Harborne Kitchen

1) Harborne Kitchen, I’ve got one one of those. It’s a kitchen in a house in Harborne that I borrow from a man I pay loads of money to every month.

2) Weather! Remember the ‘Beast from the East’ a couple of weeks ago? Well, I do.

In the house mentioned in 1. there is a boiler and a central heating system. The beastly snow resulted in the boiler packing in for a few days. (Yes, I poured warm water on the fucking condensate pipe.)

The delightful man I generously donate cash to refused to send anyone to look at his broken boiler, or to give us any money for a heater, so with the house utterly pissing freezing we decided staying in on the Friday night and cooking in our Harborne Kitchen was totally untenable, so instead we booked a table at Harborne Kitchen.

3) This was my fourth visit to Harborne Kitchen and it was also the best. “Why was it the best?” Thanks for the question. It was the best because it had heating, booze and fantastic food.

Now, if you want to read someone talk about the food properly read this – as he had the same menu I enjoyed.

baked celeriac, blue cheese mousse, pickled quince and celeriac broth

baked celeriac, blue cheese mousse, pickled quince and celeriac broth

We had intended to do the three course menu for £30, but then I looked at the six course tasting menu and the chicken liver parfait, cod curry and wagyu brisket dishes sounded too good to miss out on.

“Why have you posted a photo of celeriac above then?” Again, thanks for the question, it’s nice to see you’re engaged. The reason I posted that was because frankly it was the one course I wasn’t that bothered about, but it was delicious and the celeriac broth aroused me so much that my penis peaked out from within myself where it’d been hiding for warmth for the past two days.

“Can you please tell us a little more about your penis, please?” Not right now, I’m going to post a couple of pictures of my other two favourite courses then sign-off .

Welsh wagyu brisket, Longhorn fillet, mushroom and chive

Passion fruit and chocolate cremeux, popcorn ice cream, caramel

I may have ordered that dessert above twice, because I am a fat shit and it was tremendeux – that’s probably French for tremendous and is also a play on words with cremeux!!

“Haha! That’s amazing, there really is no doubt that you’re a massively welcome addition to the Birmingham food blogging scene. London’s loss is certainly Birmingham’s gain!” Thank you.

The food at Harborne Kitchen really is exceptional and what makes it an even better experience is the atmosphere and service. The service here was easily better than two of my Michelin experiences in Birmingham, it’s not pretentious, but it’s thoughtful, attentive and the staff seem to like working there – and it shows.

I did have a chat with Head Chef Jamie Desogus but frankly don’t remember what I was banging on about, probably because I was drunk on warmth, great food and three pints, two bottles of wine and two espresso martinis.

Bloody marveleux.

 

 

The Butchers Social – Henley in Arden

Mothers! You’ve all got one, they might be lovely, they might be horrid, they might be dead, but whatever the circumstance – you’ve got one, get over it.

I myself have one, and she has one too. The one belonging to her is my GRANDmother – she acquired this label because she is over 14 feet tall.

As you can imagine, getting a table to celebrate Mother’s Day can be somewhat difficult when you’ve got a four metre, 93-year-old with you.

Not being the type to give up easily, and also wanting a free lunch (baby boomers have more money than me) I sourced a lunch venue – the Butcher’s Social in quaint, old Henley in Arden. “The ice cream here comes from Poland now, Rob,” grandmother informed me.

I’ve been to the Butcher’s Social before, just before Christmas, but never wrote it up – mainly because I couldn’t be arsed, but also because the service was rubbish, and I hate moaning about places on this stupid blog as I think the restaurants in question will have me killed. In short, they forgot two of the sides we’d ordered and it ended in a ridiculous back and forth about whether or not we’d ordered them in the first place. Little do they know, I know for a FACT we ordered them, as when my step-dad asked for the Aubergine, I went, “oooh, fancy,” one of many attempts to break an awkward silence that evening. Anyway, as that lad in the Lion King says, “it doesn’t matter, it in de past.”

Going totally against the last sentence, cast your mind back to Mother’s Day…

The table was booked for 12:30, two of us got there BANG on time as the last thing I need is the Foodie Boys becoming known as the Tardy Boys. However, my mother and other ensemble didn’t get there until 12:40. They sat down and we had a bit of a chat, as you do.

At 12:45 we were asked if we knew what we wanted, we requested another couple of minutes. Fine, as far as we could tell, the waitress left – but then returned a minute later to tell us we need to order soon as they, “need the table back.” Alright, ya charmer.

Now, I’m fat enough to have eaten in enough establishments to know that often tables will have a set amount of time before they have another sitting, it can be a bit annoying, but it’s fine – provided they have told you in advance. Here though, nothing when I booked, nothing when they rang to confirm the booking, nothing when we first sat down.

FOOD

I had the fillet of beef carpaccio to start, and it was a really tasty plate of food. Served with crispy kale and fried shallot rings it went down a treat.

Fillet of beef carpaccio

For main I had the cod, everyone else had roast beef, which all looked pretty good – compliments were aimed at the Yorkshire puddings. The cod came with a bone marrow sauce on top, which intrigued me, and it worked pretty well.

Cod with bone marrow

Cod with bone marrow

Dessert was a treacle tart with a hazelnut ice cream (which was supposed to be vanilla). It was what I can only describe as MEH.

Treacle tart

Back to the service

We were given the menus for dessert and ordered another bottle of wine. The wine was bought over, poured and desserts were ordered.

Five minutes later the waiter came back to inform us that when we get the desserts we’ll have 20 minutes to leave the table, but you’re welcome to go and sit in the bar then.

“Is there anywhere to sit in the bar?” I asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I think the looks on our faces prompted him to go and have a look, and he did find us a table – as much as I’d liked the idea of a massive, old woman out on the street swigging wine.

NOW…

you may think all this sounds like I’m being unreasonable, and maybe I am, but what really did my nut in was we sat in the bar, ordered another drink and before we left (an hour after being moved) I went back towards the dining room to pick up our coats. Around half of the dining room was still empty, so the desperate need for us to move on seemed totally unnecessary.

At the end of the day, it’s a communication issue, but frankly I think it’s quite an important one. Your food could be absolutely world class, but making diners feel like they’re an inconvenience will always leave a sour taste.

Please don’t hurt me.

Two good, two bad – January 2018

I’ve done a fair bit of eating and drinking over the past few months but frankly, haven’t been bothered to blog about it – I can only apologise. Please, for the love of Christ, forgive me.

It’s not really fair to compare the four places I’m about to write about, but then when did I ever say this blog was going to be fair?

Let’s start with the bad, that’s what you’re here for.

The Botanist – Temple St, Birmingham

I went here after work as I wanted a beer, after the beer I realised it was fast approaching the hours of dinner (that’s the evening meal to any Northern simpletons reading), I looked at the menu and thought, “do you know what? Despite this being a chain, I’ll go against my better judgement and stop being such a snob,” good move dickhead.

I opted for one of their ‘Famous Hanging Kebabs™’ that’s right, they’ve trademarked hanging kebab – must be pretty special!

Well, blow me down! Look at it!

Botanist Hanging Kebab™

Botanist Hanging Kebab™

For just £13 I enjoyed a Lamb Kofta Hanging Kebab™. It was basically some of those lamb kofta things you buy to eat on train journeys from M&S, on a stick, with a handful of chips. Rubbish.

Scott’s of Harborne – High street, Harborne

This was one of those new independents that pop-up in Birmingham, and then all the curated ‘you must go here’ channels start telling you how you must go there.

It was my birthday and I’d taken the day off work so headed to Scott’s for breakfast.

My flat white was a ghastly affair, but there’s no time to go into that.

Avocado, salmon and scrambled egg on toast, think it was in the region of £8.

For £8 I’d hope the smoked salmon wouldn’t have been a bit rescued from the back of the fridge, where it’s sat since Christmas day three weeks previous.

Supposedly, the tapas in the evenings is good, but frankly, I won’t be taking the risk.

Anyway, bored of that.

Good things!

Adam’s – Waterloo St, Birmingham

Yes, that’s right, the Michelin starred restaurant was good! Very good in fact.

We took on the tasting menu like the absolute bloody troopers we are.

The highlights:

Veal sweetbread with mushroom ketchup and shiitake tea – one of those courses that before you’ve had your last bite you’re already thinking about how you want it again.

Veal sweetbread Adam's Birmingham

Dreadful picture (and I’d already started eating it)

Scallop, bacon dashi, pata negra and salsa verde. I mean, just look at it.

Scallop, bacon dashi and salsa verde Adam's Birmingham

Delicious

I’d been waiting to go to Adam’s for a very long time and the food certainly didn’t disappoint.

Salt – Church St, Stratford-upon-Avon

“Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing of her gallèd eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!”

Not my words, the words of William Shakespeare. I think what he’s getting at is: on Sunday it’s nice to go to Stratford for a bit of a walk and some food, and do you know what? The old fucker is absolutely spot on.

Roasts were on the menu at Salt, but I’m so often left underwhelmed by roasts that I opted for cod, lentil dhal and spiced butternut squash puree, and it was a very good decision. It was a cracking plate of food. Luck would have it that two of the people I went with eat so little that I got to try some roast beef anyway – and it was also excellent.

The dessert of chocolate, spiced orange cake and barley crisp went down a treat too.

Roast cod and dhal Salt Stratford

Roast cod and dhal

Chocolate, spiced orange cake and barley crisp Salt Stratford

Chocolate, spiced orange cake and barley crisp

Why do I take photos of food so close up? What is wrong with me? Will I learn?

Join me next time and find out.

Review – Subway (Harborne)

I was on fun time website Twitter.com the other day when I saw a furore about a Times food columnist being paid to write a review of the food at Wetherspoons. Always one to jump on a bandwagon I thought I’d go and eat at a place not renowned for serving good food and then slag it off.

With sod all in the fridge other than bloody soup – tomato and basil (not blood), I decided I’d venture out into the big, bad world of Harborne High Street.

A brief jaunt up the road and there it was, the popular sandwich company Subway. Remember when they used a fat paedophile who became a thin paedophile to promote their business? What larks!

History of Subway

In 1965, Fred DeLuca started “Pete’s Super Submarines” in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1968, the sandwich shop was renamed “Subway”. Named after “submarine” sandwiches,  or “sub” (after the resemblance of the roll to the shape of a submarine).

There, that’s something to tell your mates down the pub this weekend. It’ll help reinforce their opinion that you’re a bit dull.

There are around 45,000 Subway stores located in 112 countries, with 2,300 of them in the UK.

I know! Quite a few eh? Time for some maths. 365 days of lunch x 45,000 Subway stores = 16,425,000. Let’s say the average store serves 30 people a day. 16,425,000 x 30 = 492,750,000. Let’s say half of them make a joke about 6 inches / penises – we’re talking nearly 250 million. Unbelievable really.

Subway Harborne

The first thing I noticed as I walked towards the sandwich creation area was the crisps were held behind the counter. The last time I was in one of these places I was free to pick up my own crisps.

Immediately with my guard up, due to feeling that I couldn’t be trusted, I approached the Sandwich Artist. Yes, they are called Sandwich Artists.

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Protected crisps

“What would you like?” The artist asked.

“I’ll ask the questions. What would you recommend?” I responded.

“Big beef melt.”

“You cheeky, fucker. Oh, there’s a sandwich called that. No. I’ll have a 6 inch, OOH PARDON, Italian BMT. What does the BMT stand for?” I enquired.

“What bread do you want?”

“Herbs and cheese. What does BMT stand for?”

“I don’t know. Cheese and toasted?”

“Brilliantly… meaty… treat, perhaps?”

“Cheese and toasted?”

“YES, CHEESE AND TOASTED!”

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The menu

Looking at the ingredients for the sandwiches really does get the mouth watering and the tummy rumbling. Mmm delicious, weird coloured meat.

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Selection of fine meats

Next thing you know the artist formerly known as ‘sandwich’, opens the flap and removes your warm six inches and is demanding to know what you want to do with it next.

Stick some bloody lettuce and some cucumber on it, please, and a bit of that honey mustard sauce.

Here it is, in all its beauty.

It’s shite isn’t it? We all know it’s shite. It repeated on me throughout the day though, which was nice – value for money.

I contemplated whether I could be a sandwich artist and yes, it turns out I could be.

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Review: Eating food in Bordeaux

This is one of those posts I’m writing weeks after the event happened. Not because I’ve been especially busy, but because I couldn’t think of a title.

Here are some of the options and the reasons they were rejected.

“Brilliant Bordeaux”

It’s a type of Revlon lipstick. Last thing I need is a load of beauty vloggers ending up here and slagging me off on YouTube.

“Boring Bordeaux”

Only really works if I’d had a bad time. Last thing I need is people clicking through thinking, “Ooh, I wonder why he hated Bordeaux?” then discovering I didn’t and thinking I’m a lying, click baiting twat.

“Borderline Bordeaux”

Maybe if I’d gone to the town next to Bordeaux.

“Borated Bordeaux”

A result of Googling ‘Adjectives beginning with BO’. Borated 1. Definition: mixed or impregnated with borax. Borax is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Last thing I need is people thinking about what they want to impregnate with borax rather than reading the blog.

So, now you know how we ended up where we are.

Le Chien de Pavlov

“Bonjour, un table pour deux people, por favor.” I dazzled the Frenchman at the entrance of the restaurant.

“Do you have a reservation?” he replied.

“Sorry, could you say that in French.”

“Avez-vous une réservation?”

“No, I don’t.”

Fortunately, they could fit us in for lunch. The waiter brought over a chalkboard with the menu. I could decipher the odd word here and there, for example, Risotto and Mojito.

“Can I tell you anything about the menu?” the waiter asked.

“No thanks, mon amis. I’ll take whatever the three in the middle are.”

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The menu. How many French words do you know?

The starter was some sort of fish cake type affair. They were alright, bit of purple broccoli to go with them which really was a lot of fun!!!!!

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Fish cake type things

“Can you explain Pavlov’s dogs theory?” The woman I was dining with asked.

“Of course.” I responded.

“Go on then.” She challenged.

“You know, dogs…”

“Yeah…”

“Well, when they get hungry… they’ll ring a bell… OH LOOK OUR MAINS ARE ALMOST HERE.” I looked towards the kitchen, stopped talking, and pretended to not be able to hear her until they arrived.

I had pork fillet, which was pinker than I’d normally cook myself, but it was delicious and caused me no bowel problems. The pepper sauce accompanying it was also surprisingly good –  considering I don’t massively like peppers. See, ordering things from a menu you don’t understand can be a good thing.

For dessert we shared a fondant au chocolate which turned out to be a chocolate fondant!

4 boys out of five. Top lunching.

Miles

This was the meal I was most excited about. Having done my due diligence on the World Wide Web.

It was €48 euros for a five course meal and €22 for the wine pairing, or in British money £70 in total.

We were sat at the counter so we could see the four (annoyingly young) chefs at work.

FULL DISCLAIMER. I can’t remember everything that was on every plate, and there was no menu, so I can’t check it. You’ll just have to believe me and my memory.

The first course was a tomato and caramel concoction and it was fantastic.

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Tomato and caramel

The second course was barbecued squid with a coconut milk foam and something like chopped up barbecued seaweed. This was the dish of the night it was tres, tres bon.

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Squid’s in!!!

The third course was the least memorable, a fish dish of some description so it doesn’t get a photo. The duck course and the fig dessert were both sublime.

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Go FIGure!!!

This was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten quite a few meals. The only downside was the wine pairing, which was somewhat underwhelming, but it doesn’t matter because the food was parfait (parfait means perfect in French, there was no parfait that I can remember).

Five boys out of five.

L’Entrecote

I spotted a queue out the door of this place, which from my time in London can only mean one thing: TRENDY NEW POP-UP!!!!!

I rushed towards the masses, “coming through, food blogger!” I got to the front and was sat down just half an hour after arriving #influencer.

They only serve one thing here: steak frites with their ‘secret’ sauce. You get a walnut salad to start with, which is a waste of everyone’s time, then the beautifully cooked rib eye steak arrives. I don’t like talk of secret sauces as my imagination is too vivid for my own good, and although it looks pretty rank it was excellent.

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Steak

Enjoyed with their house Bordeaux and a mountain of fries you can’t really go wrong.

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“Congratulations on a successful pop-up,” I said to the waitress as I pad the bill.

She replied with something about 1962, but I didn’t understand her so just laughed until my card had been removed from the machine and I could leave.

Four boys out of five.

Review: Cafe Loetje (Amsterdam)

Picture the scene: I arrived in Amsterdam on Monday evening, dropped my bag at my weird AirBnB and headed out into the night in search of food.

Speaking no Dutch other than “hallo,” which means “hello,” I hoped to find a guiding light towards somewhere to dine.

I turned a corner, crossed a bridge and there it was – a road illuminated with red lights coming from doorways and windows.

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Red lights of the tourist information booths in the distance

*tap tap tap* went the lady knocking on the glass of the door to attract my attention. “Oh, terrific,” I thought, a tourist information booth.

“Hey, baby. What would you like?”

“Good evening, I’m looking for something to eat.”

“You can eat for 100 euros.”

“Wow, I presume that’s for two courses?”

“For two courses you pay 150 euros.”

“Mmm, I’d really want dessert and a bottle of wine for that amount. Sounds like a fancy place, although I suppose I would get some good photos for the blog.”

“NO PHOTOS!” she shouted as she slammed the door.

Disappointed that I’d clearly just blown my chance to attend an exclusive Dutch supper club, I continued to wander the streets.

What’s that I spy in the distance? It looks like a series of tables and chairs with people sat eating and drinking, my spidey senses began to tingle. “If that’s not a restaurant, then I’m not a food blogger!” I said to the elderly Dutch man who I’d just knocked off his bicycle.

I entered the courtyard of Café Loetje and a waiter approached me.

“For how many people? he asked.

