Veggie Burger Watch: Jekyll and Hyde, Birmingham. 


  

I think you can tell a lot about a pub/restaurant by its veggie burger. Vegetarian burgers can be tricky to make as they sometimes don’t hold their shape and the consistency in the ingredients are imbalanced and hence the flavours and textures don’t quite work. I’m on a quest to find the best veggie burger in Birmingham. Of course I’ll eat them anywhere, but that is where I live so why not. I like a challenge. 

  
The Jekyll and Hyde is one of my favourite pubs in Birmingham City Centre. Owned by independent Bitters n’ Twisted the people behind Birmingham venues Island, The Victoria, Bodega and Marmalade amongst others. Offering a wide range of drinks from G & T to cocktails, to real ales and mocktails. The cocktail menu is inventive and the G&T menu enticing. Plus with it’s Alice and Wonderland like courtyard is great in the Summer months. 

The upstairs bar, Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour. All dark wood, decadent drinking and a gin infused eat me drink me fusion menu in the latter part of the week is a bar of moral ill repute. See my review here. 

http://vegiefoodie.com/2014/08/28/the-jekyl-and-hyde-gin-infused-menu-in-the-gin-parlour/

It has over 90 gins and offers gin flights and cocktail master classes. 

Downstairs, Mr Hyde’s Main Bar is more retro, quirky and Cosy. Turn up one evening for a quick half and you may stay all night. The bar with cask ales, ciders and cocktails is a jewel of design and for raucous shenanigans can’t be beaten. 

It is here that the main food menu is taken. 

   
 The Mr Hyde Burger: Sweet Potato and Home made chick pea falafel with sweet chilli sauce was a very good towering veggie burger. 

The Flavours and textures of the burger were spot on. The hold of the burger was fine, stated firm, but soft. The chick pea falafel blended well with the sweet potato and with the sweetness of the chilli sauce for dipping made for a satisfying dinner.  Where the dish fell down was with my fries which were sadly not so crisp and didn’t have much of a potato flavour.  They weren’t the freshest and let the good quality burger down unfortunately. 

Ruth and I also ordered some onion rings on the side which were pleasantly the real deal and were superb. 

  
The onion rings fully made up for the disappointing chips. 

Yet the burger was a joy and certainly one of the best I’d had in Birmingham with good balanced flavours and was a fitting tribute to Mr Hyde. 

My burger was enjoyed with a pint of hobgoblin Gold and a pint of Sadlers Stout. Both superb beers, with the Gold in particular going well with the burger. 

   
    
   
Eaten in the lovely Jekyll and Hyde pub the veggie burger is to be recommended and taken with keen ales or decadent cocktails makes for a fun quirky evening. 

In fact the pub is unique in Birmingham for its eclectic drinks list and inventive shenanigans. The dark realm of Mr Hyde’s bar is perfect for drinking in the potion of veggieness and the gourmet dining of cold beer, it’s a firm favourite of mine, but please leave out your chips from Dr Jekyll’s microwave. 

http://www.thejekyllandhyde.co.uk/

28 Steelhouse lane, City Centre, Birmingham, B4 6BJ. 

0121-236 0345.

With independent Birmingham membership you receive 20% off food from Monday-Thursday. 

http://independent-birmingham.co.uk/

   
   
Disclosure: We paid for our own food and drinks. My opinions are honest and accurate of my experience as always. 

The Man and Myth pops up at Urban Coffee, Birmingham. 


  

After a few months of Nomad in Kings Heath there will now be a sister project and pop-up to tempt hungry punters. 

Nomad founder, Alex Claridge, alongside Chris Hughes (Kitchen School) and Thomas Harrison (previously head chef at The Drop Forge) are opening an honesty bar and experimental restaurant; The Man and the Myth will open Wednesday to Saturday (17:00 – late) at Urban Coffee Company on Church Street. RESERVATIONS HERE – 

http://foodbynomad.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a3bdfc1552c1d689968440b83&id=cc265ef3bc&e=005623ac16

from September 2nd.

They will offer a pay what you feel option by the glass of wine or beer.

 All bottles will be priced – with all below £20. 

 To my knowledge this will be the first honesty bar for Birmingham if not the UK. Wines will be listed by flavour & taste – and no other details.

