The Vines

The Vines was always going to be a risky choice for a Toast, however needs must and we can’t be snobs and if you won’t eat where you’d drink what would that make us? Clever. That’s what. As we clambered upon the doors to The Vines who knew what wonders/blunders would be ahead.

The Vines

 

Our Neil Schwarzenegger- The Vines AKA The fucking big house

“9 I think it was 9 ladz, showed up at various times hungry for a good scran and some bants.
If you are looking for a lively atmosphere look no further than The Vines with everything from stag doos doing jäger bombs at 10:40 to street urchins with ever more elaborate begging scams or trying to sell you their grans knickers popping over to your table.
Full Irish was the order of the day and of course everyone had a pint of Guinness, not because it was cool to drink Guinness with a Full Irish more to do with the fact I think we would of got our heads kicked in if we weren’t boozing.
On to the brek brek. You can’t class a breakfast as a full Irish just by putting a 50p sized white pudding on a full English. No soda bread or potato cake ? I will let the other toasters explain the comical bean situation….
The ingredients were nice but the bacon was over cooked. I did enjoy the breakfast and it all seemed to be over too quickly probably due to the awesome banting going on.
At £7 it wasn’t value for money especially with an instant coffee, throw in the extra ingredients and proper coffee and I’d happily pay £8, at the minute it’s a £4.99 breakfast at best.
6.5/10 for me.”

Jester Fortune – Buy me aftershave you tight bastards.

“Small turnout but Bantonio Banteras was in full swing.
Decent, non-fancy breakfast. Swaps allowed, no beans but black and white pudding, in your face Nigel.
Service was excellent and tasty.
£7 was a tad pricey but i fully enjoyed it as much as the ladz opposite doing shots at 10.30.
7/10″

Grill Scoff Herring – Vine Dining

“We were a tiny bit late but on arrival a small but perfectly formed contingency of Toast delegates awaited us, and it seemed as though proceedings were just getting started.
The same could not be said for the rest of the patronage though and it seemed The Vines had been working towards it’s peak since much earlier in the day. In fact, while ordering 3 pints of the black stuff for the boys from, there was a troop of young men from the old country ordering a cluster of Jagerbombs. This was enough for even someone of my sober disposition to be thrown off kilter by, but not one to judge, I took my shiny pints to the table to catch up with the finest chaps this side of the Pyrenees.
The Vines (aka The Big House) has a special place in my heart as one of the establishments I visited on my first ever night out in the city aged just 17. 18 years on with one of my companions of that ill fated night seated to my left and almost certainly the very same decor, there’s something about this den of iniquity that screams GET WRECKED and had it not been for an important engagement later that day and a rather sad looking bank balance, I would have most certainly answered said scream, especially seeing that some of Britain’s finest were also settling in for the duration.
Nevertheless it was time to focus on the matter at hand. The FE or FI as it’s billed would be ordered from a canteen style feeding point and at a considerably princely $7 (my keyboard has no pound symbol, Farage unlikes this) which belies it’s surroundings, expectations were suddenly raised.
A very quick turnaround, fresh toast and friendly faces set concerns at ease and the main event proved a winner. Ingredients were crisp and cooked with care, tea was a treat, extra black pud swapsies submitted and seen to. The Big House brek brek was a big hit.
If I had to gripe at this overall magnificent trip to the Lime Street bastion it has to be the distinct lack of an Irish identity to the so called FI. Save for an admittedly very tasty white pud, there is nothing to discern between the English and the Irish. A farl or a soda bread would have served to remedy this, but alas not. Also a ‘bean famine’ on the grounds of “messyness” when ramekins are almost standard practice these days is not accetptable.
Extra points must also be awarded to The Vines for being the first Toast where the opportunity to buy after-shave has arisen but said points need to also be taken away for it being the first Toast where we’ve had to deny our spare change to a man who could be only be accurately described as the Scouse Fagan.
8.5/10 – “If there is hope, it lies with the proles.”

