A Feast of food for Vegetarians and Vegans in Wolverhampton. 


Feast-Food is Wolverhamptons own Vegetarian and Vegan delivery lunch service.

Delivering healthy and nutritious food each meal is £5 and simple to order. 

Message via social media or head to the website. 

Dishes such as Vegan friendly Raw courgette and spinach risotto, sweet potato, chick pea and spinach salad, pea Nut curry and chick pea burger are all or have been available. 

This week try aubergine and green bean curry (Vegan) or black bean chilli. 

Previously shepherds pie (vegan) cashew hotdogs, or lentil Dahl and mango chutney have appeared on the menu 

See full menu below. 

Add a healthy snack to your order, such as vegan fruit and nut or vegan chocolate and coconut bite for only £1.



Getting good and healthy veggie food can be quite difficult and this seems a brilliant addition to the Wolverhampton food scene. 

http://www.feast-foods.co.uk/

Feast Foods are holding a Pop up Vegetarian Restaurant on the 7th April at Perton Park golf course, Wrottesley Park Road, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7HL. 

A three course Middle Eastern meal for £30 plus cocktail. See below for ticket info: 

https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/feast-pop-up-restaurant

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

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Veggie Lunch Watch: Cafe Opus @ Ikon Gallery.


  

  
Lunch is a serious subject. Whether it’s the luxury of eating at Carters of Moseley, Turners of Harborne or Purnells Bistro (I’ve tried all those) or the informality of Bodega and Amantia its a serious subject. One not to be undertaken (unless it’s at your desk) lightly. Cafe Opus takes lunch seriously, not in a fine dining kind of way, but by providing that informality one feels comfortable in right away and one that suits the Ikon Gallery where it resides down to the ground. 

Cafe Opus is the little brother of big Opus, Restaurant that is on Cornwall Street and of the young whippersnapper Bar Opus near Snow Hill Station. What they all have in common is the keen response to seasonal ingredients, sourced locally, market fresh and of a consideration to Vegetarians and Vegans in their menus. 

Ruth and I stopped by to try their all day 2 course for £10.50 menu (available Tuesday to Saturday) after a look around the Ikon Gallery. 

The menu includes a good choice of Vegetarian dishes and some Vegan options. It’s an all day menu that offers brunch dishes, sandwiches and light bites as well as more substantial mains. 

The first thing that you find at Cafe Opus is how light floods the room and how relaxed the restaurant feels. With original art on the walls and a quirky informal seating arrangement that is more cafe than formal dining  the modern dishes on offer perfectly fit the gallery vibe and is ideal for a lunch whilst visiting.

  
    
  

The 2 course menu is ideal for lunch or for an early evening supper. It includes homemade soup of the day to start (always a vegan version) and any dish off the menu for £10.50. 

For our starter we both ordered the Mushroom Soup.

 

The deep mushroom flavours came through, perfectly seasoned with chunky mushrooms adding a rich texture to the creamy warmth. Lovely. A near perfect soup. 

On the other hand the bread was beyond dry and possibly the worst I’ve witnessed in a restaurant/cafe for years. It was fairly inedible and would have been better made into croutons. It’s beyond why it came out of the kitchen to be honest. 

  

For my main course I ordered the Vegan friendly Penne Pasta tossed in Basil Pesto with wilted rocket and sun blushed tomatoes. 

  

Now imagine sitting in an Italian square In the sunshine with a glass of wine. Sun beating down, loads of time, a bowl of pasta in front of you.  This light pasta dish had that same kind of sunny easiness about it. 

Take a good flavoured light coating of basil pesto and mix with wilted rocket and sweet and succulent sun blushed tomatoes, toss with well cooked penne and you have simple dish that spoke to me of sunnier days and not the grey showery one that greeted me outside. An escape to the Med on a drizzly day, with a glass of red wine, happiness. 
 

  
  

Ruth ordered the Brixham Fish Pie for her main course which she said was lovely, with well cooked fish, though this again came with the aforementioned stale bread which was a shame.

