Review: Food Attack at The Meat Shack

It’s National Burger Day today, so what better way to celebrate then telling you about my visit to one of Birmingham’s hottest new venues, The Meat Shack at Thorp 17.

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The Meat Shack are not new to the Birmingham food scene, in fact they’ve been established for 5 years as a streetfood vendor, and have served their faithful followers at Birmingham streetfood Mecca, Digbeth Dining Club for a long time. It’s great to see that they’ve put down roots in the heart of Southside so how could we not go down for a visit.

The interior is light and airy with a nice few touches of street  art and corrugated steel to liven things up. We arrived early evening and we were glad we did, between arriving and finishing the place went from reasonably quiet to queuing out of the door. I think the burger smell had got to the Birmingham masses it certainly had got to us, it was also great to see cocktail extraordinaire Gary Anderson settling in to his new role as General Manager, his affable nature shining through whilst taking our drinks order.

I was dining with Wifey and “Award Winning #BrumHour” who joined us to see what all the foodie buzz had been about. The tap ale had ran out so I settled for a Sadler’s Dakota American IPA (yeasty, malty with citrus bite), Wifey on the Fentimans Elderflower (refreshing) and #BrumHour on the Hoxton Cidersmiths Craft Cider (green apple, tangy).

After drinks it was time to choose from the menu

It’s short, but some of the best are, and all the usual bases are covered, including a veggie option.

Between us we covered off:

  • Mr C – beef patty, american cheese, iceberg lettuce, red onion, pickle,  ketchup, shack sauce (Wifey)
  • Bella Emberg marinaded deep fried halloumi, mushroom duxelle, dutch cheese, ketchup, chipayo, crunchy onion flakes, iceberg lettuce, red onion (#BrumHour)
  • Dutch Piggy beef patty, dutch cheese, american cheese, streaky bacon, iceberg lettuce, red onion, pickle, ketchup, chipayo  with an extra Sloppy Kiss shack beef and pork meat sauce on top (me).

I actually was enjoying the burger that much i forgot to take notes, but it was just amazing, it lived up to the stair case with dripping filthy goodness. The bacon was crisp, the ‘hand smashed’ beef patty flavourful, cheese drippy and the sloppy kiss lifted it to a different level with a sweet meaty extra tang, I was half expecting a golden shaft of light to peek out from the clouds and hit the tray, whilst a chorus of angels hummed in the back ground, the contents were THAT good.

My only, very minor, criticism was the bun. Which was very nice and oft with a touch of crisp from a light toasting. It was a touch to tall for my preference, with a slab of ingredients that size it makes a large mouthful  and a slightly less voluminous bun would’ve been appreciated.

Noises from around the table confirmed the others were enjoying their burgers as much as I. Wifey even finished hers which is an unusual occurrence to say the least.

 

For sides we chose both Frickles and Onion Rings and 2 portions of Chipayo Fries, with #BrumHour opting for his Sloppy Kiss to be planted there.

The fries we nice, well seasoned and the Chipotle Mayonnaise added a nice zing to the proceedings. Onion Rings are always a good guide to quality and are Wifey’s default order whenever we go somewhere new and they’re on the menu. These were solid, crispy, golden batter which wasnt oily with a beautiful sweet onion inside which pretty much just melted away on contact. Don’t take my word for it Paul Fulford praises them mightily too here.

And the Frickles, what can I say about the Frickles. British peoples first instinct when pickling is the humble onion, or if you’re feeling racy an egg from the mysterious giant jar at the chippy. My favourite has always been a nice pickled cucumber. It’s sweet, it’s tangy it’s crunchy and it’s heaven with a beef and ham sandwich.

With the light battering supplied on these bad boys they’ve been lifted to an art-form. The batter adding extra crunch and that extra savoury edge. I’d have been happy as a pig in muck with a bucket of these and a cup of that delicious blue cheese dip.