Monkey – In the Vines where the sun don’t ever shine.(ref MTV unplugged)

“Got there early today. Never been first before. (Although sum ladies may say different.) Initial impressions, gobby stag do. In context of the venue, to be forgiven.
Queued for customary pub venue pint, only to find out they didnt do ale. For me a pub of such tradition, this is unacceptable. Minus 2 points.
Took my seat eagerly anticipating the next toasters to arrive. All in, 9 of us. Sadly no table service so Ab Fab ordered for me. FI £7 this best be good I thought.
Brekkie arrived minus beans, although it was explained that ‘beans are too messy’ ‘Too Messi’ I say, with a distinct shake of the head.. ‘The great bean famine’ would have bed far more acceptable. Minus 1 point
The plate before me adorned with reasonably cooked standard items. Amongst which I find nestled against the black pudding, white pudding. Alas the equality breakfast. For my first experience white pudding, thumbs up. Plus 1 point.
Well grilled tomato, often the item pushed to one side, with no beans, became the tasty tangy lube from an otherwise relatively dry brekkie ingredients. Although for me no other stand out items.
Coffee was a disaster and nothing more than brown water..
For such a small group this month there could have been worry about standard of bants. Alas I am pleased to report low on numbers. High on bant.
All in all. Standard brekkie executed well enought. Lack of beans and ale, still a sore point. No real service as such, more just nurishment delivery. Great bants. Value questionable
5.5/10″

Ab Fab

“My expectations weren’t set high for the quality of the breakfast at the Vines. It has never really struck me as a veggie friendly sort of place. It is a beautiful building though with stunning original decor. I think the stag party in the other room were also marvelling at it, cheering loudly as in-between jaegerbombs they would spot another hidden detail, lovingly carved in the wood work or elegant gargoyle leering from the roof.

Our gang was reduced in number, but this only served to concentrate the essence of Toast, giving more oomph to the pound.
The breakfast was ordered from a separate bar. I asked what the veggie option was and wasn’t disappointed in my predicted level of disappointment, the veggie breakfast consisting of the full Irish minus the meat with only an single extra hash brown in compensation.
The food arrived super (suspiciously?) quick and my plate was as forlorn as I was expecting. It was however cleaner than usual, the beans that are normally so untidy on a plate being conspicuous in their absence and not a slice of halloumi in sight. The coffee was possibly the weakest cup of hot milk and sugar I’ve ever drunk sadly. For all that the food that was there was good. Not amazing but neither was it terrible. It was standard greasy spoon fare and I would have been more than happy if I had paid £3.50 for it.
But no. £7. I would have thought that was a lot for the Full Irish breakfast, but bare in mind that the one extra hash brown I was given was to replace 2 sausages, 2 bits of bacon, a slice of white and black pudding, to then be charged full price was really not animal friendly.
Would be a 6.5 if it didn’t have ideas way above its station, pricing itself as speciality breakfast experience. Which it isn’t. At all.
5.5/10″

Mr Kirk Douglas – You’ve Bean Blamed!

“After a bus stop tour of previous venues, I was on an emotional rollercoaster arriving at the Vines with a group of youths at the door still up from the night before. The Full Irish sign outside is more of a marketing ploy to get people in rather than an actual breakfast.
With one tiny table available, I found a spare table that when carried through took a few seconds to peel off my fingers such was the level of residue underneath. This wasn’t the ideal picture to be painted.
However within minutes we had a full crew and we rose to the occasion having pints of the black stuff, putting pound coins in the fruity, it was just like how I’d imagine having Toast on a stag do.
The brekky for £7 wasn’t too bad considering sometimes you can get a scran for £5.95 without a drink, the waitress was friendly and had a friendly patter, spotting the ‘head chef’ coming out of the kitchen was a worry as she looked a bit like that thing Krang from the Turtles lived in but caked in sweat. I thought it best to keep that to myself.
Food arriving and it was pretty good, the no beans where a travesty as I had to double whip a brown/tomato sauce combo for moisture. I’d ordered a surprise instead of mushrooms & Tomato and got a sausage! Huge points for the swap and they were nice little chipolatas too. Everything was okay and the outstanding feature was the white pudding, a cheeky little fella just oozing with taste.
The coffee however is without doubt the worst one I’ve ever had and should feature in the end of year Toast awards.
Overall I wasn’t as unimpressed as expected, however due to the Guinness I had with breakfast I came down with a bit of ‘one more pint-itis’ and ended up leaving the Albert around 22:30.
A Vine and Dandy 6.5/10 WHERE’S THE BEANS LAD?”

Overall Score 6.58/10

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