The food will be British-ish, using wild and allotment grown produce, but with eclectic influences from where ever they so fancy.

 It will be a stripped back, accessible and relaxed sort of place that would be good for hanging out in. 

 Bar Menu for veggies 

 BAR – 17 – Late 

 ‘Cheese’ 

British cheeses, buttermilk crackers, caramelised plums, pickles & smoked cheddar brûlée – £12

 Olives

The best olives we could find – £3

 SUPPER – 18 – 21 hours 

for veggies. 

 Changing weekly, maybe more often. British-ish cooking with eclectic tendencies. Order what you like.

(v) – Yorkshire fettle, apple, hazelnut, spiced red cabbage 

Pumpkin, rose, blue cheese, enoki mushrooms (v) – £7 
Lavender & sake parfait, roast beetroot, honey, cinder toffee – £4 

There will be meat and fish on the menu too. 

There is a sort of taster menu with no frills- £30 per head. Inclusive of meat and fish. 

Unsure how veggies fit in here. 

*all subject to change and curve-balls from mother nature.
@manandthemyth

http://www.facebook.com/themanandthemyth

hello@foodbynomad.com

Nomad is due to re open in the City Centre in September/October. 

More Details to follow when I know them. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Nomad reviews: 

http://t.co/BH6rikDNAY 

http://t.co/6KrXqMjijn

   
 
Photo courtesy of Man and Myth. 

   
    
   
Nomad food. 

Review: Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Birmingham.


   
 

Anyone who went to Big Papas at The Sunflower lounge will know the work that Anthony and Craig put into their businesses. What’s always impressed me is their flexibility and nuance in understanding veggie diners and dishes, and what’s put out onto the table. They are open to experiment, your ideas and opinions. 

The vegetarian menu at their new venture The Mockingbird, Bar, Bistro and Theatre is evolving. It’s early days, it’s short at present, a bit too short, needs a couple of additions, maybe the Big Papas Mac and cheese, (please) veggie burger, sweet potato fries? why not? Plus think seasonal specials, be imaginative. 

We had the three dishes on the nights menu: Starters: Nachos with cherry tomatoes, salsa lemon and chive cheese, chunky guacamole, garlic and cheese ciabatta, and Main: Cauliflower and Brocolli fritters. 

   

 The Nachos, which we shared. A good Tex-Mex dish. The tortilla chips were crisp, though maybe on reflection the dish could have done with a few more to get the balance right with a delicious salsa lemon and chive cheese sauce and nice guacamole, which slightly overpowered the tortillas for that reason. The flavours were there though and the size was ok for a starter. Could do a larger plate to share as a larger starter. Enjoyed. 

   

 Garlic bread and cheese  

Well made garlic bread, with a nice balance in flavours. Thin, crusty. Very nice. Not too cheesy or greasy which I liked. Presented on a black slate which I liked. (shared) 

  
 Cauliflower and Broccoli fritters. 

My fritters had a good and plentiful filling of cauliflower and broccoli and a nice crisp fried outer breading.  

I enjoyed the fritters, the filling was different but had good flavours and filled the batter to leave a satisfying main dish. Again, the sauce that accompanied could have been reduced in quantity in order to get the balance right. I liked the tomato garnish though.

 Maybe introduce seasonal fillings, courgettes, mushrooms in autumn. 

I also ate a few of Ruths chips which were ok. 

Ruth also enjoyed the Buttermilk fried chicken with fries. She said it was fantastic. Perfectly cooked chicken. She knows, trust me!

The Brunch menu has a decent range of dishes, all of which can be adapted for the vegan diner. 
  

Brunch menu. 

  
   
   
   
    
   

Both Ruth and I loved the music played in The Mockingbird. A mixture, of soul, funk and a bit in between. It made for a good atmosphere and on a Wednesday night a steady flow of people were coming in, eating and having a drink before the film that was showing that night at the cinema that The Mockingbird has (Jaws in that case). The menu we had was the cinema/film menu and enabled you to take a desert with you into the film. 

   
   

The industrial feel of the decor and seating make The Mockingbird a chilled and relaxing place to visit for food or just drinks. The bar includes craft beers, including vegan beers (marked clearly) wine, and cocktails. 