The one thing I’d like to see, and agreed with the next table along, added to the menu would be a nice side salad, or coleslaw or something to just take the edge off the mostly fried nature of the menu and pretend we were at least being somewhat healthy.

Wifey and I had just enough space to get in a dessert. We both plumped for the take on Eton Mess with fresh peaches and mango amongst whipped cream, decadent and delicious. Next door had the Chocolate Torte and reports between mouthfuls were very positive nods. The dessert menu is under development at present so expect to see more options soon.

One of the things going around the foodie scene is if there’s enough Birmingham foodies to support two amazing burger restaurants in the city (these guys and the Digbeth chaps, OPM). In a city with over a million people, and a food scene which has exploded over the past few years, it’s daft to think that both wont thrive and co-exist happily.

For me and my cohort it was a very happy, fulfilling and positive first visit. It certainly wont be our last if we can beat the queues. I’m a man who needs his dripping filthy goodness after all, I mean how else do I maintain my figure.

If you’ve not been yet, GO NOW, today’s as good as any…

 

When: 18/08/2017

Where: The Meat Shack, Upstairs @Thorp17, 17 Thorp Street, Southside, Birmingham, B5 4AT

Who: The Meat Shack

 

Colmore Food Festival 2017

It seems to be coming around quicker every year.

The Colmore Food Festival is one of the highlights of Wifey and I’s year. Bringing the cream of the Colmore BID‘s bars, restaurants and cafes in a showcase over a Friday and Saturday.

You can read previous years’ posts herehere and here.

My photography skills seem to have forgotten about anything but food and drink this year but it was a similar set up to last year, with the stage next to the Town Hall and a central seating area with the stalls looping around it.

Wifey and I went both days (of course!) and we tried a fairly decent selection, photos below:

Day 1

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My first dish of the day (prior to Wifey’s arrival) was the Slow Cooked Ox Cheeks from Purnell’s Restaurant accompanied with watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.

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Chicken Katsu Curry, breaded chicken, mild katsu curry sauce and sticky rice from the lovely chaps at Chung Ying Central.

We tried both dishes from Nosh & Quaff , usually found on their starters list, The Rib Tips (a very popular dish for the festival), deep fried lumps of pork belly tossed in their house BBQ sauce, and their Buffalo Wings, Free-Range Cotswold Chicken Wings with a smoked butter and Habanero sauce.

After that much food, it was time for a beverage so we popped over to the cocktail maestro from Purnell’s Bistro, Gary Anderson (on what we learnt was our last time getting a cocktail from him, prior to his move to The Meat Shack as their new GM). We had a Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, and Pineapple & Sage Daiquiri, Bacardi Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Sage & Pink Peppercorn.

And that was the end of Day 1

Day 2

After a fun day in the radio studio (for Geeky Brummie, it’s worth a listen, I promise!), it was time for more food and booze!

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First stop of the day was Opus  / Bar Opus Wifey had the Pork Belly with spiced cherries and I had a Parma Violet with gin, creme de violette, lemonade and parma crystals.

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Next it was time for our now traditional Colmore Food Festival must-have from Jojolapa, the Momo’s (chicken dumplings).

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My next stop was Gaucho and their Beef Empanada and (not pictured) Vacio (bavette) steak which came accompanied with Humita Saltena (creamed sweetcorn).

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Then it was a return to Purnell’s Bistro, and another Strawberry Feels, Bombay Sapphire Gin, Elderflower, Lemon, Apple & Mint, the third variety of cocktail we had was their Summer Lovin with Grey Goose Vodka Peach, cranberry, Orange and Lime.

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Wifey also popped to Purnell’s Restaurant, with the Ox Cheek swapped out for Beef Blade accompanied by watercress puree, pickled shallots and wasabi crumble.

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There was also time for a bit of Dim Sum, from Chung Ying Central.

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The final dish of the day was Black Forest Cake from The Bureau, and some Tom Collins from The Jekyll & Hyde (not pictured) we were pretty much done for the year. and with that, it’s on until waiting for 2018’s Food Festival!

