Bar Opus beer is a real Peaky Blinder. 


   

   

Bar Opus at One Snowhill is raising a glass to the Peaky Blinders by being the first ever bar to sell Peaky Blinders Gold, a soft and fruity ale created by Stourbridge based Sadler’s Brewery.
City-centre Bar Opus at One Snowhill, is to give punters a taste of the hit, period-gangster TV show, Peaky Blinders, by selling the beer on draught for the first time ever at the contemporary bar. 

Created and brewed by Black Country-based Sadler’s Brewery, the 4.3% ABV golden beer is a more modern, crisp version of the first beer Sadler’s created at Steven Knight’s request, ‘Peaky Blinders Black IPA’, which launched in April 2014 and recreated the taste the real Blinders would drink in the 1920s. 

The Peaky Blinders Gold Is also Vegetarian friendly. 

Sam Cross, manager at Bar Opus, said: “As a huge fan of Peaky Blinders, and with it currently being filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, what better way to celebrate than by being the first bar to ever sell Peaky Blinders Gold on draught. 

A flavoursome craft beer, its lighter taste is the perfect partner to dishes on our autumn menu. 

When I tried the beer I unfortunately didn’t try it with the food menu, but suffice to say it works on its own too. It’s golden and crisp and is quite easy drinking but very subtle in its fruity flavours. I loved the beer and it also looks the part in the glass. 

Here’s hoping that Tommy Shelby and the gang have a night off from The Garrison and pop down here to give it a try. 

Peaky Blinders Gold draught craft beer is now available at Bar Opus at One Snowhill. 

For more information, please visit http://www.baropus.co.uk. 

   
  

   

   
Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

  

#Tastymorsels: Bar Opus and Opus latest.


Three nice pieces to share about two of Birmingham’s finest Independent restaurants and two of the best places for Vegetarians to eat in the city, 

Bar Opus based in the heart of Birmingham’s bustling Colmore Business District has appointed Carl Hawkins as its new general manager. 

Born and raised in Birmingham, Carl has over 15 years’ experience as a ‘liquid chef’ working with some of Birmingham’s finest cocktail destinations. With a vast amount of experience in the bar industry, Carl was eager to join the Opus family and help catapult Bar Opus into the forefront of the Birmingham food and drink scene.   

Carl previously worked for The Jekyll & Hyde pub where, under his leadership, it became a national finalist for “Best Spirit Pub” in 2013 and “Best Cocktail Menu” by Class Magazine in 2011. Carl is also one of the founders of the Birmingham Association of Bartenders and has been committed to cultivating the next generation of bartenders for over a decade. 

Speaking of his appointment, Carl said: “I am excited to become a part of, what I consider, a legacy project. I believe that Bar Opus will become a Birmingham institution and will be here for many years to come. We will be bringing a contemporary technique to cocktail making that will keep customers coming back. Bar Opus will exceed expectations of what a cocktail bar in Birmingham should be and we will redefine the cocktail and dining experience” 

 Irene Allan, director at Opus, said: “Carl is creative and passionate about enhancing the bar experience. We are thrilled to have his expertise to help establish Bar Opus as one of Birmingham’s premier bars. Carl knows the ins and outs of the Birmingham bar scene and his leadership and skills will be essential to the bar’s success.” 

Bar Opus is the sixth-month old bar addition to the Opus family, boasting a contemporary and modern landscape that will cement it as a city staple. Keeping with the Opus ethos, Bar Opus develops innovative food and cocktail menus, uses the freshest produce from the company’s range of British and strictly sustainable suppliers and engages with British spirit suppliers to create its inspiring cocktails.   
 

Birmingham waitress achieves prestigious hospitality award: 

 A talented waitress at city-centre restaurant Opus at Cornwall Street, Gabriella Murea has achieved the celebrated Service Award at this year’s Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence.

The final, which took place on Saturday 16th May at Le Gavroche, London, saw Gabriella and 15 other finalists from some of the country’s finest restaurants and hotels serve a three course meal to two guests. As part of the service, Gabriella had to set up the table, decant and describe the wine, and fillet a dover sole in front of the diners. The awards, which have a high-profile judging panel, received an unprecedented number of entries and are designed to encourage young people within hospitality to achieve the highest possible standards in their profession.

Gabriella, 26, has worked at Opus for just over six months whilst studying hospitality and events management at University College Birmingham (UCB) and was the only finalist from the Midlands to be shortlisted for the award. Speaking about her achievement, she said: “I’m so happy to have passed and got my award. I prepared as much as I could for each stage of the process and it has really paid off. The standard was very high and I am delighted that the judges saw the quality of work that I can produce and felt it worthy of the award.”
Irene Allan, restaurant director at Opus restaurant, said: “This is such a fantastic achievement for Gabriella. She is an absolute perfectionist and always delivers superb service, so to have this award as recognition of that is a huge accomplishment. Pawel, our restaurant manager, has been an inspiring mentor for Gabriella and has supported all her hard work. We are committed to developing both our front of house and kitchen teams and encourage them to go for awards like this. Everyone at Opus is immensely proud of her and we’re privileged to have her working with us.”

This follows on from Opus at Cornwall Street promoting head chef Ben Ternent to Executive chef to replace David Colcombe who helped launch Opus a decade ago and had run its kitchens. 

He will manage a team of eleven chefs and three kitchen porters at the groups three venues- Opus at Cornwall Street, Bar Opus and Cafe Opus at the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place. He will help to develop menus and buy produce from the companies range of local and sustainable suppliers and continue to cook. 

We wish him well, and hope that standards will be maintained. 

  
I can’t wait to see what he and his team cook up in the future, as vegetarian dishes are always worth tasting at Opus. 

Thanks for reading 
Andy 😊

Spring is here, long live Spring: The Spring Market @ The Bond, Digbeth, Birmingham 


  This Saturday 18th April, The Bond in Fazeley Street Digbeth will be home to a fun packed Spring Seasonal market. 

Jam packed with Street Food, DJ’s, music,  artisan food producers, local arts and artists, a cocktail caravan and the Routemaster bus bar there will be more going on than any one person can manage without the aid of good grub and top drinks. 

Street traders already confirmed include a few Digbeth Dining Club regulars. It should be a feast and yes even for vegetarians, and vegans there is enough food to fill us up for a coue of days at least. 

On the podium are:

Award winning Top veggie dogs, Fresh Rootz, bringing there veggie, vegan world street food (Pakoras anyone)  

 from their converted caravan. British root vegetables turned into contemporary world fusion dishes, inspired by travelling and yes the sunshine. 

Also good for veggies are Delize Italiane, arancini balls, and tiramisu, (not at the same time mind) 

Buddha Belly- Thai heaven with plenty of veggie and vegan options. 

Fire and Slice: pizza including both veggie and vegan. 

Pietanic: pies and pies, including veggie. Try Sweet Potato, Goats cheese and Spinach. 

Cake Doctor: cakes by the cake load and yes good for your health, a doctor no less, gluten free and vegan cakes too. 

Bournville Waffle Company: waffles of loveliness. 

Plus original patty men, Gamekeeper, and Hungry Toad. 

Regulars on the street food scene in Brum. 

I’m sure there is more, so I will add when I’ve found them or they’ve told me they are veggie friendly. 

Artisan Food producers will include Pips Hot Sauce. 

For a standard entry of £1.50, children go free. 

Plus if you are Independent Birmingham card holders you get 50p off entry. 

So that’s a whole solid £1 entry. 

The Bond is on Fazeley Street off Heath Mill Lane near the Custard Factory. 

Be there or be stuck…well in Winter. 

   

      Marino Adrift, above creates beautiful and unique alternatives to the standard house plant, will have a stall at the Spring Market. @marimoadrift

The Cake Doctor (below) 

      

The Bond 180 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE. 

Seasonalmarkets.co.uk

@seasonalmarkets

Facebook: birminghamspringmarket

Freshrootz.co.uk

Fresh Rootz, also have a cafe at Ryton Organic Gardens near Coventry open from Wednesday- Sunday serving veggie and vegan food. 

 

#Veggieburgerwatch: The Victoria, Birmingham. 


The Victoria, is a theatre pub, on John Bright Street in Birmingham City Centre and if legend has it, has its own ghost. Dating back to the 19th Century it’s stood the test of time and has loads of character, and offers a considerable drinks selection from cocktails to hand picked wines and cask ales. 

The other week I was invited by Vicky from Bitters N’ Twisted who own The Victoria to attend a burger tasting to help launch their 2 burgers for £10 deal which is available on a Monday evening every week. 

As a vegetarian and a keen veggie burger fan this was a cool opportunity to revisit one of my favourite burgers of the last year. See previous review below. 

http://wp.me/p4zXPc-8c

Though in this case the veggie burger had changed. Could it be better? 

   

   

   

 

The Vegetarian burger  is called Can’t be beat and consists of salted courgette, beetroot, carrot, rolled oat patty with lettuce, tomato, sliced avocado, and Humous, served  in a buttermilk bun, handcut chips, and cirrus set slaw. 

The Animal friendly burger was lovely the flavours of the beetroot, courgette came strongly through with the patty setting the mixture into a top veggie burger. With a good bun holding it all together. 

With the added refreshing addition of the Humous and the avocado which was sat on the burger , it felt more luxurious than the usual Halloumi style burger veggies seem to get quite often. 

The added coriander slaw was delicious and had a good coriander flavour and again was different to the norm. 

As a burger the can’t be beat was a lovely vegetarian burger and with a good crispy handcut chip made for a satisfying meal which in its 2 for £10! format is a bargain. You can add triple cooked chips to your order for £1 extra. 