We also ordered a couple of large glasses of wine. A good plummy red Pinot Noir for me and a glass of white Sauvignon Blanc for Ruth. 

Cafe Opus is an excellent place for lunch for vegetarians. The dishes on offer are of a high standard, Flavours marry together and the informality of the cafe makes it ideal for a relaxed break after a visit to the gallery or during a wander around Brindley Place. The service is friendly and with smoothies on the menu a healthier juicy option is available on drinks. 

The fact that the menus change seasonally is also good for repeated visits and the terrace on a nice day begs to be lingered over. Hey, if I close my eyes I can even imagine that it’s Italy. After all lunch (and terraces) are a serious subject.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Cafe Opus is at the Ikon gallery, 1 Oozells Street, Brindley Place, Birmingham, B1 2HS.

http://www.cafeopus.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/cafeopus?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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

  
    
    
  

 

Outside on the sunny terrace. Summer’s almost here. 
Photos courtesy of Cafe Opus  

   Afternoon tea at Cafe Opus available for £10 per person.  Smoothies available at Cafe Opus. 

Spring has sprung, Bistro 1847 launches new Spring menu. 


   

Birmingham Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 has just launched its new Spring menu. 

Dishes are created around and are inspired by local seasonal ingredients, which means every three months their menus change so the freshest plant-based fare possible can be introduced.  

The newest menu includes dishes that reflect the abundance of produce that’s on offer during Spring in the UK. 

You’ll find starters such as:

Marinated and Chargrilled Aubergine stuffed with Roasted Buckwheat, soya yoghurt, parsley and Sorrel (Vegan) 

and 

Lightly Dusted Goats Cheese with Black Olives, Apples, Celery and Melba Toast.

Mains such as:

Herb Breadcrumb Oyster Mushrooms with Asparagus, Quinoa, and Roasted Garlic Sauce 

and

Aubergine Steak, Seaweed Butter, Kohl Rabi Coleslaw, and Jersey Royal Potatoes. (Vegan)

For Deserts:

1847 Warm Dark Chocolate Brownie, Chilli Brittle, Pistachio Soil and Basil Syrup (Vegan) 

and

Single Malt Scotch Whisky Jelly, Strawberries and Caraway Jam, custard, meringue. 

2 courses are £19.50 and 3 courses are £25.00.

A bargain I feel for the quality of cooking and ingredients. 

For the full menus see link below: 

 http://by1847.com/menus/SummerMenu2016.pdf
http://by1847.com/menus/SummerMenuDesserts2016.pdf

Most dishes can be made Vegan or Gluten Free. 

     

    
 The above 5 photos of the new menu courtesy of Bistro 1847 with thanks. 

A Veggie Spring has certainly sprung.

Welcome to Nature. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

For my previous review of the Winter menu see link below:

https://t.co/p2wLZcZfFg

Photos from Winter Menu. 
   

  
Bistro 1847 also do a Sunday Lunch menu for £17.00 for 3 courses, plus a Express Lunch from Monday-Friday, which is a main course and drink for £10.00. 

   

 

The new Spring menus are available in 1847 restaurants in Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton and Bristol. 

Restaurant review: Purnells Bistro, Birmingham.


  
If the way to get to a good restaurant is to go through a good bar, then Purnells Bistro is quite probably top of the hit parade. 

Ginger’s Bar embraces the relaxed vibes of Manhattan, inspired by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, the decor and ambience is cool and collected with smart re-mastered classic cocktails. Ruth and I have visited numerous times, The Negroni is superb, the Old fashioned glitters. The Gin Martini possibly the best in Birmingham. 

Purnells Bistro offers a menu inspired by rustic British fare. It is very much ‘rustic home cooking with an eclectic twist’ where dainty traditional food meets more exotic ingredients. Founded by Michelin Starred chef Glynn Purnell (his wonderful restaurant Purnells restaurant is around the corner) it shows his passion to good food in slick and chilled surroundings. 