When: 30/06/2017 – 01/07/2017

Where: Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre

Who: Colmore Business DistrictPurnell’s Bistro / Ginger’s BarChung Ying CentralNosh & Quaff, OpusBar OpusJojolapaGauchoThe Bureau and The Jekyll & Hyde

 

Feliz Segundo Aniversario! Brummie Gourmand is 2!

It’s hard to believe it’s been TWO YEARS since my first post. I gave an update on what the first year had held so I thought I’d give you an update on Year 2!

This year has been an interesting one so far, having been shortlisted for the Midlands Food Drink and Hospitality Awards Blogger of the Year, the first anniversary of Geeky Brummie on Brum Radio, the launch of the Geeky Brummie Podcast, and lots and lots of blogging.

Some personal highlights have been:

and

  • Enjoying Beef & Malbec at Gaucho

Choosing just a dozen of the things I’ve been up to was difficult so head on through the archives to read more!

To finish, a quick thank you, again, to long suffering Wifey and thank you to all those who’ve taken time to read my little corner of the internet. Here’s looking forward to year 3!

Choc-A-Block at Colmore Food Festival

Has it really been a year since the last food festival? Time flies fast in the second city!

The Colmore Food Festival is one of the highlights of Wifey and I’s year. Bringing the cream of the Colmore BID‘s bars, restaurants and cafes in a showcase over two days.

You can read last years posts here and here.

This year the stage had moved to the side of the Town Hall, giving wider avenues to progress down and choose your particular solid or liquid treat, a very sensible move. In the centre, there was a garden with seating hosted by The Opus Family (more on them later).

Wifey and I visited 3 times over the weekend, Friday lunch, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, but still didn’t get around to trying half of it!

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First stop was the marvellous Gary of Gingers Bar (located in Purnell’s Bistro). With a whisk of his magic fingers, 2 non-alcoholic cocktails were presented to us of G2O, a blend of Orange, Passion-fruit and Lime. This was a perfect refresher and helped with the brisk walk we both had from the other end of Colmore Row in the summer sun.

After slaking our thirst, we popped into the Opus Garden for a spot of lunch via Opus at Cornwall Street. Wifey and I both had an Opus classic: this was a Lincolnshire Leek and Haddock Fishcake, topped with a Poached Egg and butter sauce.

I’m not normally a leek fan but this was great with the haddock. The poached egg was perfect with a rich golden yolk.

Then, it was back to the office for a few more hours until the freedom of the weekend.

For our return, it was straight to Purnell’s Restaurant, always a firm favourite at the Food Festival. We were glad we got in when we did as they sold out pretty sharpish afterwards.

We went for the Pork Belly, accompanied by Pickled Pineapple, Black Pepper and Pork Crumble. We were impressed by crispy, crumbly, spicy pork belly accompanied  with the sweet sharp tang of pickled pineapple. I’m now sad to be waiting another year before seeing what they cook up next year!

Next stop was to an old favourite, The Jekyll & Hyde, serving a wide selection of gin based beverages. We went for a portion of Dr Jekyll’s Fruit Punch, it definitely packed one and was very moreish.

A few stalls away was Asha’s for a Lamb Saffron Biryani, this Lamb Biryani is cooked with three year mature basmati rice, green cardamom, saffron and cloves, served  with poppadoms, raita and gravy. As expected from one of Birmingham’s most renowned restaurants, very moreish and didn’t last long between Wifey and I.

Next, a break from the food, Seekasaurus was in attendance at the food festival with lots of coloured Dino’s lurking about the stalls and one midway up a lamppost. Wifey and Laura from Full to the Brum went for an explore whilst I popped back to Gingers Bar for another quick beverage.

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This was a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Slushie, deliciously sweet and boozy.

That about wraps it up for Friday evening.

After compèring the hour of radio that is The Geeky Brummie Show on BrumRadio.com,it was time for visit number 3 for lunch and maybe some more alcohol!