I enjoyed two craft beers, the Goose Island IPA: 5.5% ABV, from Chicago, which has a fruity aroma with a dry malt middle and long hop finish. A very nice beer that went well with the informal food. A hop lovers dream. 

   
 
Plus, Meantime London Lager (suitable for vegans) from the award winning brewery based in Greenwich, London. It has the perfect balance of bitterness and hopiness, and is 4.5% ABV. If you like hoppy, malty beers this is for you. A really nice modern English lager, a quality beer. 

On a weekend they have DJ’s which we both agreed would be a great time to visit as well as comedy nights, a theatre and of course the cinema. 

The food at The Mockingbird is well executed, and though the options for vegetarians are limited at the moment, they are happy and excited to develop the menu further and ease the vegetarian and vegan diner. I liked The Mockingbird, in fact loved it. The vibe, the music, the concept. The hard work ethos pays off. I’m excited to see how those veggie dishes evolve and though not perfect at the moment you can see the potential and possibilities. It’s a place to visit at any time of day and livens up the Custard Factory somewhat in the day and for that it is achieving its aims well. 

The owners Anthony and Craig have the heart and soul for The Mockingbird, and yes this bird can sing. 

        

Every Monday is Meat Free Monday at The Mockingbird with The Vegan Grindhouse taking over the kitchen. From Brunch/lunch to dinner keep an eye on social media for menus and guest chefs/Streetfood traders. 

See Mex it Up on Monday August 31st. Vegan Mexican street food. Guest kitchen. 

See below: re Vegan Grindhouse Meat Free Monday’s. 

http://t.co/dNpqBJ6b5Y

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: Ruth and I were invited to visit The Mockingbird. Our food was complimentary but we paid for all drinks drank in full. In no way did this make my views biased which are honest as always. 

Thanks for the invite. 👍

The Mockingbird, the Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B 9 4AA. 

021-224-7456. 

  

  

Vegetarian dish of the day: Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Yellow Curry: Blue Ginger, Kngs Heath. 


  
Blue Ginger specialises in Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine. Based on Poplar Road, Kings Heath its a relaxed and friendly, small restaurant with good service and a chilled chatty atmosphere. With Batik runs on the table, it’s a pretty room with a South East Asian decor, and its a gem for vegetarians and Vegans in Birmingham. 

   

A stalwart of the main menu and a Vegan friendly dish the Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Yellow curry is an exotic dish. Take beautiful delicate cauliflower combined with the sweetest orange sweet potato and add extra Oriental veg and the brightest looking dish in Kings Heath is good to go. Add a touch of mild spice with just enough kick to fire a curry fanatic leaves a beautifully balanced dish that is a favourite of mine. Add an extra fragrant Jasmine Rice and the mopping up the sauce quality of the Roti Parata (bread) and you have a curry that’s simple street food indoors, made with skill with a sunny disposition that will have you smiling all season long. The future is yellow. 

   
 Cauliflower and sweet potato yellow curry. 
 

Find it at Blue Ginger’s, 32 Poplar Road, Kings Heath, B14 7AD. 

0121-444-0999.

Blue Ginger do a vegan only meat free menu every Monday. 

The Plough Harborne reveals extension plans launching ‘Upstairs at The Plough’.


   
 
I have to say that I was happy to receive an email from The The Plough Harborne’s PR team about their revamp in November. 

Because if you asked me where the best place to get a whisky in Birmingham is I may say The Plough, if you ask me where’s the best Vegetarian Sunday lunch (so far) then tick the Plough. The best veggie burger, maybe the Plough though not tried it yet. The best veggie pizza maybe the Plough too, especially as their redevelopment includes a pizza oven, which gives it a good start in my book. The Plough cover all basis, from coffee, brunch and dinner. 

See my review of the Veggie Sunday lunch: 

http://vegiefoodie.com/2015/01/28/veggiesundaylunch-the-plough-harborne/

   Veggie Sunday lunch at The Plough. 

 Okra and Sweet Potato Hash Brunch
   
Veggie Roast. 

 
  
The Plough in Harborne is set to launch ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ this November. Work has started on the £750k project which will see the popular neighbourhood pub on Harborne High Street add a new first floor extension which will be home to two new private dining and meeting rooms whilst extending its ground floor by 40 covers. 
‘Upstairs at The Plough’ will be home to two flexible private dining rooms with 30 covers combined. The rooms have been designed to accommodate meetings or conferences with both boasting wi-fi, large flat TV screens and private audio systems. The entire space can also be opened up and cater for up to 40 people standing. 

The ground floor renovations will see the arrival of a new bar dedicated to showcasing The Plough’s global selection of rare, award-winning and artisan whiskies alongside a carefully curated collection of craft beers. 

The make-over will also see the arrival of a new pizza kitchen and oven and coffee bar. 

They are also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms. 

The team have re-ignited their long term partnership with interior design expert Melony Spencer of Spencer Swinden to create the new spaces which have been designed to complement The Plough’s trademark eclectic design.

Adam Johnson, Director at The Plough, said, “At The Plough we pride ourselves on the close relationships we enjoy with our regular customers and we take their feedback really seriously. The idea for ‘Upstairs at The Plough’ was born as a result of the regular requests we received to host private events whilst the additional covers and kitchen space downstairs will allow us to develop our menu and product range, enhancingThe Plough experience further. We’re also introducing a family style sharing menu in the private rooms which will further enable us to cater for growing demand. We’re really excited about the next phase in the business.” 
Launched in 2003 The Plough has built a reputation for its menu of fresh home-cooked food and its imitable design whilst clocking up awards for its Sunday lunch, coffee and interior.
The project will create 10 jobs and is set for completion in November. 
  
Plans for The Plough. 

The Plough, Harborne has been serving fresh home-cooked food and the best coffee and Sunday lunch in the neighbourhood for 11 years. Established in 2003 The Plough has undergone extensive renovation since its launch boasting a quirky and eclectic interior and an ‘outdoor lounge’ that is airy, light and unrestricted by season. With a focus on quality and provenance, ingredients are carefully sourced locally to minimise the environmental ‘tread’ of the business where possible. No stranger to accolades The Plough has been recognised for its coffee, Sunday lunch and interior – named by the Independent as ‘best coffee shop’, celebrated by The Times for the best Sunday Lunch in the region and awarded the ‘Best Restaurant / Bar Design’ at the Northern Design Awards. 

Follow The Plough story here: 

Instagram : @ploughstagram 
Twitter : @PloughHarborne 

Facebook : The Plough Harborne 

https://theploughharborne.co.uk/

Thanks for reading

Andy 😊 
   Veggie Sunday roast Lunch  

  

   

   

Japanese Whisky at The Plough. 

 
   
   
Whisky at The Plough. 

Some of the photos courtesy of The Plough Harborne. 

Review: The Rose and Crown, Warwick. 


  

   
 
Warwick is a grand old place. It’s castle is one of the most iconic places in the county and its character filled streets have been used for numerous tv shows including Doctor Who, Pride and Prejudice and Dangerfield amongst others. At the centre of the town lies the old square, the market square. The Rose and Crown is a 17 c inn with rooms and sits looking out into a market square, and has shaped its own character within the town, blessed with some modern touches it also has rooms and on the Saturday we visited was holding court to a pop up bar and the popular folk festival. Now I’m no Billy Bragg but I like a drop of folk and enjoy the musical notes of real ale. 

http://www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk/

Warwick lies 11miles from Coventry and a shortish train journey from Birmingham. It’s a place that Ruth and I have enjoyed before, though our castle visit a couple of years ago was scarred by severe rain and a drenching was had. Warwick has a number of small shops, antiques, cafes, restaurants, and a good independent streak. A nice place to visit at any time of the year. 

We had been invited on this occasion by Peach Pubs  (an independent pub company who also own The Highfield in Birmingham) to try out some of their vegetarian options. Having booked in for a Saturday lunchtime, we realised that our visit coincided with the Warwick Folk Featival which in itself created a nice musical atmosphere, (with live music and Morris dancers) and made Warwick very busy, and yes it was sunny.  

I was pleased to find an outside bar near the doorway of the inn from Church Farm Brewery an independent family run craft micro brewery in Budbrooke, Warwickshire. I  enjoyed their IPA which is brewed with citra and Crystal hops and was a nice easy drinking beer with a good full flavour, ideal for summer. 

  
Church Farm Brewery IPA at The Rose and Crown.

    

Certainly on walking inside you don’t get a feeling that The Rose and Crown is part of a small chain, as internally it differs to The Highfield. The inn has recently been refurbished and presents a light, clean lined, but traditional decor which is instantly inviting and relaxing. The inn does have a bar area and outside tables, though on this occasion with the festival, tables were taken. The restaurant part is to the rear. 

   
    
 

  

So to lunch. 

The Rose and Crown prides itself on its seasonal menu, with the freshest ingredients mixing classic, comfort and contemporary dishes. They have a select few vegetarian dishes which look good on the menu but could benefit from having a few more options. 

To begin I decided to try their ‘Soup of the day’ off their changing specials board, which was pea, mint, creme fraiche and for my main The Veggie Board, which I’ve been meaning to try for awhile. 

  
   
 
Pea, mint and creme fraiche soup with croutons. 

The Pea, Mint and Creme Fraiche soup was a thing of beauty. It had a warming, summery gaze, that with the added croutons was balanced and a happy starter. The seasonal flavour of the peas came through. A Faultless soup. It also looked stunning and indulgent. 

   
    
 

The Veggie Board consisted of stuffed artichoke hearts, and pesto Mayo, Heritage Tomatoes, salad, goats curd, spicy Hummous, and radishes with toasted pitta, and seeded straws. 

It was a simple looking dish, plentiful and packed with good Summery flavours.  I liked the seasonal crunchy radishes, and juicy firm heritage tomatoes. As well as the stuffed artichokes which were good to see on the board, (not often found on menus) and the presentation was inviting. 

The spicy Hummus and pesto Mayo (I didn’t really enjoy the goats curd too much) added a good dipping element with the crunchy and well made seeded straws and toasted pitta. A good board. 
The Veggie Board may not be an exotic or innovative dish but it’s summery and delightful for lunch. Its not too heavy and idle for grazing with a pint, maybe outside. It’s the ingredients that make the board work, I’m not sure it would work so well in the Winter for example  when the produce is not so fine, but it all depends on what’s put on the plate and makes up the board.
   
 

For desert I was happy to choose the Dip Your Own Strawberries which is a seasonal special I wrote about a few weeks ago. 

If any menu has strawberries on it in the summer I have to try it. It’s one of life’s foodie pleasures and reminds me of my childhood and strawberry picking. 

See here: http://t.co/A5sCOBVyqR

   
Photo courtesy of Peach Pubs. The Rose and Crown

   
The locally grown Dip Your Own Strawberries were presented on a board, with details of where they were picked (Staffordshire) and with each of the elements, strawberries, Valrhona  melted chocolate sauce and chantilly  cream I their own pot. With shortbread biscuits on the side for dipping. 

 The idea is that the strawberries and biscuits are dipped into the chocolate and cream, much like a clottedcream tea, maybe. 

The desert wasn’t too heavy. The strawberries, juicy, red, sweet in flavour. The chocolate velvety, thick and rich. The cream unctuous, sweet and thick. What’s not to like.

The shortbread though we’re disappointing. They were soft, not crumbly and a little wet at the base. Though homemade and looking the part they didn’t deliver the contrast the desert required. 

The dish worked in parts. It was fun, the ingredients were good but maybe the dipping could have done with a optional cocktail stick to assist the dipping. Maybe the flag could be used for that purpose. 

An intriguing English garden desert. 

  
The food at The Rose and Crown was excellent, the dishes I had were varied and fulfilling. The added bonus is the seasonality of the ingredients and the presentation which is thoughtful and well done. The menu is varied though I would like a few more (maybe one or two) additional Vegetarian dishes on there. The service was excellent throughout. Friendly and attentive and  I could tell passionate about the dishes. 

For Vegetarians The Rose and Crown is a good place to eat. The inn has good ales, wines and has a nice relaxed decor that feels authentically a country pub in a busy pretty town. 

It works on many levels. It was a charming and enjoyable lunch experience and as Billy Bragg sang ‘there is power in a union’ of beer and the freshest food. 

