So yeah, sorry this is late and you won’t actually get to try and of these dishes because it’s January and everyone is regrowing their livers with a green juice “detox” or whatever BS people do in the New Year New Me cause. But the point was really an aide memoire that there are places in Birmingham doing interesting things, and we should remember to check them out – because restaurants are for all months of the year, not just for December.
Pigs in Blankets Eggy Crumpets from Wayland’s Yard
Isn’t Wayland’s Yard great? The first time we went in to this little cafe hiding on Bull St I thought it looked a bit like a Melbourne coffee shop, which is a compliment because Australians really know how to treat their coffee well and Melbourne has the best cafes in the world. So yes, the coffee in Wayland’s is good, but thankfully so is the food. I say food, I always have the eggy crumpets, but if they’ half as good as that, you’ll be fine. For Christmas this year, they had the above version, pigs in blankets eggy crumpets and It Was Good. To be fair, you can order your eggy crumpets with chorizo and bacon all year round, so you can sort of get the same hit. And I highly recommend it.
Wayland’s Yard, 42 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF
The Meat Shack’s Santa Shack
Usually I’m a classicist when it comes to burgers and I think it’s hard to beat a bacon cheeseburger, but there are a few places I’m willing to deviate from my normal and The Meat Shack on Thorpe St is one of those. And over December, they were selling the Santa Shack, a burger which tasted liked Christmas between a bun. I know because I had it more than once. A beef patty, braised red cabbage, camembert, candy bacon crumb, chipotle – cranberry, ketchup, deep fried greens and mustard mayo with parsnip crisps on the side, it was filling and hearty without putting you into a Christmas-style food coma, and that was just spot on. Sadly it was only a December delicacy, but I’m hoping if we campaign enough, they might bring it back again for a special. Christmas in July anyone?
The Meat Shack, 17 Thorp St, Birmingham B5 4AT
Deep & Crisp & Vegan pie from Pieminister
When vegan-food explorer extraordinaire Tasha from NutellaTasha invites you to lunch, it would be rude to say no. And it would be rude not to go native and order vegan too, so that’s what I did. The Deep & Crisp & Vegan pie from Pieminister has one of the best pun-tastic names from the festive season, and it was delicious. A creamy vegan turkey pie with celeriac, smoked garlic & sherry, on a bed of mashed potato and topped with stuffing balls and cranberry sauce. YUM.
Pieminister, 16 Waterloo St, Birmingham B2 5UG
Mama Creaven’s roast pheasant
Christmas even dinner is when my mum gets to have some fun, and so this year because she wasn’t cooking Christmas dinner, we had roast pheasant with bacon, onions and a red wine jus. There was also vegetables, and the biggest surprise of all, potatoes. Whilst my mum’s idea of carbs is usually stealing mine when we go out for dinner, this delicious sauce warranted leaving nothing behind and spuds were just the ticket. Sorry, you can’t book into my mum’s house for dinner, it’s hard enough for me to get an invite, but this was one of my favourite festive meals, so it deserved a mention. If you want to know the recipe let me know and I’ll ask my mum.
Nice try, I’m not telling you where my mum lives.
Disclaimer: I call my mum mum, or Bernie if she’s not replying. We’re from Birmingham, I’ve never called her mom and I’m not about to start now. Also, I didn’t pay for dinner at my mum’s because that would be weird. I did pay for the burger and the crumpets and I was Tasha’s guest for pie but I don’t really think they cared who I was.