First stop of the day was Jake’s Coffee Box, it’s  great to see an independent as good as Jake’s get to showcase themselves like this, and it’s at the heart of what the Festival is designed to be.

We chose one of Jake’s Picnic boxes, the first being the Savoury Box, with 2 Mini Gourmet Sausage Rolls (Pork, Shropshire Blue & Caramelised Onion, Pork Leek & Sage), accompanied by a homemade Scotch Egg, Rocket Salad, Cherry tomatoes and Black Pudding Crumb. The sausage rolls were delicious especially the caramelised onion one, which Wifey was particularly fond of. The Scotch Egg was also  great with a smooth creamy yolk and a hard albumen.

We also saw the Sweet Box, this contained a Triple Chocolate Brownie, Strawberries, Raspberries and Clotted Cream.

Next stop was booze! And a return to the Opus Garden. We were on the flip-side this time and visiting Bar Opus.

I chose a Marmalade Frozen Kalippo, which was Chase Marmalade Vodka, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice and a touch of Rosemary. Wifey chose The Great Chase, which was Chase Vodka, Chase Elder-flower Liqueur, Lemon Juice and Soda.

After that bit of booze, we made ourselves comfy in the deckchairs and watched a cooking demo by Jojolapa and hosted by Phil Oldershaw.

After that, Wifey couldn’t resist getting a portion of Momo’s, which nice and doughy and packed full of delicate chicken. They were accompanied by spicy rich tomato sauce.

Finishing off with another pair of cocktails from Gingers Bar (of course), it was time to bid a fond farewell to The Food Festival for another year!

When:08/07/2016 – 09/07/2016

Where: Victoria Square, Birmingham City Centre

Who: Colmore Business DistrictPurnell’s Bistro / Ginger’s BarOpus @ Cornwall StreetJojolapaPurnell’sThe Jekyll & Hyde,  Jake’s Coffee Box & Bar Opus at One Snowhill

 

Feeding Time at Foodies Festival

For a change, there was some blue sky present this summer. It was a glorious sunny Sunday and for the third year in a row, Wifey and I escaped the city (just about) and headed to Cannon Hill Park.

The main reason for our visit was not the usual excellence of the MAC, or for a run. Instead, it was to  have a taste of the Foodies Festival. Now in it’s 11th year starting in Brighton at the end of April, and then touring the country with food festivals in ten locations throughout the Summer.

The Birmingham event showed off some of Birmingham’s best talent with Nathan Eades Richard Turner, Brad Carter, Ben Ternent and James Wong.

Also TV talent was in attendance in the shape of Great British Bake Off Winner, Nadiya Hussein, and MasterChef’s Tony Rodd and Dhruv Baker.

Accompanying the demonstrations were some streetfood stalls, bars and produce to purchase and try.

The first stop off for Viv and I was a bit of Caribbean spice in the shape of the Levi Roots camper van, serving up wings and nibbles. Wifey managed to grab a wing smothered in Reggae Reggae sauce, with a bit of chopped spring onion and mayo.

The wing was nice and hot, and the Reggae Reggae sauce worked well as a marinade. We’ll definitely be trying it at home at some point.

Next stop was keeping in the Caribbean theme with a visit to the Appleton Rum Bus.

This Jamaican Rum is a firm favourite of Wifey’s extended Jamaican family and it’s nice to see it reaching the UK!  We were shown how to mash sugar cane, which reminded us of our holiday to the Dominican Republic a few years back. Wifey got to pretend to be bus driver, had a rum tasting of Appleton’s signature blend and then finished off with a couple of cocktails.

A Jamaican Mule for me made with ginger ale and lime whilst Wifey plumped for a Fruit Punch with Orange, Pineapple and Grenadine. Both were delicious and didn’t last very long!

Onwards to the Chef’s Theatre and we bumped into Birmingham’s best Chilli Sauce provider in the shape of Pip! Pip’s Hot Sauce is  a devilishly spicy chilli sauce brand,
crafted in small batches to ensure quality and made right here in Birmingham.