Serve the good stuff. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Thanks to Giles and his team for a good lunch and having us. 

Disclosure: Our food and drinks were complimentary. My views are my own and honest as I found the experience on the day. 

http://www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/06/Rose-Crown-Summer-2015-ALLDAY-Menu-NEW.pdf

http://www.roseandcrownwarwick.co.uk/

 He’s not a folk musician? 

    
 

  
   

The Yard (an indoor, outdoor kind of space for dining and events. 

Brum Vegan Beer and Food festival @Two Towers Brewery, 15th August 


  

This Saturday 15th August sees The Brum Vegan Beer Festival arrive at Two Towers Brewery, which is based just outside The Jewellery Quarter on Mott Street in Birmingham. Its a double Unit warehouse with a Two Towers/JRR Tolkien inspired signage outside. 

They craft their own beer on site some Birmingham inspired and some suitable for Vegans. 

The festival will showcase 12 beers that are all suitable for vegans and for £5 entry you can try 2 beers from the range of 12. 

The breweries at the festival include:

-Two Towers Ale- Hockley Birmingham. @TwoTowersAle http://twotowersbrewery.co.uk/ 

serving there Chamberlain Pale Ale 4.5%.

-Beowulf brewery: independent Birmingham brewery @BeowulfBrewing 

serving there Gold Wing 5.1%.

-Fixed Wheel Brewery @FixedWheelBrew

-Little Valley Ale-West Yorkshire @LittleValleyAle

-Green Duck Brewing Co’- Stourbridge @greenduckbrew

-Twist barrel Ale- Coventry brewery and tap house open at Far Go Village. @TwistBarrelAle

-Rock N’Roll Brewhouse- Birmingham’s only roof top brewery. @RocknRollBrew 

serving GoldenStroud organic Ale 4%.

-Stroud brewery- Cotswolds @StroudBrewery

-Angel Ales- Halesowen brewery. @AngelAlesLtd

 Including their Ginger Stout. 4.8%. 

  

  
There will also be food available from 

Vegan food providers and Birmingham’s esteemed Change Kitchen and Warehouse Cafe. 

Change Kitchen will be serving some delicious oniony Homity Pie and a veggie Thai Curry plus veggie samosas and cooked salads. 

http://www.changekitchen.co.uk/

http://www.thewarehousecafe.com/

More details can be found at 

https://twitter.com/BVbeerfest

And tickets can be reserved at 

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brum-vegan-beer-festival-tickets-17951131317 with £5 payment per person on the day at the door. 

It should be a good day and though vegan friendly beers are on the increase, they are still a rarety. 

This festival should provide enough choice to satisfy veggies, vegans and beer drinkers everywhere. Plus some great food. 

Thanks for reading.

Andy 😊

Brum Vegan Beer Fest full Beer list:

Angel Ales, Ginger Stout 4.8% 
Beowulf Brewery, Gold Work 5.1% 

Fixed Wheel Brewery, Carbon Black IPA 6%

Green Duck Brew Co, Duck Blonde 4.2% 

Little Valley Brewery, Ginger Pale Ale 4.0% 

Rock n Roll Brewhouse, Meat is Murder 4.1% 

Rock n Roll Brewhouse, Telstar 4% 

Stroud Brewery, Stroud Organic Ale 4.0% 

Twisted Barrel Ale, Inspired Pale Ale 5% 

Two Towers Brewery, Chamberlain Pale Ale 4.5% 

Two Towers Brewery, Complete Muppetry 4.3% 

Two Towers Brewery, Electric Ale 4.1% 

Two Towers Brewery, Hockley Gold 4.1% 

Two Towers Brewery, Smith and Pepper 4.1%

Two Towers Brewery, Mott Street, Birmingham. 

 

   

 


Ciderfest at Bitters N’Twisted and Meat Free Monday’s at Marmalade. 


  

   Meat free Monday: 

Paneer Tika and Pea Samosas with Homemade pineapple marmalade. With Blind Pig Cider 

 

Meat Free Monday: 

Edaname  hummus, shiitake mushrooms, coconut crisps and grissini bread.  

