For those of you that aren’t aware of or haven’t visited The Brink before, not only is it a super cool place to hang out, grab a delicious lunch or even catch some live music, it also has an amazing cause behind it – one that everyone should know about! For a bit of background, The Brink is Liverpool’ first (and only) dry bar, meaning they’re a welcoming, fun and sociable space, just without the alcohol. The creative drinks menu is made up of great tasting soft beverages which ties in with its purpose as a recovery social enterprise, meaning that any money made from the venue is put directly back into the community to help support those that have been affected by alcoholism and addiction. So, whether you’re grabbing a smoothie and a piece of cake or tucking into a hearty dish from the menu, you can enjoy yourself that little bit more knowing you are helping to fund something really important in our city.

I was lucky enough to be invited down to The Brink to sample some of the delicious sounding vegetarian dishes on their menu. We were greeted with the warmest welcome and told some of the chef’s recommendations, including the veggie special of the day which was a tummy warming veggie lasagne. Not only does the food menu put together some mouth-watering creations, The Brink also has an extensive drinks menu which includes refreshing juices and smoothies as well as hot drinks, proving that an alcohol-free venue doesn’t have to compromise on choice. We went for a freshly pressed juice of apple, kale and ginger as well as a banana pineapple smoothie blended with coconut milk. Both looked as impressive as they tasted when they arrived, in tall glasses garnished with fruit. The juice was really refreshing with a strong (but not overwhelming) kick of ginger and the fruity, creamy smoothie hit that sweet tooth spot, without the guilt. After looking over the food choices, we decided to go for the Halloumi and Falafel burger stack and the Mediterranean vegetable parcels, which were served with sweet potato fries.

Brink Liverpool Drinks

As you wait for your food, you can look through a lot of helpful information which has been dotted around the cafe in the form of posters and leaflets. The staff are all unbelievably friendly and so if you have any questions either about The Brink’s purpose or otherwise, then don’t be afraid to ask! As our meals arrived it was clear we were going to eat well for lunch with the portions being generous to say the least! The burger was stacked on a wooden board accompanied by a basket of chips, some coleslaw and a huge dollop of homemade humous and the med-veg parcels shared the plate with a side salad and a sticky balsamic glaze. I was slightly unsure of what to expect when we ordered the parcels but I was imagining some sort of pastry dish. However, these were more like toasted wraps filled with soft roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms. A creation which was light yet comforting at the same time – totally perfect for a cold Wednesday lunchtime.

Although the parcels were delicious, I was most excited to tackle the burger, generously filled with crispy falafel, slices of salty halloumi and a huge surprise onion ring which I was VERY glad to see. Combining the falafel and halloumi together made for one of the best veggie burgers I’ve evet eaten and what’s more, it was served on a soft, brioche style bun which was perfect for dipping into the humous. Safe to say that despite their size, the two dishes didn’t last long at all and made for two very satisfied customers. Having a browse at the rest of their menu, my food loving eyes were also drawn towards The Brink’s roast dinner and if the huge portions of homemade food we had just eaten were anything to go by, this was going to be as good as your mum makes it – if not better (sorry mum). Served one day of the week, visiting The Brink on a Sunday has now made it to the top of my to-do list.

Brink Liverpool

The combination of delicious home-cooked food and a charity so important in improving the lives of others makes paying a visit to The Brink an absolute no-brainer and something I would urge you all to do, even if it’s just for coffee. Although a relaxed vibe, the strong community spirit resounds throughout the venue, from the happy, chatty people inside to the friendly family of staff. When a café creates a vibe that makes you unafraid to visit alone, you know they have a good thing going on.  The Brink; we need more places like you.

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Laura Nicholson