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We picked up a bottle on the way for Wifey’s dad, a bit of a connoisseur of fiery stuff, and arrived at the theatre in time for Nathan Eades’ chef’s demo.

Nathan Eades has taken over Head Chef duties at Simpsons for just under a year now, after a successful run at his own, Epi @ The Courtyard in Bromsgrove, and pop ups at The Kitchen Garden (Kings Heath) and The Pickled Piglet (City Centre).

For today’s demonstration, Nathan was cooking Seared Scallops with asparagus, shrimp and squid ink.

 

It was a fascinating demonstration with lots of good foodie tips on preparation, and getting your ingredients weighed and sorted prior to cooking saving a lot of time.

After witnessing that display, it was time to get munching. Our next stop was a Prosecco and Squid bar for Wifey.

A hefty portion of squid and chips with a squidge of mayo. The squid in batter was quite light, not suffering from excessive chewy-ness and the chips not too greasy.

My lunch also went with an aquatic theme but with an added quack.

I had a portion of crispy rotisserie duck, spring onion and hoisin sauce accompanied with duck fat chips.

The duck was a touch on the dry side but otherwise flavoursome, and the chips were amazing like crispy roasties and chips combined.

To cool off, it was time to return to an annual favourite of ours, Whipsmiths. These guys do Liquid Nitrogen Ice-cream in their Cryo-mixer, a purpose designed liquid nitrogen ice-cream machine, and allows operators to handcraft individual portions of ice-cream in just 30 seconds.The queue took 30 minutes but it was worth it.

Wifey had a green combo of Pistachio and Matcha whilst I went for Popcorn and Coconut. If you’ve never tried it, it’s a lot creamier than normal ice cream as the crystals have less time to form, therefore, are smaller and smoother. Wifey’s ice cream was almost savoury in flavour but disappeared rapidly, mine was crunchy with some real popcorn thrown into the mix.

And that was pretty much it.  We’ll be returning next year, however, the majority of stalls in the streetfood aisles were repeats of previous years, hopefully next time there’ll be some further variety as we’re running out of things to try!

When: 05/06/2016

Where: Foodies Festival, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston / Moseley,  Birmingham, B13 8RD

Who:  Foodies Festival,

 

 

 

Texan Tasting – Low ‘n’ Slow @ Bar Opus, a menu inspired by travel

Before you start, no, this isn’t a repeat of my Magnum Meat post (read it here), this is more of a part 2.

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It’s been just over 6 months since I had the pleasure of visiting one of Low ‘n’ Slow’s takeovers at Bar Opus and since then, Andy and Donna (head honchos) had a trip over to the good ole USA and came back with some ideas for tasty food…

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Now into his third year on the Birmingham street food scene, Andy has popped up at a few venues over the past few months including Brewdog and Hare & Hounds. This one was a little bit special and sold out quickly.

Wifey again couldn’t attend; luckily an old friend managed to find space in his belly to join me! We also had a lovely surprise having Vicky from brumderland on our table, accompanied by the March Hare.

Whilst we chin-wagged over a few pints of Opus Lager, our first course of Barbacoa Ox Cheek with Grits

The grits were stunning! Like a comforting savoury corn porridge and warmed from the feet up. The ox cheek melted away in the mouth with the pico de gallo adding a beautiful piquancy to the dish. I was tempted to lick the bowl but managed to resist.

The next course was a triple plate of Oak smoked Black Angus Brisket, Jalapeno Cheddar Hotlinks and baby back ribs, accompanied with BBQ Beans, Jalapeno & Bacon Potato Salad and Lemon Vinegar Slaw.

 

The brisket had the delicate woodiness of the oak permeating through. The baby back ribs were plump and meaty with a beautiful flavour, a low burn coming through afterwards. The star of the show was the Hot Links. A nice taut skin stuffed with juicy meat and spice with a gooey cheesy high note, absolutely delicious!

The fixings we great too: a glossy crunchy slaw with a zingy bite, sweet BBQ beans with the savoury meatiness of the oxtail a hit of umami . The potato salad was sweet and smokey and reminded me slightly of coronation chicken in it’s colour!

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Whilst fetching more beers, I stumbled upon the special drink for the evening! I didn’t partake as I had work the following morning but I was sorely tempted to see what it was like.

Back with more beers and a blended Mojito from Bar Opus’s excellent cocktail menu (you can read about some of those here too!), it was time for pudding. A slice of Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream:

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This was A-maz-ing! A delicious thin crust, a nice sticky sweet pie laced with a touch of bourbon and sweet light whipped cream. It was definitely sweet and sticky enough to knock my socks off, I was even tempted to see if I could bag a second slice.

Oh well, I will just have to wait until next time…

When: 10/03/2016

Where: Bar Opus at One Snowhill

Who:  Andy Low’n’ Slow

 

INTELLECTUAL & GASTRONOMICAL PURSUITS PART 2 – CIRENCESTER

Following from Wifey and I’s previous adventures in Oxford, we journeyed further to the west with a visit to Cirencester. Cirencester is a market town nestled in the southern part of the Cotswolds and was the second largest Roman city in Britain…

After a quick stop and shop in Cirencester, we headed to our hotel about 9 miles east in the little village of Coln St Aldwyns. Our bed for a few nights was the 16th Century New Inn.

Ran by the company behind Cripps Venues, it’s their first venture into the Inn trade. After being warmly greeted by the team and their lovely dog, we were shown to Room 15 (Ampney Crucis) in the dovecote:

 

Set away from the main pub, it has its own private courtyard which I can imagine is lovely to sit out and enjoy a coffee in the morning or a beer in the evening during the summer months.

The room itself was very spacious and came equipped with the mod cons of a TV, Ipod dock/DAB radio, Nespresso coffee machine, kettle with Teapig tea bags. Phone signal is no great (we’re in the middle of the countryside, of course!) but there is free Wi-Fi to make up for it. The room was tastefully decorated with a red theme, simple and elegant with some beautiful rustic pieces. The heavy curtains certainly blocked out the cold during the nights! The bathroom area was split in two with his and her sinks leading off the bedroom, and the bath/shower and toilet in the adjoining room. Complimentary toiletries and fresh white towels were provided, which is always a nice touch. Not sure why there was a mirror right next to toilet, though. Maybe there used to be a sink where the toilet is now?

Coincidentally, our arrival coincided with guest streetfood pizza providers Baz and Fred, who are taking over every Wednesday, cooking pizzas using Chadwick ovens rather than than a traditional brick oven. These novel little cookers reach 500 degrees celsius in about 10 minutes and once up to heat can cook a pizza in a touch over 3 minutes.

I chose a chorizo, oregano & basil pizza whilst Wifey went for a prosciutto, garlic & parsley, portobello mushroom and rocket, accompanied by a side salad or rocket, avocado, cherry tomato, parmesan shavings and house dressing.

The pizza base we delightfully light and crispy with finely grated mozzarella and parmesan with what i suspected to be a plum tomato base. My chorizo pizza was nice and spicy with the underlying smokiness of paprika coming through. Wifey’s proscuitto pizza had plenty of meat, but a touch too much rocket for me, the portobello mushrooms were plump and juicy.

The next day it was back in for breakfast I opted for a full english whilst Wifey plumped for Eggs Beni…

 

Alongside a good selection of cereals, pastries and fruits, our breakfasts were cooked perfectly and made with highest quality ingredients. Perfect for a day of long walks and exploring.

Post breakfast we returned to Cirencester and went for a walk in Cirencester Park. Based in the estate of Earl Bathurst it’s know for the world’s largest yew tree hedge and has some great walks. Thought it was a January morning and mid week the park was surprisingly busy (not that you can see from the pictures).

 

Post burning off breakfast with our walk, it was back into town to recharge with waffles and icecream at He Says, She Waffles.

We shared a S’more Waffle which was a waffle topped with melted white chocolate and toasted marshmallows. It was very nice, with a fresh made waffle  soft marshmallow and not over sweet with delicious vanilla ice cream. If you’re in Cirencester and need a pick me up I recommend it!

Our afternoon was spent in the Corinium Museum. We in not expecting much for a small market town but we were surprised how informative, interactive and entertaining the museum was.

We spent at least two hours looking at the mosaics and artifacts, and even had a go at making a mosaic ourselves!

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Post museum we popped into another Cirencester must visit, Bib Gourmand Made by Bob. Wifey, as always, had done her research and made sure we visited this little gem in the town centre.

We only had time for a slice of cake and cup of tea, however next time we’re in the area we’d definitely be back for a larger repast. Wifey had a choccy cake and I chose a white chocolate and pistachio cake. Both were delicious and both were gone in a matter of moments!

We did a little more shopping in the town centre and then back to The New Inn for our evening meal

For starters I had a sumptuous chicken liver parfait whilst Wifey had a very rich and creamy tomato soup. To accompany this Wifey had her traditional rose, but I had something a little unique. Billed as a “sipping beer” it was a little different than my usual IPA and went down great with the food! I was also glad to note they made special care to mention their meat came via Aubrey Allen. You can read previously my thoughts on Aubrey Allen produce here.

For mains Wifey had Fish and Chips and I went for their pie of the day which was a delightful game pie with mash and veg. Both were well cooked and beautiful with the battered fish wifey’s highlight and mine being the heavenly mustard sauce and pastry!

After dinner we whiled away a few hours in the extremely comfy pub part of the premises of a pair of sofa’s next to a roaring stove fireplace and played a few of the provided board games before bed (I won!).

 

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The morning after, it was a sad farewell in the rain and back to reality, we’d love to go again soon.

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We had such a great time, better than expected.

If you think getaways should be limited to the summer only, I’d suggest trying a winter break as you’ll find a lot more to do than you might think!

When: 20/01/2016 – 22/01/2016

Where: Cirencester / Coln St Aldwyns

Who:  New InnBaz and FredHe Says, She WafflesCorinium Museum and Made by Bob

Provisions by the Pavilion – Bournville Ale & Streetfood Festival

Late Summer, the sun was shining, and Wifey and I made a change from our usual City Centre haunts and ventured a little further afield to historic Bournville. those who know a little about the history of Birmingham  will know the vast majority of it was built for the workers of Cadbury. What you may not know is there are no Public houses in Bournville and Rowheath Pavilion (today’s destination) only began to serve alcohol at their members bar in the 1960’s.

So a unique destination for an Ale and Streetfood festival, lets check it out!

Rowheath Pavillion
Rowheath Pavillion

We arrived when the festival was in full swing. with a wide variety of stalls (and queues) to see and enjoy.

First stop was one of my personal favourites, Low’n’Slow, who’ve been subject to a few of my previous posts.

Today was no exception to Andy’s meaty maestro-ness and Wifey and i picked up lamb shank taco’s with Feta, Salsa and Coriander.

Lamb Shank Tacos from Low'n'Slow
Lamb Shank Tacos from Low’n’Slow

The lamb was soft, tender and melted in the mouth. It combined great with the crumbly, tangy cheese. A great start to our food for the day.

After lining the stomach it was time for a drink, however, a quick trip to the bar turned more into an expedition.

Bar Queue at Rowheath Pavilion
Bar Queue at Rowheath Pavilion

Of the two real ale bars, one was completely out and the second was down to one ale. the regular bar had opened up to help the flow of regular drinks, but a queue was tailing back and growing by the minute. the Ale and Streetfood festival turned more into a Streetfood Festival.

Good job I love streetfood!

Back outside it was time to visit the vintage Citroen H Van of the team from Pietanic, whom we previously saw at Sarehole Mill.

Pietanic Van
Pietanic Van

The choice this time was a Chicken & Chorizo pie with a mini iceberg of mash in an ocean of gravy (groan).

Chicken & Chorizo Pie from Pietanic
Chicken & Chorizo Pie from Pietanic

The mash was made from skin on potatoes to add extra texture but still kept a good amount of creaminess. The pie again was excellent. It was a struggle to wrestle it from Wifey’s hands as it was her first experience of Pietanic. From what morsel I salvaged the chicken was well done yet soft and moist. the chorizo added a welcome spicy pop without overriding the chicken.

Next along the food tour was another streetfood stall previously featured, Scratch Cooking, this time swapping wings for Paella

Scratch Cooking
Scratch Cooking Caterers

A beautiful slow cooked paella with plenty of seafood bubbling away nicely.

Scratch Cooking Caterers Paella
Scratch Cooking Caterers Paella

A generous portion was served up for me to take back to Wifey.

Paella from Scratch Cooking Caterers
Paella from Scratch Cooking Caterers

Wifey loved it, nice big prawns, fresh mussels  and veggie rice. The portion was too much for her. The only thing which was a misstep came from the heat. By the time I’d got it back to the seating area the the dish was more warm than hot but still with enough heat to keep it enjoyable. A bit more warmth would just make it better.

Whilst Wifey was going through her Mediterranean feast. I went for something a little more North American with Caribou Poutine, who’e been running pretty much as long as this blog, so a relative new comer to the Brum scene. It hasn’t stopped them making a splash with events such as Taste & Liquor, Brum Yum Yum and Digbeth Dining Club.

Poutine is a Canadian speciality involving chips / fries gravy and cheese curds. sounds a bit different from the usual cheesy chips eh!

Caribou Poutine Menu
Caribou Poutine Menu

I chose the Miss Piggy as I still felt the need for more meaty goodness. A bit of slow cooked pulled pork, streaky bacon and sausage seemed a marriage made in heaven to go with chips, curds and gravy.

Miss Piggy from Caribou Poutine
Miss Piggy from Caribou Poutine

it was HOT (heat  not spicy) and cooked my fingertips on the way back to the eating area. I can see why it’s so popular tough, a mammoth portion of fries were hidden under mounds of meat and cheese curds.

The dish was one of those which gives you an almost Ready-Brek glow of warmth and heartiness. I can see why its so popular in the cooler parts of Canada, even on a late summer day it gave me a cozy feeling. I’ll certainly be back again for more soon.

To burn off a few calories Wifey and I went for a stroll around the park prior to making our exit. We were originally going to have a waffle to finish but the queue, which had been large all day seemed to be even longer. I’ll have to get them next time!

Waffle Queue
Waffle Queue

Here’s a few of the other traders present whom we wish we could have got round too. Surprisingly my appetite does have a limit so we couldn’t do them all!

A special shout out to the amazing Pip from Pip’s Hot Sauces (available on-line!).

And with that we were done for the day and get back to the city centre!

When: 27/09/2015

Where: Bournvlle Ale & Street Food Festival, Rowheath Pavillion, Rowheath, Bournville, Birmingham

Who: Low’n’SlowPietanicScratch Cooking and Caribou Poutine

A Kings Feast – Kings Heath Street Festival

Well, that took longer than expected to get back to you all! My main laptop died last weekend, hence the delay in getting back to blogging. No matter, the spare has been brought in so I can continue telling you lovely folks about food in and around Birmingham. Anyway….back to it.

As you may be aware, we had been to Birmingham Independent Food Fair in the morning so our bellies were a little full. However, there’s always more room for streetfood! A short bus ride away is Kings Heath, a bustling suburb with a burgeoning streetfood scene (mainly due to BrumYumYum and their #KingshEATh at the Churchyard).

Today’s event was a slightly different affair from the usual as York Road was closed off by Enjoy Kings Heath to celebrate all that’s great about Kings Heath. It was a busy affair:

Kings Heath Street Festival
Kings Heath Street Festival

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