standards set elsewhere around town - it's worth stopping in while you're in town, but I'd prioritise Mono, Stereo and Saramago ahead of it.
The 13th Note has been well-reviewed by glasgowfooddiary, Shiny Bubbles, Taste of Glasgow, Tea_eagle's blog, Gluten Free Traveller and Jen the Vegan.
The 13th Note
50-60 King Street, Glasgow
0141 553 1638
snacks and starters £2.70-4.75~AU$4.60-8.10, mains £6.90-7.50~AU$11.75-12.80
Accessibility: There's a flat entryway into a spacious interior. You order and pay at a high bar. I didn't visit the toilets.