On a Tuesday evening a few weeks back, I was invited by Birmingham Whisky Club to try a few wee drams of Glenfiddich as part of an blogging / networking event in the cosy little cubby of Bar du Vin.
It’s Friday again and just before we were away for a weekend, it was time for more of Birmingham restaurants to our home.
As you may have read previously (cough, cough), Deliveroo supply a delivery service for a wide range of some of the best eateries in Brum: what I’d like to term a ‘restaurant concierge service’ providing ordering, payment and delivery services for some of Birmingham’s biggest independents with a few chains too.
This time, our choice was Rub Smokehouse, a Southern US BBQ style restaurant who’ve expanded from their original restaurant in Nottingham to Regency Wharf off Broad Street earlier this year.
We’ve heard the reputation of Rub for supplying large portions, so Wifey and I went for a main each and a side to share.
Like the last few times, ordering with Deliveroo is simple. Select your food and order time, the website keeps a running total whilst you tot up your total and adds a reasonable £2.50 for Deliveroo. There’s even space for a driver’s tip too if you’re feeling generous.
For starters, we went with the classic of Nachos to share, accompanied with sour cream, guacamole, pulled BBQ pork, Monterey Jack, salsa, cheese.
For mains, I fancied something a little different from a burger or ribs and chose a Reuben sandwich. Consisting of low & slow cooked beef brisket in special Jack Daniels BBQ gravy with Monterey Jack cheese, pickles and slaw on sourdough, to which I added extra bacon and American cheese.
Wifey went a little lighter with a Cobb Salad, which was pulled BBQ free range chicken, smoked bacon, egg, sweet pepper, tomato, avocado and blue cheese.
The order went in at 19:44pm and an ETA given of 20:30pm. In actual fact, the food arrived at 20:29pm so top marks on time prediction. A short mobile call from the driver and I was ready to meet him as he pulled up downstairs. When I arrived, I found our Deliveroo driver had come via pushbike! A quite smart and eco friendly for delivery.
Back upstairs, even though we were prewarned, Wifey and I weren’t expecting the size of the portions!
There was an issue, however, with my Reuben as the box was cardboard the gravy had breached the side and caused a bit of a mess:
I mentioned this on Twitter and got a quick response from the team, stating they’ll be looking into the packaging to prevent the same happening in the future.
The contents, however, we still mainly intact:
The brisket was well braised in the gravy and topped off with fries and slaw; the sourdough did seem to be missing, though.
Wifey’s cobb salad, equally as massive, was really nice with the sweetness of the pulled chicken offset with the pungent strength of the blue cheese. Wifey couldn’t handle the blue cheese so instead I pinched it and combined it with my Reuben (which was great, by the way).
We finished off with the starter, the nachos:
Oozing with guacamole , sour cream and salsa, the nachos had got a little bit soggy by the time we had got there but still tasted amazing.
Next time when we’re in the mood for a BIG appetite, we’ll have to make our way down to try the restaurant!
Where: BG HQ, Birmingham
Before I started blogging, I never particularly thought about vegetarian restaurants properly before. I’ve always assumed everywhere catered for omnivores and a small selection for those of the vegetarian and vegan variety. However, after meeting the passionate foodie Andy Hare of vegiefoodie.com, (who finds the best veggie places in and around Brum), I’ve realised it’s actually a problem. There’s not many places that cater for a vegetarian/vegan audience without resorting to nut roast or risotto…
For the first time in a while, it was nice to get out of the city centre and mosey on down to the suburbs on a foodie adventure.
On this occasion I was invited by Byzantium, an independent family-run restaurant which serves up a wide variety of tapas, to join them for the opening of their upper room.
A good crowd had turned out to try the new food, not surprising since this is one of Kings Heath’s little gems. The upstairs room had been tastefully decorated in neutral colours, with a Mediterranean theme, and was surprisingly spacious!
After a very warm welcome from the owners Efua and Antonello and the team, I got to work quickly on the lovely drinks on offer and then, chatting to the other lovely guests of the evening.
We were taken on a whirlwind tour of the Mediterranean with some amazing tapas, including
French bread with caramelised onions and Camembert and Moroccan Zalouk; Italian Arancini balls with prawns and mozzarella; Greek halloumi souvlaki; crispy pork belly with a balsamic glaze, anchovy and black olive tapenade; courgette fritters; quinoa salad; chicken ballotine with black olives and chorizo; and albondigas with a spicy tomato sauce.
My favourites of the evening were:
- The crispy pork; paired with an amazing balsamic glaze the sweet, sour and umami flavours played delightfully on the tongue.
- The albondigas; well seasoned mince meatballs partnered with a powerful spicy tomato dip, which left tendrils of warm heat after the first taste.
I would’ve been happy with them all to be honest and it’s definitely encouraged me to drag Wifey down one evening, so we can have a nice relaxed evening out of the bustle of the city centre.
The Upper Room seats up to 40 people, catering for a wide range of functions. Byzantium’s special party menu has something for all tastes.
Their xmas menu can be viewed here, and bookings are now being taken on 0121 444 5444.
Byzantium is open Tuesday to Saturday 12-2:30pm for lunch, and Monday to Saturday 5:30pm-10pm for dinner.
Disclaimer: For this evening, we were guests of Byzantium who provided all food and drinks; this provides no bias to this post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Where / Who: Byzantium, 11 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham