Tuesday 30 August 2016

Las Iguanas

Last week a brand new Las Iguanas opened up at Braintree Freeport, which just so happens to be pretty close to where I live. Having never tried the restaurant before I took this as the perfect opportunity to pay a visit and try out their special dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu. If you didn't already know, Las Iguanas is a nationwide chain restaurant which specialises in Latin American food.

On arrival I was pretty impressed by the amazingly pretty and colourful design of this restaurant. I'm not sure if all of the Las Iguanas branches are this nice to look at but this new restaurant certainly has some 'wow' factor! It made us feel like we were somewhere completely different in the world and like we were on holiday. The layout of the restaurant is also very nice with a good mix of booth and regular tables along with huge bi-fold doors which open the restaurant up to an outside seating area.  

Once seated I was quick to ask for the 'Veggie & Vegan' menu and having not seen it before I was pretty excited to see what was on offer. 

I was overall pretty impressed by the selection of plant based food available here and the menu labelling was also very informative which made the whole ordering process much easier. It was great to see so much on offer for vegetarians especially and that they have also taken people on a gluten free diet into consideration too. 

All in all there are about 6 vegan main meals to choose from which is great for a restaurant of this kind. I really liked the sound of the mushroom fajitas and the curry but I ended up ordering the chilli for my main course and a couple of 'chips and dips' style starters. 

One thing I immediately loved about this restaurant was the extensive drinks list and particularly the cocktails. I don't usually drink alcohol so I was really pleased to see a good selection of 'mocktails' and 'coolers' available which all sounded so refreshing and perfect for the warm Summer's day that it was. 

I dived straight in for a Virgin Pina Colada and it was DIVINE! I seriously could have drunk this by the bucket load. It was one the best Pina Colada's I've tried in a long time and I was happy to see that they were using coconut cream in this drink opposed to a dairy equivalent which is something so many restaurants seem to get wrong these days. 

Our yummy vegan starters arrived and they were the perfect start to our meal. The guacamole was really chunky and flavoursome. On reflection my only regret was not adding some accompanying refried beans to this selection as I think they would have been the perfect addition. I'l have to remember that for next time! 

Soon after our mains arrived and on first inspection my vegan chilli looked really wholesome with lots of vegetables making up this dish including sweet potato and butternut squash. I was glad that they hadn't just used a vegan mince equivalent as I always prefer vegetable based meals to any mock style meats. My chill also came with a couple of flour tortillas and I ordered a side of fries (*the alioli that comes with the fries is not vegan). 

My only complaint about this dish was that it was SO hot and spicy! I'm not sure if this was just a hot batch or if their veggie chilli is always this hot but it really did make it a struggle for me to eat. I usually quite like spicy food so I didn't think I would struggle with this dish but it did seem to be much hotter than I expected it to be. Everyone's thresholds are different when it comes to spice levels but even my husband who is used to eating really hot food agreed that it was hot. His face even started to sweat after eating a few mouthfuls! 

My husband ordered the vegetarian burrito and a side of sweet potato fries. The burrito contained the same chilli mix which I had in my main but I think he found it less hot in his dish as it was accompanied by cheese and sour cream. It looked like a really nice meal and he really liked that it also came with rice and refried beans inside. 

When inspecting the dessert menu I was really happy to see that there are three vegan friendly desserts available. Both the jelly and the sorbet sounded great but I was interested to see what the coconut pudding was like and when it arrived I was blown away by how beautiful it looked! I really enjoyed my dessert and it was quite different to anything i've tried anywhere else so it's good to see that Las Iguanas are being quite inventive with their vegan options.

My husband chose the non vegan friendly churros which I have to admit made me feel slightly jealous to not be enjoying! They smelt and looked amazing. 

I'm so glad  that we decided to give Las Iguanas a try as it's great to have another option for eating out close to where we live. It's awesome to see another high street chain restaurant like this including vegans in their customer base and creating such an excellent menu for both veggies and vegans. I loved the feel good factor of this restaurant and it's definitely somewhere I would look forward to visiting again, although next time I may have to opt for a less spicy dish! 

Have you been to Las Iguanas before? 
What's your favourite dish? 


  1. I keep meaning to go to Las Iguanas to try their vegan menu, I still haven't been! It looks and sounds amazing! I love cocktails too so even better hehe <3

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  2. I have been to Las Iguanas a couple of times and both times it has been so busy that there was such a long wait for food, it just wasn't worth it but the cocktails are delicious and that pudding too! :) xx

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  3. Last time I went to Las Iguanas I was a veggie (about 5 years ago).I love that they now clearly label the Vegan options. The chili looked really nice but I am a wuss when it comes to heat...I'd have to pick something else. There is a Las Iguanas in Leeds so I must remember to check it out :) Very random but I love the chairs they use :)


  4. Looks like such a good menu! I love how they've clearly taken the time to create an exciting menu with loads of options! I've recently turned veggie, so this has been super helpful, thank you! x


  5. I would love to go here! The food looks amazing! The pudding, oh my god ehe!
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  6. I LOVE Las Iguanas, their deals on cocktails are amazing! The coconut butternut squash tacos and the fudge cake are my favourite when it comes to food. x


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