Experience: The Meeting Place with Jack Daniels

Regular readers will be aware I’m a whisk(e)y aficionado. What you might not know is Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey, not a bourbon; it could be a bourbon if it wanted to be but it’s not. It’s a regular bourbon until it enters their charcoal filtering method and then, it’s described as a ‘Tennessee Sipping Whiskey’or a Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey, if you look closely on the label.

Another thing you may not be aware of is that the month of September is Jack Daniel’s Birthday, as his exact birthday is not known.  Instead of picking an arbitrary date, the month of September does just fine apparently; even the man himself comes back to celebrate according to the sign!



In celebration of this, a couple of friends and I had the chance to visit The Meeting Place at The Rainbow Venues in Digbeth to raise a glass.

To celebrate in style, they had the entire three floors transformed into an old style Western Saloon with panelled walls neon signs and barrel tables to give the whole venue a real American feel. I was really impressed with the effort put into it especially with the food stalls upstairs (more on that shortly).

First stop, of course, was the bar.  I mean, you can’t celebrate Jack Daniel’s without some in your hand, can you? With master cocktail maker Rob Wood (creator of Smultronstalle) behind the bar too, there is really no excuse either!

The cocktail list was extensive and covered a few the other Jack Daniels offerings rather than the usual Old No. 7:

  • Double Jack & Cola Does what it says on the tin and a classic. Jack Daniel’s & Cola
  • Frozen Jack & Cola For those wanting an icy take on the above (also now an aspirational item for me to have, an alcohol slush machine)
  • Apple Jack Jack Daniel’s and Apple Juice – something I’ve never tried before but really nice as a sipping cocktail.
  • Lynchburg Lemonade Jack Daniel’s, Triple Sec and Lemonade, a nice fresh, citrus bursting alternative to a Jack & Cola.
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cider A new drink from the minds behind Jack Daniel’s. This is a crisp Apple Cider blended with Jack Daniels Old No. 7. The general consensus was we were not big fans.
  • Tennesee Cooler Jack Daniel’s Honey, Apple Juice and Ginger Ale. Now, this is going on the cocktail rotation at BG Towers; sweet, sharp and spicy all in one go. A winning combination in our group.
  • Red Dog Smash Jack Daniel’s Ltd Edition Red Dog Saloon Whiskey, Herbal Liqueur, Lemon Juice and Apricot Jam. This wasn’t one I tried but one of my friends tried it, and he much preferred the Cooler as this was a touch too herbal for him.
  • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Shot Jack Daniel’s Red Hot Cinnamon Liqueur – described as smooth Jack with a fiery finish, and I’d agree wholeheartedly with that.

We needed something to soak up all this alcohol so it was time to hit the rooftop garden for some of Brum’s best street food.

For food, they’d laid on The Flying Cows and Low ‘N’ Slow stalwarts of the local food scene. I’ve written about Andy a few times now and then. The food choices sounded mouthwatering, both with a Jack Daniel’s twist:


The Flying Cows

  • Steak Burger, Jack Daniel’s Glazed Smoked Bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese, Lettuce & Red Onion
  • Steak Burger, Jack Daniel’s Pulled Pork, Swiss Cheese, Red Onions & Lettuce
  • Veggie Burger, Halloumi Cheese, Jack Daniel’s Red Onion Chutney


Low ‘n’ Slow

  • 18 Hour Smoked Pork Shoulder Bun, Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce & Lemon Herb Slaw
  • Wild Cherry Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Heat Glaze (1/2 Rack).

I was sorely tempted by the Baby Back Ribs but I wasn’t appropriately dressed for a rib feast!  Instead, I went for the Pork Shoulder Bun and I wasn’t disappointed.  The meat was what I’ve come to expect from Low ‘n’ Slow with Andy and Donna pulling off a master work in slow cooked meat. Sweet with just enough tang from the lemon herb slaw to balance the sweetness from the BBQ sauce.

After devouring the burger, it was time for a trip to Lynchburg for a wander around the distillery through the magic of VR. It was very impressive and a great way to see the process without having to fly to the States.


Back to the bar and time for some music. We were treated to two of Birmingham’s best local bands, The Americas and Broken Witt Rebels who gave barnstorming sets to end the night.



When: 12/09/2017

Where: Jack Daniel’s The Meeting Place Pop-Up, The Rainbow Venues29 Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4AG

Who: Jack DanielsThe Rainbow Venues, SmultronstalleLow ‘n’ Slow, The Flying Cows, The Americas, Broken Witt Rebels.

Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of Jack Daniels UK and Euology PR, who provided all food, most of the drinks and some natty merch in the shape of a bandana and a few lanyards; this provides no bias to the 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.

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.


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…


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!


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:


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


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

Continue reading “A Kings Feast – Kings Heath Street Festival”

Magnum Meat – Andy Low & Slow takeover at Bar Opus

After a hard week at work, my craving for sustenance meant a Friday afternoon trip out. The Opus Group (previously reviewed, as part of my CBD article), have let a local food favourite, Andy Low ‘n’ Slow take over the kitchen at Bar Opus at One Snowhill (tucked behind Doddle) on Fridays.

Great food in a nice bar, less than 5 mins from the office? Sounds good to me!

Continue reading “Magnum Meat – Andy Low & Slow takeover at Bar Opus”