On Wednesday night we went to see the fantastic Regina Spektor at the Sage Gateshead and stopped in for a quick drink at the new Head of Steam on the Quayside. I had a bottle of Daura Damm, a gluten free lager brewed by the same guys who make Estrella. When he ordered the drinks, the lad behind the bar told Craig they have two other gluten free beers on their menu and a decent selection of GF options on their food menu too, so we decided we had to go back to try-out the full Head of Steam experience, and, on Friday, that’s what we did.
The latest pub from Head of Steam is pretty big, it’s huge in fact. With dozens of tables and a dedicated ‘beer tasting’ area, this is a great place to visit on a busy Friday night for a few drinks and some food since it would have to be pretty packed for you to not get a table. We picked a table at the back next to the books and admired the awesome local artwork on the walls – this place is in a another world to it’s Central Station counterpart! The interior is full of cool trinkets like lampshades made from old beer bottles and neon beer logos. I had another bottled of Daura after a busy week at work this was welcomed, and Craig opted for a pint of Erdinger. The beer selection here is absolutely immense, with bottles and draught beer from all over the world.
Head of Steam has two food menus – one at lunch time and another for the evening. The evening menu is mostly proper main courses but there’s still a decent selection of light bites and sharers. Around half of the dishes on the menu are marked as GF or available GF, which is awesome. The vegetarian selection wasn’t quite as vast, with a Vegetable Moussaka on the special menu, a Beetroot and Goats Cheese Burger or Nachos being your main choices. Craig went for the nachos, which actually weren’t marked GF – I thought this was unusual until they arrived and I saw they were homemade and not corn chips from a packet!
I chose the Belgian Mussel Pot, which was apparently available gluten free. Pretty much all of the sides were gluten free except anything bread-based, which is great news. I think it’s ridiculous when places can’t guarantee gluten free fries, it’s usually when they’re coated in flour or fried in the same place as onion rings!
We only had an hour as we were heading back up the bank to the Tyneside Cinema to see Arrival (5-star film, by the way if you’re wondering!), so we were concerned the food might take a little while to come since it was busy. We were wrong and the food arrived within about 15 mins. Craig’s nachos were served with homemade guac (his fave) and melted cheese and salsa. My Belgian mussel pot was nothing short of epic! Served in a giant pan with a mountain of chips and toasted gluten free bread, I had a feeling I’d struggle to finish this and I was right. The mussels were served in a creamy garlic sauce, not what I’d usually choose but it was actually really nice and light with a mix of fresh herbs. The chips were super skinny fries and the gluten free bread was some of the best I’ve ever had. I even made Craig try it to make sure it was gluten free! His disgusted reaction proved me wrong.
All in all, we’d definitely go back to Head of Steam. Our only request is that they add a few more veggie options to their books – the beers and atmosphere are fantastic, as is the service. Looking forward to going back to try their lunch menu soon
Head of Steam, 11-17 Broad Chare Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne & Wear United Kingdom NE1 3DQ