Big Papas: Deep South Soul Food in Birmingham UK review




If like me you’ve been watching the fantastic Reginald D Hunter ‘Songs of the American Deep South’ on BBC2 over the last few weeks then you will know just how intrinsically linked Soul Food and music is in the Deep South of America. It is on this premise that the ‘partnership’ between Big Papas Beautiful South and The Sunflower Lounge bar seems a match made in heaven, one specialising in soul food and one in music. 

The dishes created by chef Anthony Duffy echoing the history and authentic feel of Americas history and way of life. The fact that it serves food in Birmingham UK and not Birmingham Alabama even more in tune with the rhythm of soul and blues that encompasses its historic connection. 

Soul food originated in the Deep South by slaves and has become one of Ammericas richest regional cuisines. 

Myself along with Ruth were invited by Anthony along with other esteemed local food bloggers to try the food at Big Papas. It was a super night and lovely to see and meet everyone in attendance. 

Big Papas is approximately 5 minutes from The Bullring and a short walk down Smallbrook Queensway near TK Max. It’s based in The Sunflower Lounge a Birmingham favourite for many years as known for its live indie music and bustling and lively bar. 

So for good pints it is well stocked. 

Big Papas have a residency at The Sunflower Lounge and from their kitchen their Soul Food is created. 

The food on the menu is good value for money and includes a main course, 2 sides and 2 dipping sauces and then a choice of deserts as extra. 

For Vegetarians the options are limited but includes Big Papas famous Mac ‘n’ Cheese. They are Planning to add more vegetarian dishes in the next few weeks, (keep an eye on Veggie Foodie as I’m due to try them). 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese came with Butternut Squash, and Poached egg and I chose two sides of Sweet Potato Fries and Greens. The 2 sauces were BBQ and Homemade Spicy Sauce. 



The dishes were served on a cute tray and the 2 sauces in their individual pots. 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese was delicious, well made with a good cheesy flavour. Though I felt it could have been lifted more so by some mustard within it. I really enjoyed the dish, and with some of the best Sweet potato Fries I’ve had anywhere, in fact little slices of Cajun heaven, made a hearty and filling vegetarian dish that is so worth revisiting. The greens (cabbage in butter) were a nice contrasting accompaniment (always good to have veg, though they didn’t have my favourite okra)  the dipping sauces were well flavoured, quite spicy, but I like that and lovely with the fries. 

The Mac ‘n’ Cheese can also be ordered as a side. 



The brand new menu at Big Papas. 

Big Papas is a brilliant place to visit at any time of the day, but for a place for a lunch whilst shopping or an after shop  meal and drink its to be well recommended. The food is excellent, authentic and filled with their pride to provide good meals at reasonable prices fulfilling the Soul Food history and ethos. 

Thanks to Big Papas (Anthony and Craig) for dining us and for their hospitality, and enthusiasm. 

For soulfully cooked food, which is good for your soul’ veggie or non veggie Big Papas provide an abundance of flavour and a bit of Deep South history in Birmingham UK. Hallelujah! 

#feedyoursoul

#streetfood

Big Papas Beautiful South, The Sunflower Lounge, 76 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4EG.

Food is served from 12-9pm 7 days a week. 

Big Papas are also street food traders and can be seen around the area serving their fine food at Brum Yum Yum KingshEATh on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Kerp an eye on their Twitter and Facebook pages for other dates and events. 







Facebook: bigpapassouth

Twitter: @bigpapasUk

I was invited by Big Papas to attend the food blogger evening to try their vegetarian food with an honest feedback and review required. All food was complimentary but all drinks consumed paid for by myself and Ruth. All opinions expressed are honest as always. 

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

The Sunflower Lounge and Big Papas Beautiful South are supported by Independent Birmingham . They are featured on their website under bars. 

For discounts and to purchase the IB card see their website below. 

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

#VeggieSundayLunch: The Plough Harborne


The Plough in Harborne, in South Birmingham has a village feel and is filled with quirky independent details. It has a buzzy atmosphere and is well known by people in the know for its fresh homemade food, its Sunday Lunch and its coffee.

In fact it’s Sunday lunch has won the Times newspaper award for best Sunday Lunch in the region.

On a Sunday The Plough serves a Hearty brunch from 9am-12.30. Including a lovely looking vegetarian breakfast and numerous other veggie delights. The Sunday lunch is served from 1pm until they are gone. It is advisable to book as the restaurant was busy throughout our visit.

So it was for Sunday Lunch that Ruth and I ventured to The Plough.

For me-to try the the holy grail of vegetarian dishes-the vegetarian roast dinner.

br />
IMG_2495

IMG_2494

The Plough has a homely industrial feel about it. The design adds character and a modern distressed look to the wooden furniture that has a rustic cared for look. I liked the decor, the quirky vintage, potted plants and funky signs.

