It's a fact that Brighton is 65% Perspex now. Most of the openings of late have been the chain restaurants, descending on us like a swarm of money hungry locusts from the Capital. Some have been more welcome than others, but there is no denying that our high street seems to be changing quite dramatically.
Wading through the burgers and faux street food press releases, I was reasonably pleased to see that Leon had secured a site at the top of North Street. I have a couple of their recipe books on my shelf and always liked the quirky brand and tone of voice. And I totally agree with their core ethos - why the hell shouldn't fast food be nutritious and fresh?
I'm out and about a lot these days and it is quite hard to stay healthy on the fly. One of my current design clients are nutrition-focussed and you can see from their support forums, people really struggle with grabbing healthy food on the go, particularly for snacking. This is where Leon may be a high street saviour. Their breakfast pots; the black bean & avocado or poached egg pots tick the protein hit box and the porridge pots are a great shout for slow-burn nutrition. Also if you have kids this is a useful pit stop - their chargrilled chicken super pot is an ideal mini lunch for my toddler. Add in some toast and hummus and you practically have a feast for them.
My sweet potato falafel hot box on another day was full of beautiful ingredients; a crunchy slaw, brown rice, herbs and four of the falafels. Somehow none of the flavours were stand out. There was little seasoning, no acidity...it was a bit boring.
Drinks, however ,were great on all visits. I love the fizz of kefir (some hate it!) and so bloody good for your stomach. The blueberry and elderflower flavour made this my ideal "milkshake". The Kermit green clean shake was also good and filling with avocado, spinach, apples and coconut water.
At the end of the day this is a fast food joint, the illuminated light box menus, the self serve trays but it's been nicely done. If the middle classes did fast food - this is it.
75 North Street, Brighton