A healthy spot for trendy, balanced eaters with appetite. Those who like their salads, but are rather partial to eating hummus by the spoonful, a good homemade burger, or perhaps a wedge or two of brownie. The Filmore & Union brand is all about wholesome, colourful grub – whether brekkie, lunch or dinner – made from scratch. Veggies will have a field day here, but meat-eaters can still get their fix, too. And with plenty of plant-based goodness on offer as well, vegans are also welcome too (same goes for the gluten-free gang). We stopped by the newly-opened Jesmond brand (find it on Acorn Road) one Saturday afternoon to find it packed to the rafters with hungry students, older chums and mum and daughters. A real mix of people, all tucking into their greens with glee. Oh, and if you’re wondering, you’ll find the company’s first – and very stylish – restaurant in York Petergate, but it has venues in the likes of Harrogate, Beverley, Wetherby, Ilkley and Newcastle and York train stations, too, if you’re around those parts. There’ll be a new restaurant popping up in John Lewis Newcastle very soon – keep an eye out.
Decor is clean and minimal; white scuffed brickwork, white walls, hint of muted grey and shelves and tables made out of chunky wood for that Scandi-chic look. It’s a small spot indeed – the teeny-tiny kitchen only has enough room for two chefs – but even when full, somehow, manages to not feel stuffy or overcrowded. In fact, it kind of adds to the atmosphere. It was buzzy and jovial as-can-be when we perched our bottoms – clearly a popular place already, despite having only been open a month or so. Ask for hands-on manager, Emma, if you have any questions about the food, opening times, bookings, or for recommendations. She looked after everyone with a smile on her face from start to finish.
All your usual tea and coffee, plus a few super healthy steamy mugs – things like tumeric, charcoal, beetroot and – dare we say it – ‘coconut collagen’ lattes (yes, feel free to skip if you’re not into the latest trendy, superfood-style drinks) and matcha tea. Knock back shots of apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger and cayenne if you’re feeling snuffly, or try a slightly healthier hot chocolate (made with raw cacao and nut milk) if you need warming up. For us, though, the stand-outs are the just-made, pulp-packed smoothies and juices. Our chum went for the Berry Breeze (£4), slurping their way through a thick, sweet, but surprisingly refreshing, mix of strawberries, blueberries, apples, fresh mint and coconut water, while we chugged back a Hardcore Super Green juice (£5.25). A leafy do-it-if-you-dare glass of cucumber, kale, broccoli, ginger, lemon and wheatgrass. Yes, it looks a bit like thin sludge, but it’s actually our favourite on the menu. Tangy and uplifting, you feel instantly perkier after a few mouthfuls. Drinking your greens never tasted so good.
Jesmond’s menu is a smaller, more condensed, version of the kind you’ll discover in, say, York, but there’s still plenty to drool over. On this day, brekkie was being served all day – music to many diners’ ears by the looks of things. We watched with rumbling bellies as our fellow foodies orders plates of oozy poached eggs with fluffy homemade hummus, sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles topped with maple syrup and greek yogurt and posh bacon bagels with dollops of pesto and chutney. The carnivores among you will no doubt be pleased with Filmore’s version of the classic beef burger, smushed with spicy chorizo, smoked cheese and sticky red onion marmalade, or its chicken and New York-style salt beef bagels with gherkins and mustard. Delish. Veggies and vegans, meanwhile, can chow down on pillowy wraps stuffed with butternut squash, feta and roasted courgette, hot and hearty bowls of tagine and soup, classic bagels and fresh and mighty deli salads, packed with good-for-you grains, avocado chunks and an abundance of veggies. We hear the vegan burger is pretty decent, too, as are the brand’s ‘famous’ chocolate brownies (they’re gluten-free AND there’s a vegan option too) and wickedly sweet raspberry and white chocolate blondies.
What we ate
Our buddy was/is trying ‘Veganuary’ and so settled on the vegan burger (£8) and a deli salad (they went for the ‘grain’ option to guarantee extra goodness down the hatch) on the side. A plant-based ‘fry-up’ will get you a decent-sized portion of loveliness; a chickpea and sweetcorn patty, golden brown and well-seasoned (thankfully), topped with homemade baked beans in a rich and smoky tomato sauce, spinach and two flat cap mushrooms, grilled ’til juicy. The deli salad was gobbled up in mere moments; a mix of tumeric rice, nutty quinoa and sweet potato chunks, topped with silky slithers of good quality smoked salmon and grilled asparagus spears (we added these as extras – we recommend you do the same to bulk things up a bit). As for us, we couldn’t say no to soup of the day (prices vary when it comes to the specials – ours was around the £7-8 mark), which just so happened to be beetroot and fennel – a real winter warmer. We couldn’t fault it; thick, creamy, vibrantly purple and slightly sweet. We were served a big old bowl-full and it was steaming hot – just as homemade soup should be. How sad we were that it had to end! For dunking, we went above and beyond the usual slice of wholemeal. Nope, instead, we chose the smashed avocado on rustic rye bread, with the addition of salty feta, sweet roasted pears and poached eggs (£11.50). A bit over the top for dunking, yes, but what a great order it was. Sweet and creamy feta and pear go together like nothing else and the added eggs were just as oozy and gooey as we’d hoped. We couldn’t fit in any brownies come the end of the meal, but that’s not to say we won’t be tempted to stuff a few in our mouths during on our next visit. Pick one up with a latte-to-go next time you’re passing and tell us what you think?