For a spontaneous ‘let’s eat out’ moment, nothing is better than a good old pub- one that does good food- one that does good drink!
In Birmingham we are lucky we have a few. One that I hadn’t eaten at though is The Victoria on John Bright Street in the city centre near the Alexandra theatre. Now John Bright street is becoming a cool place. Not only does The Victoria sit comfortably there, but new Caribbean restaurant and bar Turtle Bay, Brew Dog craft beer bar, and Cherry Reds also line up in harmony on an up and coming street. A feast of good food and good drinks.
The Victoria is a theatre pub, dating back to the end of the 19 Century. It has plenty of character and according to its website its own ghost.
Well let’s just say there are no ghosts In their food or drink when we visited on a mid week evening.
The Victoria offers quality hand picked wines, cask ales and some superb sounding cocktails. It is listed on Birmingham’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) website and for a real ale fan like myself it’s a superb place to try out new cask beers. The ‘Sleepless’ ale that I tried along with their Otley ale were superb. Both different but both superb for drinking alone or in my case with food. Both hoppy, both with a superb character. Ruth chose a couple of glasses of excellent Chenin Blanc which she enjoyed.
The food at The Victoria has recently been taken over by Vicky’s Kitchen, with a range of authentic gourmet sourdough based pizzas (2 vegetarian options) burgers (1 option) and salads and numerous bar snacks.
The food is made fresh in house with a quality rarely seen in pubs I find. After all it’s all in the ingredients and fine dining doesn’t just mean white table cloths and linen. Vicky’s Kitchen at The Victoria certainly executes food well and it’s hearty and generous in portion size too. Good hearty pub food. Perfect!
I ordered a burger called ‘Animal Friendly’ which was a salted courgette and beetroot, carrot, toasted almonds, mixed herbs, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle mayo with sweet potato fries and a side of onion rings to share with Ruth.
The veggie burger was superb, served in a brioche bun, with fennel coleslaw. The flavours of the beetroot and courgette complimented each other well and gave a lovely contrasting flavour with the beautiful mayo and fennel coleslaw, which was lovely spread in the bun on the lettuce. It was one of the best burgers I have had anywhere, made more delicious by the brioche bun which was firm and fresh and didn’t fall apart and held the burger to the end. Bonus! The fries were crispy and tasted subtly of sweet potato they were ok. The onion rings were delicious, a good idea to order them as a side. They are handmade, crispy and soul foodie.
It was the burgers though we had come to taste, so the pizza will have to wait for another day:).
At The Victoria you can’t fail to be seduced and impressed by the Victorian decor. It’s colourful and arty, with a quirky feel. It’s traditional in feel, but search deeper then you will find a twist with quirky furniture and art which is very bohemian with a wooden hand designed arty feel.
The bar staff are warm and friendly. They are very knowledgable offering advice and samples of the beer before you buy. I have been told the bar staff make superb cocktails which we will have to try out at another time. See website for details on drinks and menus.
The Victoria may be tucked away slightly, but its a memorable place to wile away a few hours or get a quick lunch. It’s a great independent, very bohemian and friendly with a young and cool crowd, a local to re visit.
With such a good food and drinks menu it would be foolish not to.
Next stop pizza and cocktails 🙂
48 John Bright Street
0121 633 9439
For entertainment and events at The Victoria see their website for details or Facebook or twitter.
You can get 20% off with the independent Birmingham card from Sunday to Thursday.
The Victoria is part of the Bitters ‘n’ Twisted venues which also include Bodega, Island Bar, the Jekyl and Hyde, and the Rose Villa Tavern.
You can obtain a loyalty card for these venues on the website of the venues. This gives you top deals on food and drinks across the six venues.