The Bistro decor has a relaxed and pleasant feel with soft moody lighting which felt quite chilled and modern on a quiet Monday lunchtime. It’s semi fine dining, nice pared down tables, smart cutlery, it felt like a place to celebrate in, which was a good thing as it was Ruth’s Birthday in the lovely company of her Mum. 

On this occasion we went straight to the table rather than have a drink in the bar.    

    Old fashioned.

  Cocktails at Gingers.

  
  Purnells Bistro

  Ginger’s Bar

 

We ate off the Extended Weekend menu. Which is on offer only on a Monday where all items on the menu (including bar food menu) have discounts up to 50% off, which I think is a great deal.    Having settled in the Bistro, which wasn’t surprisingly quiet for a Monday lunch time, we were given some pleasant rather than spectacular bread to have as we looked at the menu. 

 
The starter I ordered Potato and Gruyere terrine, poached egg, Autumn Purée, potato crisp, bursting with flavour of the assertive Gruyere cheese, into an earthy noted and Moreish terrine, with a runny egg to give the depth of luxury into what mounted to a lovely brunch like dish. The purée adding a seasonal harmony or just simply shouting I am lunch. A real starter of note. 

    Potato and Gruyere terrine, poached egg, Autumn Green purée, potato crisp.  £3.00

Pumpkin Risotto, Goats Cheese, Watercress. £7.25.  

So onto the main course. Risotto’s fall into three camps for me. The not good at all, bland, grainy, why? The ok, (so many Italian restaurants in Birmingham do it this way) and the wow risotto, I’ve had two in my life. One in Florence (of course) deep earthy mushrooms, in season, outside in the evening sun. Then the best of all at Raymond Blanc’s gastranomic temple that is Le Manoir Aux Saison another Wild mushroom and Alba Truffle concoction (again in season) that blew me away and remains to this day the best I’ll probably ever eat. I vowed to not eat another risotto again, this lasted for only six months until the Asparagus season began, but still I feel Risotto desire when I think about it.

So began the journey to another temptress the (Pumpkin, goats cheese and watercress Risotto.)

The discovery pleased me, as it proved to be the second most enjoyable Risotto I’ve ever had in the UK. 

The best Risottos  are the simple ones, less is more. Pumpkins slap bang in the Autumn/Winter season, with harmonious gentle goats cheese. Soothing, comforting, satisfying, with plenty of deep seasonal flavour . A well executed risotto that surprised me. A triumph of simple things done simply well and with the confidence to lavish love on a plate. A stylish plate of food.

We also ordered some excellent seasonal vegetables that were a welcome addition. 

  Pumpkin Risotto, goats cheese, watercress. A bargain.

  Seasonal vegetables. £1.37.

By this time I was glowing like a glow worm on a sunny day, and felt impassioned to dive into a gooey pudding. So I ordered the most gooey and chocolatey pudding on the menu, the Dark Chocolate cheesecake, ‘Cafe Liegeois’, Amaretti crumble. An elegant and refined desert without been fussy. Deep, dark chocolate, with a swish of coffee flavour from the cafe Liegeois, beautifully presented on a black slate, the amaretti crumble deconstructed and adding the desired crunch against the soft cheesecake. 

A lovely elegant desert, again like my starter, rustic refined. 

Suffice to say Ruth had a good Birthday lunch. She had the meaty type of food. Enough said. 

    Dark Chocolate Cheesecake ‘Cafe Liegeois’ amaretti crumble. £4.86 Warm Ginger Sponge-rum and raisin ice cream. £4.76, went down well also, with plenty of ginger flavour. 

We also enjoyed a bottle of Chardonnay, Blue Ridge wine from Bulgaria. 

   

Purnells Bistro serve the bistro classics well. In fact on this occasion with excellence. The food is simpler more rustic than Purnells Restaurant, less experimental, but it’s joy to eat such flavoursome and hearty Vegetarian dishes where ingredients are seasonal and treated the right way and presented beautifully. Made by a kitchen that takes pride in their dishes.

Maybe it’s the pedantic and greedy veggie nature in me, but it would be nice to have more options across the menu, (maybe specials) as vegetarian cooking this good shouldn’t be hid under a bushell, but should be delivered with aplomb, ambition, enthusiasm, and dare I say a bit more added variation to the standard (but well made) vegetarian  pasta and risotto model. 

Though this is only an opinion, I add that Purnells Bistro is a lovely restaurant, where service is excellent and a classy bar meets a clever bistro that shows talent and a sure touch, excellent for celebrations or an informal meal, but i can’t help thinking it could do much more with those seasonal simple (vegetable) ingredients. 

Now that would be a Bistro that’s not feeding only the darkness of the  Vegetarian past, but the authentic magic of new bistro vegetarian dining. But, that risotto…Mmm, was a joy to behold.

Thanks for reading, 

Andy😊

We paid for our meal and drinks in full. All thoughts and opinions are my honest opinion as always. 

Purnells Bistro and Gingers Bar, 11 Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 3NY.

0121-200-1588.

http://purnellsbistro-gingers.com/

https://m.facebook.com/PurnellsBistroAndGingersBar/

https://twitter.com/purnellsbistro?lang=en-gb

New Purnell’s Bistro Spring Menu.   

New Spring menu at Purnells Bistro With a lovely sounding Aubergine Rotolo and an interesting cream of onion Risotto. Two solid and nice looking options. 

  

Free food for workers at Amantia…Muchas gracias!


  

How often do you get offered a free lunch? 

One local Birmingham restaurant looks set to change that this month, with the launch of a new initiative for city centre workers.

Amantia, authentic Spanish restaurant which opened its doors on Bennetts Hill 12 months ago, is launching ‘Free Food Friday’ every third Friday of the month, to offer one team of up to ten Brummie workers a free lunchtime feast.

Aimed at any business operating within reach of its location, the restaurant will provide two tapas dishes per person for the winning team, to either eat in the restaurant or take the dishes away to enjoy at their place of work.

Marta Retenaga, owner of Amantia, said: “Birmingham has given us such a warm welcome in our first year of opening and we wanted to give a little something back. Everyone deserves a treat once in a while and as the third Friday – the week before payday – is often the tightest on our pockets, we thought this would be the ideal time to share a little Spanish spirit.”

With plenty of Vegetarian options on the menu, Veggies are well catered for too, and who can resist the Blue Cheese and Spinach croquetas, probably the best in Birmingham or the Tortilla Patata. 

http://www.amantiarestaurant.co.uk/#!tapas/ccw7

  
  

The first Free Food Friday will take place on Friday 18th March.

Those who wish to try their luck at winning a free lunch for their team can visit Amantia’s website 

http://www.amantiarestaurant.co.uk/  

and enter their contact details on the Free Food Friday page.

Winners will be announced via social media and direct contact on the Thursday before to arrange their free meal.

If you love Spanish food you’ll love Amantia. See my review: 

http://t.co/bTPHI9j2RH



  

Croquetas at Amantia. 

 

  
For more information visit Amantia’s website or social media pages: 

http://www.amantiarestaurant.co.uk/

@RestAmantia: Twitter.

Amantia-Restaurant: Facebook.

http://www.amantiarestaurant.co.uk/#!freefoodfriday/csab

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

Veggie lunch watch: Asha’s restaurant, Birmingham.


Some restaurants will always hold a special place in your heart. The type of place that you go back to because it conjures those memories that make us who we are. 

That is certainly the role that Asha’s in Birmingham City Centre fills. It was here that Ruth and I ate on our first proper date, where we talked and ate for what felt like ages. On that night I can remember talking about singer Nick Drake and the place his music fills in both our lives, laughing and feeling happy that I’d met someone like Ruth who I could talk to at length and who shared my love of food. 

Then on another occasion I remember celebrating our engagement here with friends, of eating there with my brother a few weeks before I got married to Ruth, a little celebration, a toast to the future.

So for my Birthday lunch on this occasion it seemed the right place to go. 

What is it about some places that have this resonance, have this pull? Is it the food, the atmosphere, or does the memory fuel the desire to revisit? In Asha’s case it’s all of those. 

     
  

Asha’s is located on Newhall Street, in what is known as the Colmore Business District of the City Centre. Approximately 5 minutes from the shops, the restaurant offers a large bar area that serves cocktails (recommended) and is a good venue for private parties and celebrations. 

Rated in the Michelin Guide, Asha’s has a stylish, but cosy and warm feel about it with a sophisticated note that stems from the clientele and delicious cocktails that it serves. Decor is exotic (a bit Bollywood) and the menu is extensive with good and varied choices for vegetarians.

  

Asha’s offer an Executive Lunch. 

For £16.95 you get 2 courses, with pulao rice, vegetable raita, Popadoms and a selection of bread. The price also includes either a glass of red or white wine, beer, soft drink or mineral water. There is one Vegetarian choice on the starters and main courses (which may deter some) with four non vegetarian main courses including a fish curry. 

The vegetarian options were a Vegetarian Kebab Platter (Paneer Ka Soola, Aloo Tikka, Papdi Chat) and the main course of Kadhai Paneer. 

  
  Crisp Popadoms with varied dips, some of the best I’ve eaten. 

  
    
  Starter: Comprised of Paneer Ka Soola: A delicious marinated, firm paneer piece, juicy, served with a green pepper that had a nice deep spice flavour. This contrasted the Aloo tikka or spiced potato patties. The perfect Northern indian street food. Asha’s were hot, spicy, with a crisp outside and soft inside with a good savoury flavour. and perfect with the creamy Papdi Chaat. 

For me one of the best dishes in Birmingham. A lovely street food dish. With a Creamy and crunchy texture, a melt in the mouth fusion of chick peas, potatoes and yogurt. Sweet, sour, tangy and spicy flavours. This dish had me in Mumbai. A Delicious and varied vegetarian starter platter.

  Rice and breads with a glass of Red wine.

 

   Kadhai Paneer:

My main course was the Kadhai Paneer and came with the pulao rice, vegetable raita and selection of breads, including Naan and Roti.

A mouthwatering dish, delicious gravy like consistency, paneer  blended with tomatoes onion, with a good spicy lift that served with the Naan made for an exotic taste. Lovely. 

   Nice vegetable raita.

  
  

Kadhai paneer served in a nice bowl.

 

Asha’s is stylish and exotic with a keen eye on the business surroundings outside. The vegetarian options on the Executive Lunch Menu are cooked with aplomb and are plentiful Asha’s is a sophisticated spot, with a warm feel and atmosphere especially on the weekend. 

Birmingham has many curry houses but if you want a superior meal in Birmingham City Centre then you won’t go far wrong with Asha’s. For value and quality the Asha’s Executive Lunch is a steal and a lovely way of spending that hour of the day which is so precious and for a celebration it’s well worth revisiting. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

We paid for our lunch in full. All opinions expressed are mine and honest as always. 

Ruth enjoyed a glass of house white with her meaty curry and myself a glass of house red with our lunch. Both went well with the dishes. 

#Tastymorsel: Great deals at vegetarian 1847. 


  
  

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 has a number of offers that are  perfect for those enjoying Veganuary (try vegan for a month) or cutting back after the festive season. 

In Birmingham you can Enjoy £40 worth of food for just £20 via Dine Birmingham. Full T&C available here.

24 Birmingham Restaurant Deals for January 2016

   
 
For my latest review of the Winter Menu, see here:

https://t.co/p2wLZcZfFg

Veggie Sunday Lunch Watch:

Bistro 1847 are also open every Sunday in Birmingham – new for 2016 from 1200 – 2000 offering a choice of Vegetarian and Vegan roasts with 3 courses for £17 plus kids eat free! 

I’m certainly tempted. 