   

 

Ruth also enjoyed the veggie burger and felt it was an improvement on the previous recipe. 

I also enjoyed a pint of Purity longhorn which complimented the burger well.  

           

The two burgers for £10 deal on a Monday evening is excellent value and The Victoria is a pub with a lot of character and atmosphere. The Veggie Burger was well made and with a good bun kept its shape well and with some interesting flavours was an improvement on the one I previously reviewed. 

Thanks to Vicky, And the Victoria for inviting me to the burger tasting evening.  The burgers were complimentary though all drinks were paid for by ourselves. All opinions are my own and honest as always. 

It was also good to see and chat to Joe from independent Birmingham who seemed to enjoy his meat burgers too.   

The Victoria is on the IB card. All independent Birmingham card holders receive 20% off food all week. 

The Victoria also offer 2 pizzas for £12 on a Tuesday evening: #2fortuesday with a delicious sounding squash the goat veggie pizza. Which I’m looking forward to trying. 

Plus 20% off on a Wednesday for Bitters N’ Twisted loyalty card holders. 

The Victoria, 48 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BN. Next door to The Alexandra Theatre

0121 633 9439

http://www.thevictoriabirmingham.co.uk/

@thevictoria: Twitter

Facebook: TheVictoriaBirmingham

  

   

 Veggie burger at The Victoria. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

   

 

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. 

  

#COFFEETIME: URBAN COFFEE COMPANY BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE


Drinking Coffee is a past time that I love. Birmingham as you know as a number of very good Independent coffee shops that offer many differing experiences and provide a solace for many different people. One of my favorites, and one that I have been frequenting since it opened is Urban Coffee on Church Street, Birmingham city Centre. Sitting a little away from Birmingham Cathedral and Snow Hill Station Urban Coffee is one of the original coffee pioneeers of independent coffee in the city.

Urban Coffee Company are dedicated to bringing and creating a unique coffee experience. Started by a couple who were tired of the chains and wanted to start an independent coffee shop in Birmingham, they now have three emporiums, one in Church street in the city centre, one in The Jewellery Quarter and one in Harborne.

It was the Church Street emporium I visited on a friday afternoon. When I entered surprisingly it wasn’t very busy, with plenty of tables free. You see Urban Coffee can be very popular, and finding space can be difficult at certain times of the day.

The Church Street Emporium is light and airy and has two levels. The ground is busier usually and more fitting for a quicker visit, with a traditional cafe layout, with stout tables, mixed seating and one long communal table. Upstairs has a more loungy feel, with bean bags and couches, a more leasurely and relaxed space.
I chose on this occasion to sit downstarirs for a change.

I chose to drink a flat white and sample a cappuccino slice. Though it was cup cake friday, the slice tempted me more. The Flat White was good, artistically presented, but certainly not the best i’ve had in Birmingham. It did have a good coffee flavour though and went well with a lovely cake, that I enjoyed. The cakes have always been consistent, and the filter coffee and the cappucino is excellent too:)

Unfortuantely every time I visit they seem to have sold out of handmade Yipsy Macarons, but never mind.

Urban coffee offers a good selection of cakes, pastries, bagels, teas, sandwiches, and has a licence which allows it to serve alcohol such as craft beer, spirits, cocktails and wine. It has a number of events such as live music, poetry readings, cocktail nights and book clubs that happen from time to time. See their website for full diary and food and drinks menu.

They serve bottled beer from 5-7pm when the emporium closes.

Urban Coffee is a great Independent coffee shop, it has a strong free wi fi, and the urbanisters (staff) are friendly, passionate and know their coffee and are happy to assist if you are unable to decide from a long coffee menu.

I like the Church Street emporium, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the main part of the city and on a street that is a nice one to wander down. (off Colmore Row opposite the Cathedral). Urban Coffee is a coffee shop that is full of people who love coffee and and know of a good product and service.

I would recommend Urban Coffee, and though have not tried their other two emporiums feel that The Church Street venue as the original offers a good mix of airy space that caters for a mixed crowd of people. Though it can be busy.

In many ways, Urban Coffee Company are what makes Birmingham’s Independent coffee scene exciting and something to be proud of. It offers another unique expereince and thus is well recommended for coffee and cake enthusiasts. All veggies welcome 🙂

Urban Coffee Company
30 Church Street,
Off Colmore Row
Colmore Business District
Birmingham
B3 2NP.

http://www.urbancoffee.co.uk
@urbancoffee

For Independent Birmingham card holders Urban offer a free refil on any single estate filter coffee or tea.

Disclaimer: I paid for my own coffee and cake. My review is my own experience and is honest.

Have you been to Urban Coffee? What did you think?

what are you favourite independent coffee shops? Let me know using the comment box below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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