IMG_2502

IMG_2619

IMG_2510

The Plough has been praised for its Sunday lunch menu, it’s popular judging by how busy the restaurant and bar was and also for its coffee in its own right. A destination for #Coffeetime itself.

For me the vegetarian Sunday roast contours up images of home cooked food, Christmases, and family gatherings. That Cosy feel, tempting aroma and warming taste.

Vegetarians often get bypassed on a Sunday. Restaurants and pubs, prefer wrongly to provide soggy pasta, or a bland mushroom risotto into veggie punters. An irritation not a discerning foodie in their own right. They don’t take the time to create and test a dish that will bring vegetarians in and send them home happy. Satisfied.

Not the Plough-no not The Plough.

Ruth and I were seated near to the coffee action centre as I call it. The coffee station, on going entertainment for me. An area of action.

We both chose the veggie starter.

The Spicy Watercress Soup.

It arrived Served on a wooden board, in a lovely sunny blue bowl, the green of the watercress on the blue. The flavours of the soup were spot on, the gentle peppery bite of the watercress packed a punch and made for a warming soup and a lovely starter, served with good homemade crusty bread.

br />
IMG_2499

IMG_2500

IMG_2501

For her roast Ruth chose the Beef. Which she loved. A generous plate of food, that was a class above the average.

I chose the veggie Apricot Stuffing roast.

IMG_2505

IMG_2508

The roast looked stunning on arrival. A plate full of food. The Roast was delicious. The Apricot stuffing inside the outer crust of the roast, moist, subtle flavours, well seasoned and an element of harmony in the construction.

So many veggie roasts are overdone, overworked, and over flavoured. The Plough’s veggie roast was perfectly cooked, with the apricots adding a glamorous flavour that made the dish more exotic, enticing.

The best I’d had outside of my family home.

It was served with a creamy swede mash, and a delicious pea filled Yorkshire pudding and a braised red cabbage that was lovely, always a winner with me.

We both agreed to have a pudding, well it was Sunday.

Ruth chose the ice cream cone. Which we both thought was a cool vintage idea. She enjoyed her cone.

I ordered the fresh lemon and meringue cheesecake which though looked lovely was a disappointment when tasted. In part because their was too much biscuit and not enough lemon and meringue. The biscuit seemed unhappy being there, too cloying and not in proportion to the lemon which had a good flavour. A shame.

IMG_2512

IMG_2496

IMG_2497

IMG_2622

IMG_2623

We both felt we should order some coffee as we were being enticed by the coffee station. Try some it kept saying.

We both ordered a double espresso. They packed a punch, both superbly made. I will be back to try more.

br />
IMG_2514

IMG_2513

The Plough has recently introduced a new whisky list of rare and international Whiskies to compliment the large Scottish list they have already. It’s a stunningly large list. Very impressive.

I was advised to try the Swedish MackMyra single malt, so we ordered one of those and one of the complex Ardbeg 10 year single malt from the Islay region of Scotland. Which we shared.

The Ardbeg had a complex malty and peaty flavour that was exuberant and in your face, but for Islay lovers like ourselves its s great choice.

I didn’t realise Sweden made whisky so this was a treat. The MackMyra single Malt had a fresh nutty flavour, light in colour, with a lingering finish and slightly lemony. A nice gentle floral whisky and a lovely contrast to the peaty Ardbeg. Well recommended for something different.

br />
IMG_2516

IMG_2517

We also drank two glasses of white wine and a pint and half of Purity ale.

The Plough was full of people in the know. The staff and service was charming throughout, young and enthusiastic and happy.

The plough gets pretty busy so booking on a Sunday is advised. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, a mixture of families with small children, families without children, couples and friend groups.

For my first Vegetarian Sunday Lunch review the Plough sets the standard and maybe won’t be beaten on quality, touch and care. It’s worth spending a bit more. It’s worthwhile in the Plough’s case.

The king of the veggie Sunday roast.

Kick back and try for yourself and take your meat eating friends and family too.

They will love it.

IMG_2504

IMG_2605

IMG_2498

IMG_2497-0

IMG_2509

The Plough Harborne,
21 High Street,
Harborne,
Birmingham
B17 9NT

0121 427 3678

http://www.theploughharborne.co.uk

Facebook/plough.harborne

@ploughharborne

We were invited by The Plough Harborne as guests to try their Sunday Lunch menu. All food and drink was complimentary but I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own and honest as always.

Many thanks to Dan the restaurant manager for looking after us.

Has anyone had a good veggie Sunday lunch anywhere else? If its good then I will try and visit.

Have you tried the Plough Sunday lunch what did you think?

Thanks for reading,

Andy 😊

@andydhare

IMG_2617

IMG_2620

IMG_2618