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Food for the soul: a Pod Café review

Published: Friday, 30 December 2016

The Pod Cafe

The Pod Cafe

A firm favourite and one of the only vegan cafés in the area.

The Pod Café is found just outside of the city centre on Lamb Street and whilst it may seem unassuming from the outside, its ethos is anything but. The Pod and those working there are passionate about positive wellbeing and good quality vegan food. For a city as multicultural as Coventry, it is surprising that there are so few places dedicated to vegan food (although I am hunting for them – so if you know of any, please do let me know!) and The Pod leads the way. Don’t be put off by the not- so-obvious-entrance, a treasure trove hides inside. Once you have gone through the main door and have signed yourself in, you are then welcomed into the bright space that is The Pod, with its lime green décor and flower accents.

The Pod is spacious and airy, with a minimalistic feel, allowing the café to be used as a gallery space, for lots of different people to use. With the changing art work, it makes for an interesting visit every time and is the first hint of the great community spirit that can be found at The Pod. Perhaps one of the most eye-catching and moving pieces that the café featured when I visited was a hand-stitched tapestry. On it was a heartfelt pledge from women stating their use of mental health services and their brave commitment to defining themselves as everything that they are and asking others to do the same.   

Whilst The Pod serves a vegan menu, there is no exclusive quality to the atmosphere and staff behind the counter were more than happy to help me pick something from the menu when I said I was new to the vegan scene.  

The menu is small, however with all meals prepared and cooked on the premises, The Pod is clearly about good quality as opposed to quantity. Having said that, the portions are very generous and the price is rather astounding - £3 for a delicious main meal! When I visited the menu consisted of The Pod’s Chatt Wrap (chickpeas and potatoes cooked in authentic spices and dished up in a homemade chapatti); seasoned hearty vegetable soup, served with hand baked focaccia bread and pad Thai noodles. For dessert, chocolate and beetroot brownie, butternut squash and walnut cake and lemon and poppy seed cake were all on offer *queue mouth-watering*. My choice of the afternoon was the beetroot and chocolate brownie and, I have to confess, it didn’t particularly suit my particularly sugary palette, however those I have spoken to who live a vegan lifestyle and have lunch often at the pod, have reassured me that that brownie is one of the best.

Another wonderful touch to the café are the recipe cards that can be found on the table next to the serving area. On the day that I visited Japanese tempura was the dish up for grabs and it really did make you feel very welcome. Not only is their food available to eat in their café, they encourage their customers to make delicious things at home – just another way in which The Pod aims to enrich the lives of others outside of the immediate café space. They also run a diverse and welcoming events calendar throughout the year, creating a community family which everyone is welcome to be a part of. This “micasa es tu casa” vibe is one of the many reasons why people return time and time again and makes this place so special.