Back in 2018 there has been a sudden surge of vegan eateries all over social media. Although I am not a vegan myself, I do have my meat and dairy free days. I believe that every little helps! Also, I am very fascinated with finding alternatives to meat and dairy. But, there is one vegan food chain that did catch my eye – The Insta-worthy, hip and trendy New York based food chain by CHLOE.
By CHLOE is an aesthetically pleasing chain that was initially based in the USA before going global and hitting the UK. However, this chain was also designed to attract omnivores to have a wider, more diverse customer base. Coming from an omnivore, they are not mistaken on that one! I was just drawn in by the eye-popping coconuts with stamped logos, the carefully hand-crafted food with sassy sauce patterns and the girly yet sophisticated decor.
So I decided to go solo, hit the town and visit the branch based in Convent Garden. There are clearly a ton of on-point marketing skills, stunning logo and decor design and mouthwatering Instagram posts. But does the taste and the quality of the food match the aesthetics? Read on to find out!
Have you also always wanted to travel to and eat at amazing places but never had the courage to do it alone? Do you also find that your travel and eating plans get ruined by unreliable people? Then this post is perfect for you! Read on for tips to combat that fear. There is a world of food out there to enjoy after all. So get your cameras out, show anxiety who’s boss and prepare yourself an Insta-worthy foodie trip!
by CHLOE Aesthetics & Atmosphere
Firstly, I was greeted by something that bought out my inner-child. Yes, the swing chairs! This gave a childish, laid back ambience to the already sophisticated and trendy decor. The place was very spacious, girly and trendy.
I visited around evening time. As you can see that the general lighting is dim to show off the trendy, purple neon lights. And yes, the lights are self explanatory, there are a lot of guacamole and avocado based dishes served here. So avocado lovers, this is the place for you! The lighting also gave a very relaxing and calm atmosphere at this time of day.
Does the Food Match up to the Aesthetics?
Firstly, by CHLOE do a wide range of chilled drinks, baked goods, vegan burgers and even dog treats! (check out the menu here). But sadly, when I arrived they ran out of homemade peanut butter flavoured dog biscuits for me to bring home to my dogs. So, here is the lowdown of my first ever solo meal…
The Guac Burger: 6/10
I was torn on what burger to eat. But as an avocado lover, I chose the guac burger. The guac burger contains a patty made with black beans, quinoa and sweet potato which had a very nice texture and spicy kick to it. This is served with guacamole, tortilla strips, chipotle aioli, onion and a whole grain bun. Since this was a sweet potato and carbohydrate based patty this was like carb-overload with the thick bun.
The patty that was quite thin. This made the ratio of ingredients pretty unbalanced. So, the burger mostly consisted of bun and a large amount of salad. But the kick and marriage of flavours was good. On a positive note, the freshly cut red onions and salad, lemony guacamole and crunchy tortilla strips added to the burger and balanced the carbs out. However, the wholegrain bun was very well made and the chipotle aioli is perfect if you want to spice up your life!
Sweet Potato Fries: 10/10
On the menu it says that these are air baked. This gave the chips a very light and crispy texture. I personally love sweet potato fries but these are one of the best that I have tried. They have a unique sweet and salty seasoning and flavour combination. Also another useful tip is that they serve dips for your fries at the side of the cafe. I only found this out until I was making my way out!
Coconut Water: (Seriously?!) 11/10
You cannot go wrong with coconut water, especially if it is straight from the coconut (which is rare to find in London!). Coconut water is my ultimate favourite drink. I would live on coconut water if I had my way! Actually, thinking about the film Castaway, let’s not tempt fate… (it is still my favourite drink though).
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pop: 10/10
This ice cream was absolutely delicious. It had the right balance of sweet and salty flavour in the ice cream. It had large chunks of banana bread in this, the slight cinnamon flavour really worked with the salted caramel flavour. If I could, I would buy 10 of these. by CHLOE serve ice creams to die for!
Verdict: Does the food match up?
