Sir Edmund Halley’s is one of Charlotte’s best-kept vegetarian secrets. Hardly any vegans or vegetarians I meet have been there.
Maybe because it is a little hard to find, hidden in the shops behind Park Road Shopping Center. You can’t see Sir Edmund Halley’s from the street and even if you’re walking through the shopping center, it can be hard to see the directional sign.
Or maybe because it is because Sir Edmund Halley’s Restaurant and Freehouse sounds like a British pub, and people expect pub food. “They probably have nothing I can eat. What do they serve? Bangers and mash? Fish and chips?”
Well, Sir Ed’s does have bangers and mash AND fish and chips, but they also have a surprisingly diverse and creative menu, for both omnivores and vegetarians. And yes, they even a few standout items for vegans!
Vegetarian: Traditional Vegetarian Hong Kong Egg Rolls; Roasted Vegetables and Black Bean Nachos; Halley’s Irish Potato Cakes with a Warm Herb Goat Cheese Sauce; Pan Seared Goat Cheese Fritters with Apples and a Cabernet Sauce; Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Quesadilla; Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Fresh Mozarella and Pesto, and Basket of Fries (with or without cheese).
Vegan: Edamame; Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Pita Chips.
Soups and Salads
Vegetarian: Cream of Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese & Herb Croutons; House Salad; Arugula Salad with Pears, Walnuts, Goat Cheese Fritter and Balsalmic Viniagrette.
Vegan: House Salad; Arugula Salad without the goat cheese fritter.
Vegetarian: Spinach and Goat Cheese Enchiladas; Pan Seared Zuchini Cakes with Ratatoulle and Goat Cheese Fritters.
Vegan: Quinoa, Corn, and Spinach Stuffed Yellow Peppers, served with a White Bean Salad and Collard Greens.
Sandwiches and Burgers
Vegetarian: Black Bean Veggie Burger (this is house made and better than the usual. You can make it a bit more vegan-ish by ordering it without the provolone cheese and mayo. The burger itself does contain a little egg, though). Spicy Asparagus and Portabello Grilled Cheese; Broccoli Parmesan Sandwich; and Vegetable Club – one of the better “salad sandwiches” I’ve eaten. Cucumbers, shredded carrots, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, provolone, goat cheese, and honey mustard. If you’re feeling vegan-ish, leave off the provolone – you don’t need it in this sandwich. The goat cheese, alas, does add something.
Vegan: Quinoa Vegan Burger, served with Baby Greens and a Tomato Compote. This burger is messy but GOOD – and I’m not even a quinoa fan! The “tomato compote” is the perfect condiment to this burger (although we often order jalapenos on the side). There’s also Roasted Garlic Hummus, on a pita with roasted potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomato.
They have a variety of side items – I think they vary by day, but there’s usually a couple of fresh veggie items on the list in addition to fries.
The atmosphere is about what you’d expect – a lot of dark wood and a pubby feel. There’s an upstairs that can be used for large groups and sometimes gets a little noisy; downstairs it’s relatively quiet.
Service is efficient but unexceptionable; neither great nor horrible.
Items under “Main Meals” top out at $13.50; all other vegetarian/vegan selections are under $10. They have most of these same choices at lunch on a fixed-price menu – either $8 or $10, including drink and tax.