Glasgow is a town filled with restaurant adventure.
There are places for high end, elegant dining, rowdy pizzerias which cater to university students, coffee shops, tea shops, chip shops where you can enjoy not only fish and chips but fried haggis, world tastes including Indian from every part of the sub continent, dishes from Spain, Italy, Thailand, and other areas of the globe.
What about places in Glasgow which focus on healthy food though?
One place you can look to for a healthy meal is Martha’s Cafe.
Meat eaters and vegetarians are both welcomed. At breakfast you might try porridge, which can liven up with toppings for a small extra charge, or yoghurt, which you can also top as you will. There are egg dishes as well, and not your everyday eggs, either.
Hearty egg pots, Martha’s calls them. Eggs over salmon, or mushroom and smokey haricot bean stew are two of the combinations you’ll find. There are hot rolls as well, classic bacon, Scotch beef, mushroom with roasted tomato and potato scone, and others.
What I chose on my most recent visit to Martha’s came from the hot mains range of the menu however.
There are usually half a dozen or so of these, which change a bit seasonally. Pork, chicken, beef, and several sorts of veg dishes were on the menu this day. My choice
was Veg Kon Kan Curry.
Served atop a generous helping of well cooked brown rice. my curry was mild in spice and well filled with mostly root veg. Usually I prefer a bit more heat to my curry, but the level of heat was a good choice for this dish. It allowed the earthy grace of the squash, potato, beetroot, and celeriac to come through, as well as the delicate balance of the spices. My curry was sided by a crunchy slaw with a lightly creamy dressing, which made a tasty combination. They have been experimenting with offering dahl as a side dish for their curries, too, so that may be on offer when you visit.
Hot main dishes often include Red Dragon Pork, beetroot based falafel, chicken curry, and a keema dish — Scotch beef featured in the keema when I visited. There are wraps
and salads on offer, too, as well as desserts.
Many dishes are or can be made dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian. Going in the other direction, you can also have meat added to a veg dish for a small charge.
Martha’s is proud to source much of its food locally to Glasgow. There’s a whole section at the cafe’s website featuring these businesses, including the one which makes the eco friendly containers in which Martha’s food is served.
Though it is a few steps below street level, there are large windows. The interior colors are bright and light. Martha’s clearly does most of its business with those who work in offices and shops nearby stopping in to get food to take away. They welcome people to sit in as well, though, as I did on my visit. There are large tables where groups can eat together and smaller ones where single diners and couples sit.
Martha’s is on Saint Vincent Street near where it crosses Renfield Street, a short walk from the busy pedestrian area of Buchanan Street called Glasgow’s style mile. The staff members are cheerful and fast moving. Most dishes are priced in the two to six pound range. They all are, as Martha’s tag lines say, fast, hearty, healthy food for the busy people of Glasgow.
You know I am going to suggest music to go along with this— as musical accompaniment to your walk through the streets of Glasgow to Martha’s, try the music of native Glaswegian Eddi Reader.
Photographs by Kerry Dexter. Thank you for respecting copyright.
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