“ Address: 9 Station Rd / Eaglescliffe / Stockton-on-Tees / Durham / England „
We've been to the Waiting Room many times and have never been disappointed. The menu is innovative and emphasises the use of robust flavours to bring out the taste of the vegetables and there is always a wide-range of dishes and specials to suit all palates. The drinks menu consists of mainly organically-sourced beers and wines and there are plenty of soft drinks for kids and drivers.The decor is fairly unique and suits the location, providing a good atmosphere, without being too cramped.As noted in other reviews, there's no parking but you're close to Eaglescliffe train station and there's street parking nearby.In short, this is a great little restaurant and I'm very proud to have it locally (there isn't a great deal of competition on Teesside)
I'll make this short and sweet.If you like tasty food, no matter if your a meat eater or vegetarian, don't bother visiting here. The foods bland and doesn't conform to the descriptions normally associated with the names given of certain dishes. For instance a curry that doesn't seem to have any spices in it. A crumble which had a biscuit broken over some tinned fruit and a lemon meringue made with lemon curd straight out of the jar. Not cheap either. Desserts are £5.50 each. You can buy a lot of tins of fruit for that.
The Waiting Room is a vegetarian restaurant in Eaglescliffe, Stockton. Every dish is meat-free and there are several vegan and wheat-free choices too. Many dishes can also be made vegan or wheat-free on request.
In the 2008 'Observer Newspaper Food Awards' The Waiting Room was voted amongst the top 40 of all restaurants in the UK and in 2008 it was also named as the Best Restaurant in the UK for vegetarian's by The Vegetarian Society!
If you're going by car then it can be hard to find the first time because it's not a very large place and parking is very limited as they have no car park; you'll either have to find a place to park on the street or pay to park in the train station's car park. Eaglescliffe train station is within walking distance and there are also bus stops fairly close by.
Their menu changes with each season (you can view the full current menu on their website) and everyday extra dishes that aren't on the menu are also available so check the board before ordering.
When you first enter the restaurant doesn't seem very welcoming as you go through a short entrance hall, with posters and leaflets, then through the main part of the restaurant to actually get to the till where the staff are but the staff are really friendly and cheerful so you soon feel at ease.
You can book a table or just turn up but definitely book if you're a large group or if you want to sit in the main restaurant. Even if you have booked though there's no guarantee you will be seated in the main part unless you specifically ask.
As well as the main restaurant there's also a back room/conservatory with extra seating. The whole place is decorated with interesting paintings and objects, like old carousel figures. The main part is lovely and cosy but the backroom seems to vary in temperature; sometimes a bit chilly (especially on quiet evenings), sometimes very warm (like during a sunny day).
The food is quite expensive. The starters/snacks cost around £5 each and main courses about £12 but once you taste them you'll decide they're worth it!
On my last visit, for my starter I had hummus and warm bread which was very tasty but not a very big portion so it didn't last me very long. I could've happily eaten double that amount but then I guess I wouldn't have had as much space for my main course.
For my main course I had roast butternut squash with spicy puy lentils & a fresh mango salsa. It was a large dish and it seemed to cool quite quickly so I had to eat it fast, well, that was my excuse! It was absolutely delicious, the lentils weren't too spicy and I didn't think the mango salsa would've gone well with the rest of the dish but it did.
I also shared a side order of sesame potatoes. I'd never tried them before and they were nice, like seasoned baked potatoes, although I wasn't keen on the sesame seeds because they got stuck in my teeth.
There weren't lots of vegan choices for dessert so I settled on a vegan ice-cream sundae, with maple syrup. I could've eaten another several scoops but that would've been greedy!
I do think some of their portion sizes are a bit small for the price but they do use good-quality, organic ingredients so I guess that's to be expected.
Once our order was taken we didn't wait for very long for our order, even though they were fairly busy that night, and it was easy to get the attention of the waitress to ask for extra cutlery.
All in all, it was a fantastic meal and the only downside, in my opinion was the annoying background music - they played too much jazz!
The Waiting Room doesn't just serve food - They also have entertainment on Sunday evenings, like comedy acts and bands. I've never seen any myself but others have said it makes a nice evening out.
The Tees Valley Vegetarian group meet there often, either just for a chat and a small bite to eat or for a full-blown posh meal - it's a great place to do both!
Closed day time, Evening meals from 6.30pm
Tuesday - Friday
11.30am-2.30pm, Evening meals from 6.30pm
Saturday and Sunday
9am-2.30pm, Evening meals from 6.30pm
Visit www.the-waiting-room.co.uk for more information.