  

Meat Free Monday: 

Beetroot, feta croustade with wilted spinach buerre blanc 

Marmalade at The Birmingham Rep has introduced Meat Free Monday food specials to its menu every Monday. Above are examples of previous dishes with a different dish (s) every week. 

Meat free Monday’s are a national initiate to help people have one meat free day a week to highlight the impact that eating meat has on the planet and our carbon footprint. 

http://www.meatfreemondays.com/

Marmalade has always offered a good selection of Vegetarian dishes, so this addition is to be welcomed. Keep an eye on social media for the Meat Free Monday dishes every week. 

   
    
 Vegetarian dishes at Marmalade. 
Previous review of Marmalade. 

http://vegiefoodie.com/2015/02/20/review-marmalade-bistro-at-the-birmingham-rep-theatre/

  
   
   
Cider fest is back for its 5th year. 

 After previous successful summer festivals, independent Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues are on a mission to unite even more cider drinkers as its fifth annual Ciderfest runs throughout its venues throughout August. 
 The Victoria on John Bright St, The Jekyl and Hyde based on Steelhouse Lane, both located in the city centre, have been joined by Jewellery Quarter based The Rose Villa Tavern and Harborne’s The New Inn for a month long celebration of all things cider. 

New to the Birmingham bar scene, Marmalade , will be taking part too from their home in Birmingham’s Repertory Theatre.

 Ciders on offer range from traditional apple based scrumpy’s to lighter fruity modern ones, served straight up or over ice creating the perfect drink for when the sun comes out. Expected favourites include Maeloc Dry Cider, made in Spain using traditional methods for a crisp flavoursome taste. 

Also Blind Pig, a new cider to the market offering a mix of cider and rum in their not-for-the-fight-hearted Rum and Poached Pear Cider.

 The month long celebration will come to an end with the free Ciderfest Closing Party – an afternoon of cider drinking, live music and BBQ food hosted in the beautiful New Inn’s beer garden from 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday, August 31st.

Ciderfest kicks off at the start of August and will carry on until the end of the month at the Victoria, The Jekyll & Hyde, Marmalade, The Rose Villa Tavern and The New Inn.
   
    
 Garden at The New Inn
Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Meat Free Monday’s: The Vegan Grindhouse at The Mockingbird in Digbeth Birmingham. 


       
 

Monday’s will never be the same if you are a Vegan or Veggie in Birmingham. 

The news is that esteemed and popular Vegan Street food traders The Vegan Grindhouse are taking over The Mockingbird at The Custard Factories kitchen all day on a Monday from August 10th for the rest of this year for a Meat-Free Monday’s special.

  

BIRMINGHAM INDEPENDENT VENUE AND POPULAR VEGAN STREET FOOD COMPANY TEAM UP FOR MEAT FREE MONDAYS STARTING MONDAY 10TH AUGUST.

The teams behind the successful Mockingbird Theatre, Bistro & Bar and Midlands based vegan street-food company The Vegan Grindhouse have collaborated to host a new destination event every Monday in Digbeth, Birmingham.

The event, The Vegan Grindhouse presents Meat Free Monday’s at The Mockingbird which is taking place every Monday from 10th August at Mockinbird Theatre Bistro and Bar, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA. 

The Vegan Grindhouse chefs will be serving up an all-vegan Americana style brunch menu from 11am-2pm, featuring waffles, scrambled tofu, granola, BLT and bagels. 

Then every Monday evening from 5-9pm there will be a new menu featuring food from different regions of the USA, such as burritos, Philly cheesesteaks, meatball marinara subs, mac’n’cheese and all American sides and desserts. There will be gluten free options available on each menu also. 

In addition to the food, Meat Free Mondays will also feature free film screenings in the theatre, music and a range of vegan beers, soft drinks and plant-based milks for coffees and teas.

Lisa Burbidge-Brown, Co-owner of The Vegan Grindhouse said “We are so excited to take on this weekly residency at The Mockingbird. To give people a fully vegan restaurant menu every Monday is a great way to promote the Meat Free Monday message of reducing or eliminating their meat and dairy intake due to health, environmental or ethical reasons and this is a great opportunity for people to try exciting new vegan food and see why going meat free is a viable alternative diet and lifestyle.”