Most of it does. But there are some by CHLOE dishes that are just not worth the money and are overhyped. But everything tasted super fresh. Nothing tasted processed, artifcial or fake. I would highly recommend this place for quick bite to eat as well as a nice environment to relax. There are many pros, but the only con is that the food and beverages are quite pricey! So I do not recommend this if you want a quick brunch without breaking the bank. But, If you love healthy food that tastes decent and need some pretty food pictures to boost your Instagram feed then this is the perfect place for you!
Tips on Dining Solo
So, you’ve seen and read about some delicious food. Now it is time to plan your next foodie trip! However, doing anything alone in public can be daunting. Especially if you’ve never done it before. Even the thought of eating alone in public used to scare me. I would think that everybody would be staring at me if I did and that it is not socially acceptable. I then discovered by CHLOE and many other places to travel to and eat. So I said to myself:
“To hell with it! There are too many types of amazing food to try and things to experience in the world. If you rely on others to experience those things, your experiences will be very limited.”
Life is about experiencing new things and not limiting yourself! So here are some tips on the benefits of travelling and eating solo. These tips will hopefully help you to plan ahead and make your journey and meal as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
1. Choose Somewhere Where you Will Feel Comfortable
Obviously choosing somewhere rowdy and crowded will make you feel uncomfortable and make it more daunting. Try finding somewhere with a relaxed atmosphere, a nice location and a good incentive to go (by CHLOE is a great start!).
2. Use Food as the Ultimate Motivator!
Let’s face it. Food is life. Try to choose somewhere where the food looks completely irresistible to you. Or somewhere that serves food that you are very intrigued to try. Think of it as the prize you receive after facing your fears! Use it to overcome your fears.
3. Distract Yourself with Your Phone
A lot of people fear feeling or looking lost without having a conversation or distraction at the table. But as bad as it sounds, even when you are out in public eating with friends and family, you are spending much more time on your phone without even realising. The reason why I mention this is to make eating alone in public seem less daunting and to show that you do not need someone at the other end of the table to feel secure. I also recommend distracting yourself with your phone as it can help keep your mind off of the anxiety and racing thoughts when eating alone.
4. You Have Solo Dined More Than you Think!
What do you do when your lunch buddy goes to the toilet? I bet at the time you even think nothing of it. So why not think nothing of it when solo dining? Also, think of the times that you have eaten alone at home or at your desk at work. There really is nothing more to it.
5. Research the Place’s Times of Busyness on Google Beforehand
To make your meal as comfortable as possible it is best to plan ahead. You don’t want to be confronted with long queues, waiting ages to be seated and unnecessary crowds. But, you can avoid this! Google allows you to see the busyness on a time scale when you search for your chosen cafe or restaurant. After your research I recommend setting a date and time on which you plan to arrive, preferably at a time where Google states “not usually busy at this time”.
6. Plan your Journey
Yes, it is pretty simple. I recommend this as the last thing you want is to get lost and stressed out. Most of all you do not want to turn up to your chosen location late and flustered from the stress of your journey! Oh, and make sure you have a table booked!
7. It is the Best Method to Experience Cuisine that you Truly Enjoy
If we constantly rely on others around us, we will not experience as much as we truly want to. For instance, we all have that relative who has bad and embarrassing table manners. Or that friend who despises food that we personally like. It is ideal to travel and eat alone as our choice will not limited by those around us. It gives us the opportunity to truly enjoy our own company, tastes and new experiences.
8. It is not unusual to eat alone & people are unlikely to think negatively about it
The next time you go out, even if you are out with people, look around you. Haven’t you noticed? you don’t usually look around when you are busy. You will find that everyone is engrossed in their own world and that there are a lot of people who eat alone and blend in with the crowd. Besides, the times that I have seen people eating alone I thought, “How brave!”.
I hope this post helped give you some beneficial tips and an honest review on by CHLOE. Have you ever visited a by CHLOE branch? I’d love to hear your experiences! I would also love to hear your personal tips and if you questions about solo dining. Thank you very much for reading.