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.

#TASTYMORSELS: RICO LIBRE @BARN STREET DIGBETH BREAKFAST AND TAPAS


Another new addition to Birmingham’s Dining scene is Rico Libre @Barn Street Breakfast and Tapas. Stationed in the Digbeth part of the city 5 minutes from the Custard Factory and 4 minutes from Digbeth Coach station on Digbeth High street they sit in what was a diner, but is now a hot new tapas bar that masquerades as a cafe in the early daytime.

Rico Libre serve Breakfast Monday-Friday 8am-2pm which includes a delicious vegetarian Breakfast comprising of veggie sausage, Herby Mushrooms, grilled Tomato, Sauteed Potatoes and toast with tea or coffee for a bargain £4.20.

They also serve the enticing Huevos Rancheros a Mexican Breakfast of Tortillas x2 Fried eggs x2, tomato salsa, cheese, refried beans, and sour cream for a bargain £5.00.

They also serve sandwiches and salad boxes at lunch time and are popular with businesses in the local area.

Also, at lunchtime they serve Tapas-Monday-friday from 12-2.30pm but not evenings in the week as yet.

This has been rolled out to now include Friday and Saturday evenings 5pm-10pm.

The cost is 3 dishes for £10.00 with bring your own alcohol.

On the menu for vegetarians are a number of options:

-Champinones Al Ajillo-Mushrooms sauteed in garlic and parsley
-Grilled Haloumi with Rustic Tomatoes, and Basil.
-Patatas Bravas-Fried Potatoes, with rustic tomato.
-Patatas Alioli-Fried Potatoes with garlic Mayo.
-Grilled aubergine, with red mojo sauce and salsa.

They also serve bread, toasted garlic bread and olives.

Also, desert Creme Catalan is veggie.

Rico Libre has had some good reviews so far on Tripadvisor. Search Rico Libre @Barn street.

Seems a real independent find especially for a good value tapas lunch whilst in the Custard factory or a breakfast before a visit. Looking forward to visiting soon.

Their are some terrific Vegetarian options on the menu.

The Custard Factory and Digbeth has so much to offer and is a thriving community of exciting foodie and vintage shopping places. 🙂

The area maybe unfamiliar and tucked away. They have painted their building bright green so that it can be noticed 🙂 It is on the Corner of Milk Street and Barn Street in Digbeth.

Directions are on their website.

Their is parking near by on the road and around the area.

http://www.rico-libre.co.uk

@rico-libre Twitter

0121 687 8730

Rico Libre @Barn Street
1 Barn Street
Digbeth
Birmingham
B5 5QD

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#TastyMorsels: Chung Ying Central Summer Menu Express Lunch


Chung Yung Central is Birmingham’s newest Oriental restauarnt, located on Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre. It sits in the Colmore Business District area of the city near to The Bureau Bar and Victoria Square. It opened in November 2013.

Chung Ying Central has a modern and contemporary decor and offers a variety of high quality Dim Sum, specially selected dishes and cocktails in its cocktail bar and beers.

The Express Lunch runs from 11.30-2.30 in the week and 12-3pm on Saturdays.

It is priced at £5.95 for any dim sum and soup. With other options available for more money. The dim sum and soup is the best for veggies.

For veggies the menu offers vegetarian Spring Rolls and crispy vegetarian Won Ton for dim sum.

The restaurant has advised me that the two soups and some of the other dishes on the menu can be veggified (great word) too on request. So veggies need not miss out:)

It seems a brilliant deal. One that is Summery and at a good price.

The menu has many other options for non veggies, so grab a friend or six from your office or just go yourself and try it out.

Chung Ying Central also offers a Happy Hour on its cocktails, beers and bar snacks where you buy one get one free on selected drinks. This is from 4pm-7pm daily.

Chung Ying Central
126 Colmore Row
Birmingham
B3 3AP
0121 4000 866
@centralCY
http://www.chungyingcentral.co.uk

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