Book on their website 
http://www.by1847.com/
  

Bistro 1847 also have Valentines menus available on their website for Valentines weekend, February 12-14th. 

Book directly on their website. 

http://by1847.com/

Valentines menu: 

http://by1847.com/menus/ValentinesMenu2016.pdf

Vegan and Gluten Free options will also be available.

  

For details of Veganuary see here:
http://www.veganuary.com/

  
   
   
Bistro 1847 are still doing their classic lunch deal.

  
Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Bistro 1847, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham, B2 5HU.

https://m.facebook.com/pages/1847-Birmingham/208341145981255
 

Winter menu review: An 1847 Christmas in Birmingham. 


  

What does Winter mean to you? A cosy fire, warming comfortable food, deep intense flavours, Christmas, Milky sunshine, snow?

 In 1847 (the year the vegetarian society which Bistro 1847 takes its name from was formed) Winter was very different, but had for some those comfy elements. For others poverty and cold filled the darkening destitute days with a penniless existence. There was fog in London, Famine in Ireland, times were hard and a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens had been written four years before. 

For me, food is best comforting, warming seasonal and filled with the intensity of deep flavours and cheerfully rich colours that only a Winter time dish deserves. So you’ll find root vegetables, cabbage, red onion gravy, kale and hearty mash on the menu. 

Bistro 1847 are in full on expansion mode. Openings recently in Bristol and Brighton supplement the Manchester and Birmingham restaurants. Dishes served with contemporary flair and passion which just happen to be Vegetarian with good Vegan options and menu make 1847 unique in Birmingham. With a neighbourhood feel in the city and cocktail list its charming. 

I visited with my parents and brother to try the new Winter menu’s delights, one mild lunchtime. 

We enjoyed two courses, a main and a desert. 

   

Merguez and Mash: 

Spicy Puy lentil sausage, turnip and sage mash, red onion gravy.

A hearty vegan friendly main course, big flavoured, spicy, a deep intense gravy. It’s comfort food at its best. It’s simple in design, almost traditional, but those hearty slightly exotic flavours pack a punch that creates a harmonious wintry and Christmas memory lane delight of a main. 

To accompany it I enjoyed a glass of decent house red that worked, bringingout the deep flavours of the sausage and red onion gravy.


  

  Chocolate and Pear:

Soft ganache, port poached pear, gingerbread, mulled wine gel. (Vegan)

A gem of a pudding, and the best I’ve tasted at 1847. It felt luxurious and with a deep and full flavoured port poached pear which set off the soft, dark chocolatey ganache,  it was heavenly, creamy (but no cream) and made me think, can I have some more please? 

    ‘Fish and Chips’

Ginger ale battered Halloumi, triple cooked chips, savoury lemon curd, green pea and Basil. 

A Bistro 1847 signature dish that my brother lapped up. A variation on the norm due to the added ginger ale. Cheese heaven! 

  

My parents also had the Merguez and mash. They said it felt like winter on a plate. 

  
  A welcome to Winter

  
  Cheese board. 

My Dad enjoyed his British cheese plate for desert, which he said was a good size with the right amount of varied biscuits. Local to 1847 they come with grapes and homemade chutney. Nice cheeses. 

 

A trip to Bistro 1847 is a refreshing and inventive experience for Vegetarians and Vegans. When the classics are spun into another more modern realm of intricacy, simplicity and beauty then Winter feels more 2015 than 1847. Dishes are more precise, but not less indulgent and comforting for it. With the core elements of familiarity and comfort 1847 have taken the season and made it now, but with a certain doff of the cap to the past. It is on this level where it succeeds and in its discovery where appetites are more than satisfied. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our own meal at Bistro 1847. My views are my own and honest of my experience of the dishes eaten. 

   
 

http://by1847.com/menus/b-menu.pdf

http://by1847.com/menus/b-menu-desersts.pdf

Bistro 1847, 26 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5HU.

http://by1847.com/

Two courses on the winter menu cost £19.50 and three cost £25. 

