LEON RESTAURANTS LENTIL MASALA & BRAZILIAN BLACK BEAN HOT BOXES – LEON! LEON! LEON!

leon restaurants lentil masala
Hi, Pathetically

I’m a big fan of Leon. I love, love, love a Love Burger. And the menu’s full of other interesting plant-based options as well. From doughnuts to Jack Wings and billionaire shortbread.

I was heading home late one night and everything was closed. Everything except Leon London Bridge. The kitchen was closed, though, and the store was selling off whatever was left over.

No Love Burgers. But there were two options that caught my attention – especially at midnight; the lentil masala and Brazilian black bean little hot boxes, served on brown rice. Of course, I bought both.

leon restaurants brazilian black bean
Hi, Pathetically

The thing with Leon is, even though it’s fast food, you do get the impression it’s better than your average greasy diner. Maybe it’s all marketing and aesthetics. But it does taste like high-quality junk food. Sometimes it doesn’t taste like junk food at all. And these little hot boxes back that idea up. A lot.

Impressively, I managed to wait ’til I got home to get started. Needless to say, the smells on the bus ride home were torturous. And when I finally ripped open the bag, both boxes looked amazing too. Like lovingly made home-cooked meals, bursting with goodness and flavour. And no plastic in sight.

It’s hard to say which box I enjoyed the most. If anything, they taste great together. The lentil masala’s a rich, creamy coconut curry, loaded with ginger, cumin and mustard seeds. And the Brazilian black bean option’s cooked with carrots, onions, smoked paprika and oregano – and lovingly topped with mint and parsley. Both meals were like something I’d cook at home. I still can’t believe I bought them at midnight, for a tenner…

LEON RESTAURANTS LOVE BURGER – THREE MAGIC WORDS: CAROLINA. MUSTARD. MAYO

Hi, Pathetically

I should have written this post ages ago. Leon’s Love Burger is one of my earlier vegan junk food memories. A touchstone I’ve gone back to several times. And it never disappoints.

The Love Burger was launched in January, to celebrate Veganuary 2019. And it’s still on the menu. Because it’s cheap, unpretentious and consistent. It’s simple, but jazzy enough to make sure you’re paying attention. And there’s always a Leon.

The texture and taste of the beetroot and soya patty is spot on. A convincing, no-frills, meat-free burger base. The Follow Your Heart smoked vegan gouda is mellow, smooth and perfectly cheesy. The burger sauce piques your interest. And the Carolina Mustard Mayo seals the deal.

Leon ain’t stingy with the sauce bottle either. Love Burgers can get messy. But the robust sourdough bun resists the sogginess, making sure the tasty, saucy flavours stay where they need to be to keep each bite interesting.

leon restaurants vegan jack wings
Hi, Pathetically

Recently, Leon added Jack Wings to the menu. Now I’m not sure where I stand on jackfruit as fast food. I’ve had a lot of unconvincing, underwhelming experiences, where the end result was an uncomfortable intersection between healthiness and debauchery. But these cheesy jackfruit wings are legit.

They call them wings, but they’re more like croquettes, or cheese-filled, crumb-coated nuggets of gold. And again, Leon adds a sprinkling of pixie dust, this time a vegan garlic aioli dip, which compliments and elevates the gooey bites perfectly. Love Burger and Jack Wings. A match made in vegan junk food heaven.