The Vegan Grindhouse by Vegan Vox travels around the wider Midlands area to markets, festivals and street-food events to bring their high-end Americana handmade organic vegan food to a wide range of customers. 

They have traded across the UK including Birmingham, Warwickshire, Blackpool, Manchester, Wales and London since starting the business in April 2014 and have many more events booked throughout this year working with some of the big names in Street Food events.

The Vegan Grindhouse is a small independent all-vegan mobile catering company from the West Midlands, who produce organic, fair trade, cruelty-free tasty vegan Americana street-food and treats.

The Dinner menu will change each week and will be announced prior to the Monday. 

Contact the venue for reservations or just turn up on the day/night. 
So introduce non vegans and veggies to a meat free meal with new dishes not served up by The Vegan Grindhouse on their truck. 

http://www.thevegangrindhouse.co.uk/2015/08/exciting-announcement-meat-free-mondays.html?m=1

The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 YAA. 

   
 

  
Dinner menu for The Vegan Grindhouse Meat Free Mondays. 

Nomad: version 1 revisited. Kitchen Garden, Kings Heath. 


   
 
If you blink you may miss it. You see Nomad version 1 has only 3 weeks until Chefs Alex Claridge and Brian Smith and their merry band of Nomadic roamers leave fair Kings Heath and set up a permanent home somewhere away from my homestead and barter with a new crowd and venue in the big smoke. 

It’s been good having you in the Heath, and the kitchen Garden Will never be the same again. 

If moving from one place to another is true of the concept Nomad then it’s sure true of the nature of the Vegetarian dishes Ruth and I enjoyed last week. 

When we first visited back in April (see here http://t.co/RjhlejagxY) the food concept was still evolving and the vegetarian dishes though incredible were works in progress rather than the more formed and intricate plates that we now find. As with all concepts it takes time to develop a voice and in this case understand the customer and the nomadic skin you work in. 

So in this case the Seven courses we enjoyed were more complete plates of food, larger in size and scale and more rounded than before. Yes, in fact more adventurous and certainly an advancement in textures and flavours. Now maybe that’s the Summer produce, rather than the April Early spring variety, but I’d like to believe that it’s the added confidence of a kitchen more in tune with the diner and the Nomad concept including the ingredients. 

I’m not going to do a full review of the meal as your dishes may be different from ours, but suffice to say it was an outstanding meal. Indeed I think Alex is cooking the most innovative vegetarian food in Birmingham and certainly some of the best veggie food Birmingham has ever seen. 

So here are my photos of our meal.

   
 
Rowan berry doughnut

  
Globe artichoke, seared lettuce, egg yolk, nasturtium. 

  
Tomato, fennel. 

  
Broad bean, samphire, pea, tree mallow cheese. 

  
Burnt cauliflower, hay infused curds, ash dumplings, sea herbs. 

  
Caramelised white chocolate, strawberries. 

   
 
‘Sea buckthorn meringue pie’

If pushed then I would say my favourite courses were the Globe artichoke, the Broad Bean and the final desert the meringue pie. 

The only course that didn’t deliver so well was the Rowan berry doughnut which could have done with a touch more filling, but still they were delicious as a bread substitute. A nice idea though. 

The deserts in particular were a stunning improvement on our previous visit, much more pudding like and a good size portion. Excellent summery flavours. 

In all the courses the size of the portions were spot on and as a tasting like menu it was excitingly put together like a long journey of the pallet. 

Another nod to an improvement is with the service which is informed, crisp and friendly. A real asset to the Nomad experience. 

If you are able to get a table at Nomad in August at The Kitchen Garden then please do go. There is limited availability. 

For bookings: 

https://www.resdiary.com/Restaurant/Nomad

For Vegetarians it’s essential dining in Birmingham and one that’s improving all the time. 

In fact by time it reaches venue 2 in late September in the City Centre it may be nomadicly moving in another galaxy. It certainly makes the changing seasons and the advancement Of Autumn  quite exciting. 

See you on the other side. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our meal and drinks in full. My opinions are my own and honest as always. 

Nomad have also introduced their own wine and drinks list which is a positive development and compliments the food well. 

   
    
    
    
   
The night owl at the Kitchen Garden. Part of the Big Hoot Birmingham trail.