Review: Bodega Cantina and Bar-Birmingham Latin American cuisine with cocktails. 


  

  

Bodega is a South and Latin American bar/Cantina on Bennetts Hill in Birmingham City Centre just off New Street, and owned by Bitters N’ Twisted. 

It offers a wide selection of tapas style dishes, street food, Burritos, Tacos and a number of larger traditional plates. It also has a completely Vegan menu and excellent vegetarian options. 

Bodega is a fun-time and colourful place, the cocktails flow, the food comes out fast and service is pacy. It’s a brilliant place to indulge with friends,  for parties and for sharing a work or shopping lunch. It’s also open on Sunday for that downtime and Sunday smooch with the city. 

   

 

For Ruth and I it was a Friday night dinner, not the Channel 4 comedy kind, but the cocktail/tapas/Streetfood kind. 

On the Friday we visited Bodega was busy, bustling, and vibrant as I would think it is most Friday evenings, and with a cocktail list that speaks of fun and good times and a wallet full of money Bodga is an education on excellence and high standards with its drinks list. From Tequilas to Rum based drinks the list will cater for everyone. 

Bodega has a small bar area near the entrance by the window, so if you feel the need you don’t even have to eat. The decor is fun too. Iron cast furniture, quirky cactus murals, vibrant colours. Cafe style seating is mingled with funny stools, and with its exposed light bulbs and brightly coloured murals Bodega sells spicy and flavour, with an atmosphere that’s a real contrast from the glum rainy English weather in March outside. 

The food, from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, is freshly made and easy going and full of variety for vegetarians and vegans. 

   

   Find Pips Hot Sauce at Bodega

Ruth and I ordered cocktails to begin. Two Margarita’s. They were excellent, and always a good choice at Bodega. A classic, well made with a good strong tequila flavour, with salt on the rim.  

   I also ordered a Caipirinha, which is Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaca, sugar and lime. It was very refreshing and had a sweetness that was complimentary to the spicy food. Another top cocktail. Ruth ordered another margarita.

Bodega also offer bottled beers, non alcoholic cocktails and a good wine list. 

Plus a happy hour from. 5-7pm on cocktails. 

  

For the food we chose to stick with the smaller sharing plates, the streetfood as we’ve found them to be the best from previous visits. And sharing is fun and social. 

Ruth ordered for herself a pulled Pork Burrito which she enjoyed. 

I ordered a vegetarian burrito- from the streetfood section of the menu, roasted vegetables, black beans, and cilantro lime rice. The Burrito had a good spicy flavour ( I ordered hot) with the tortilla holding the filling well, and the depth of the veg with the spicy salsa packing a zing which was lovely. 

   

   

The rest of the food we shared. 

We shared small house nachos (vegetarian variety) crisp well seasoned flour tortillas, topped with some lovely mozzarella chedder and sour cream and punchy salsa and guacamole. Very impressive nachos crisp, with good flavours. Recommended.

   

 

To accompany the Burrito We chose from the light bites part of the menu: 

Batatas fritas: delicious sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo, crisp and with a good flavour. 

Frijoles: Black beans cooked until velvety, with a good garlic flavour with roasted cumin seeds and s subtle hint of chilli and sour cream. Though not pretty to look at it was a good complimentary dish to the Burrito. 

Spicy Slaw: a nice fresh homemade slaw with a South American Twist. 

I also recommend the jalopos peppers from previous visits. 

   

     

One of the dishes Ruth and I enjoy the most at Bodega is the Churros desert. We had to order two, we loved the rich caramel sauce  against the warm doughnuts. A Mexican favourite,  and also ours. Perfect for dipping or with coffee. We orders two espressos. 

  

The food we are was plentiful, it had a good spicy flavour and did what it says on the tin. It’s fun, vibrant and good for sharing. 

