Part-play, part-tribute act This is Elvis is showing at the New Alexandra Theatre for the next few days and it made me think, if The King of Rock and Roll really were in town, where would he eat.
Charting Presley’s monumental return to performing live for the first time in seven years via his ’68 Comeback Special’ and residency in Las Vegas, This is Elvis is a hell of a lot of fun, and I say that as someone who is probably more familiar with cover-versions of the King’s songs. Award-winning tribute artist and actor Steve Michaels, who plays Elvis, looks the part but more importantly performs with such energy it’s infectious.
I wrote a more in-depth review of the show over on my other blog, but as Elvis’ diet and weakness for food was mentioned in the performance, I thought it might be quite fun to come up with a list of places in Birmingham Elvis might’ve liked…
Some claim that Elvis was found dead with half a cheeseburger in his hand, which is almost certainly not true, but his love of cheeseburgers throughout his lifetime is well documented. If the King were after a proper cheeseburger in Birmingham then his best bet would be either Original Patty Men or The Meatshack. Or maybe both.
The Elvis Presley Milkshake
Rightfully so, nowhere in Birmingham is made enough to make this calorie-laden monstrosity of smoked bacon, bananas, ice cream, bourbon, and peanut butter. But if shakes are what you’re after then try the rather charming sister venue in the San Carlo group in Selfridges, Gran Cafe, where you can get an indulgent cake shake, but with a much coherent flavour combination.
Southern Fried Chicken
On the menu at his 1967 wedding to Priscilla, but if you’re after fried chicken in Birmingham then new-kid-on-the-block, Bonehead is definitely the place to try. And bonus points are that it’s just round the corner from the Alex Theatre too.
In James Gregory’s 1960 biography of Presley, there’s a note for anyone interested in dating Elvis, it reads: “Note for his future wife: Elvis loves enormous breakfasts complete with sausage, bacon, eggs, fried potatoes, home-baked rolls, and coffee. He has a tremendous appetite at breakfast. His wife should never develop elegant or expensive tastes.”
For a proper hearty breakfast Cherry Reds on John Bright Street or Gas Street Social in the Mailbox will do a good fry up, minus the airs and graces. But if you’re after something bottomless but refined, then try the Electro Brunch at Gaucho on Church Street.
The show is at the New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham until 24 March before it continues its national tour. For tickets, visit atgtickets.com/Birmingham.
This was a press event. Photographs were taken by Pamela Raith.