Tyneside’s newest restaurant is serving up a feast of treats for vegans, vegetarians and those with gluten and nut allergies.
El Paso, at Osborne Road, Jesmond – which opened on Easter Sunday – specialises in Latin American dishes, from tacos, tapas and tostadas, to traditional meat and fish dishes.
And it has ensured that every dietary requirement is catered for, with an entire vegan range along with gluten-free and vegetarian options throughout each section of the menu.
Among the vegan options is a range of tacos with fillings such as cauliflower fritters with apple, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts; asparagus baja with Mexican slaw and pickled chillies and blackened beets with pineapple salsa, carrots and the restaurant’s signature, spicy, Almost Death sauce.
The Latino tapas section of the menu also features vegan options such as courgette ribbon fritters with mango and chilli sauce, tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole and El Paso salad.
While breakfast diners can opt for porridge with strawberries and granola or a vegan sausage sandwich with black bean purée.
All sections of the menu incorporate vegetarian dishes, from wild mushrooms with drunken beans and scrambled eggs for brunch, to Spanish tortilla tapas with roast garlic potato and goat’s cheese.
In addition, all dishes on the menu are clearly marked to alert diners to the presence of nuts and indicating gluten free alternatives where applicable.
The man behind the menu, Brazilian head chef Bruno Palma, said he planned from the outset to ensure it offered plenty of choice for non-meat eaters, vegans and those with food intolerances.
“Latino cooking relies heavily on flavour, from pickles and citrus fruits to spices and sauces and it also traditionally uses a variety of fruits and vegetables.
“So, there is a vast amount of scope when creating vegan and vegetarian dishes and plenty of opportunity to be creative.
“The menu will evolve and I’ll be more than happy to add to the vegan and vegetarian options if the demand is as high as I expect it to be.”
Along with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes, the menu also clearly indicates which contains nuts, dairy and shellfish.
The 100-cover restaurant, formerly Scalini’s, is owned by Newcastle-based Malhotra Group plc and has a private dining area, which can be hired for parties and celebrations.
El Paso is open daily from 10am to 11pm (last orders for food 9.45pm) with brunch served between 10am and 2pm. For more information, or to book, visit www.elpasojesmond.co.uk.