Where we found Bodega to suffer is with the service which we felt was inconsistent, hurried and though attentive it felt underwhelming and it had a care free nature about it. Some of the servers were friendly others we felt were  not bothered. We felt that they could have explained the menu to us checking we understood the quite complex but good layout. Advising how many sharing dishes you should choose between two. Our waiter who asked for our order was a bit gruff to be honest and unhelpful. 

In saying that the food and the cocktails are the real deal and as a pop in kind of place Bodega can’t be beaten for fun and very decent South American dishes. 

For Vegetarians and Vegans it’s one of the best places to visit in Birmingham and well recommended. 

Bodega Birmingham, 12 Bennett’s Hill, B2 5RS

0121 448 4267

http://bodegacantina.co.uk/

http://bodegacantina.co.uk/food/menus/

@BodegaBirm

You can also get 20% off with the Independent Birmingham card. Offer is on Monday-Thursday 3-6pm and all day on Sunday.

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

We paid for our own meal and all opinions are honest as always. 

It’s advisable to reserve a table at Bodega at busy times to avoid disappointment. 

  

REVIEW: HEALTH COUNTY: STAR CITY, FRESH, HEALTHY, TASTY, CRAZY


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I have to confess that I hadn’t been to Star City for a number of years. Partly due to where I live and partly because it didn’t appeal to me.

Star City is in the Aston area of Birmingham, a few miles out of the centre near the Spaghetti junction and M6.

Health County is a fairly new independent addition to Star City and is superb for vegetarians, vegans and anyone who is looking for the healthy option. It caters for the lunch time takeaway crowd mostly, but is also a good spot for a sit down lunch or coffee or juice break when in the area.

Health County is the healthier option serving, juices, smoothies, wraps, salads and Panini. It’s a life style cafe/kiosk that offers simple, fresh and tasty food. It has a good choice and good accesibility. It focuses on the individual which I like.

The smoothies and juices idea isn’t a new one but at Health County, they aim to make it central to their philosophy, that eating fresh and healthy ingredients that are locally sourced where possible can reap benefits in the long run.

They provide breakfasts, lunch and snacks and their smoothies are superbly fresh and fruity.

Health County in Star City is a sweet place 🙂 it’s a kiosk, that is small but, bright and cheerful , a lovely space with equally lovely service. It is quite small inside, but it has seating outside with a weatherproof canopy that is private and away from the traffic.

I met second in command Radu their and he spoke enthusiastically about the Health County concept, future expansion into Redditch and new ideas for the cafe including a suggestions voting system for new smoothie and juice flavours, and ideas from the public regarding food.

I decided to sit outside and drink a smoothie and eat a veggie wrap.

I chose a Berry Blast Smoothie.

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My smoothie was delicious, cold, fruity, and felt beautifully healthy, a blend of strawberry, banana, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries. The banana wasn’t overwhelming but added creaminess to the smoothie. I enjoyed it.

My wrap, was a mixed salad and veg wrap stuffed with my own choice from the salad deli bar. It had carrot, lettuce, sweet corn and other veg fillings (see picture) and was lovely. The bread of the wrap was fresh, soft, firm and didn’t fall apart when bitten into. I added cheese to my wrap, but you could also add salsa or any extra.

The fillings gave a lovely crunch and flavour and made for a filling and excellent lunch. The wrap complimented the smoothie well and was a filling lunch which felt fresh and healthy.

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Health County is an excellent independent cafe for vegetarians and vegans or anyone looking for that healthy option.
I Like its ethos on health and freshness. It provides plenty of choice from wraps through to jacket potatoes, to pasta, to couscous, to noodles. It radically focuses on the needs of the customer, providing a choice of ingredients and menu options. It’s good for snacks, to stay, to go, for lunch or a thirst quenching juice stop.

I will certainly return to Health County and Star City. Health County is a place to return to try something healthy and different in a sweet and tasteful bar.

Good for veggies, good for everyone.

@healthcountymag

http://www.healthcounty.net

For menus see website.

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Disclaimer: I was invited to Health County as a guest to try out their food menu and drinks. It didn’t require a positive review. My opinions and thoughts are my own.