“Hang on a second buddy! I need to make sure you’ve got over  4.0 rating on Google first. Sorry, two seconds my 3G is going really slow. OK, now we’re down to GPRS, this is really very embarrassing. Let me just click in and out of airplane mode, see if that does the trick. HAHA, my phone must think I’ve just been on the shortest flight ever. Aaaaaaaaaand… 4G! Now we’re cooking my friend. I mean obviously we’re not cooking just yet, but hopefully we will be soon. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘you’, well, not ‘you’, the chef, unless of course you’re also the chef? 4.2! Bingo! A table for one please.”

I took a table outside as the temperature was a decent temperature for sitting outside. The waiter brought over a menu.

“Can I get you a drink?”

“A beer I think.”

“Heineken?”

“Is that a craft beer?”

“It’s a lager.”

“Perfect! I’ll take two!”

Despite the menu being in Dutch (I never ask for an English menu, I refuse to look stupid in these places and give them an advantage) it became clear to me (a seasoned foodie) that this place was very much known for its steak,

menu-loetje_pdf

The options that presented themselves were:

Biefstuk ossenhaas – house steak?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘Bali’ – house steak with an Australian accent?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’ – house steak that might swear at me?

I opted for the ‘De Roode Waard’ option. Next thing you know, this is put in front of me.

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Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’

“What the shitting hell is that?” I hear you cry, (strangely the exact words I shouted at the waiter).

“It’s steak, liver, onions and bacon.” The waiter replied.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this, but I was incorrect.

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From red lights to red meat.

The fillet steak was cooked perfectly, as was the liver. To be honest, with this plate of food, a lager and some chips in front of me I’ve never felt more of a man – well, apart from the time I went into one of the tourist booths with blue lights.

Five boys out of five!

FoodieBoys_review_fullx 5

Review: Meat Shack

Hi there, (put ‘National Burger Day’ somewhere near the top for SEO purposes) remember the B-52’s 1989 hit single Love Shack? Of course you do, you wild party animal. Well, see below, I’ve composed a new version.

I’m headin’ down the Smallbrook Queensway
Lookin’ for the meat getaway
Headed for the meat getaway

I got me a mouth, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Meat Shack
I got me a gut, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your burger money

The meat shack is a little old place where we can get together
Meat Shack, baby
Meat Shack, baby, Meat Shack 

Repeat until bored

Good right? I’m willing to write jingles for any food / drink provider in the West Midlands in exchange for free booze, food and cash.

So, burgers is it? I like a burger, I’ve even spent three of the last four years running pickle eating competitions at Mr Hyde / Street Feast’s National Burger Day Parties. What I’m getting at is – yes, I’m a high flyer in the burger world.

Moving to Birmingham I was slightly concerned about not finding anywhere decent, having tried Buffalo and Rye a few months ago and being left VERY disappointed. I was excited to hear about Meat Shack and seeing everyone on social media saying it was like properly good.

So, I went, and for once, social media was right.

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Buffalo blue burger

I had the buffalo blue burger and some onion rings, despite onions doing funny things to my arse – a price I’m willing to pay to provide you with top blog content.

The burger was superb, the Franks sauce, blue cheese dressing and candied bacon crumb all worked so well together that it’s giving me the right horn just writing it down.

The onion rings were fantastic too, perfectly crisp and with onion salt added to give my bowel a real good going over.

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Onion rings

Congratulations to everyone involved, well done, ten on ten, in other words:

FoodieBoys_review_fullx 5 out of 5

Want proof that I’ve eaten burgers before? Weird, but OK, check it: here and here.

Review: One Week in Birmingham

“When a man is tired of London’s shit, he moves to Birmingham.” Jamelia.

I’m not going to start telling you the pros and cons of London and Birmingham, what would be the point in that? You’ve already decided exactly what you think of them and your mind will never sway, and fair play to you, stick to your guns, or knives, or acid – whatever floats your boat.

Long and short of it is I’ve moved from London to Birmingham, “but why would you do that? There are loads of restaurants in London, and in Birmingham there’s nothing but Big John’s and 45 Harry Ramsden’s,” (autocorrect really wanted to change ‘Ramsden’ to ‘Ramadan’ which has given me an idea for a pop-up, get in touch for investment opportunities or if you’re a chef called Harry who can work nights).

Well, it turns out there are loads of great places to eat in Birmingham, and it only seems to be getting better. When I last lived in the Midlands in 2007 you could probably count on one hand the number of decent places to dine (that might be a lie but I can’t be bothered to research), but here we are August 2017 and I’m back, and what you really want to hear about is where I’ve been eating this week. WELL, hang on a fucking second and I’ll get to it. Jesus.

Harborne Kitchen

“Oooh, would you look at that. I bet they do lunch.” I said to the woman who has moved here with me as we walked down Harborne High Street looking for somewhere to go for lunch.

And bugger me senseless, they did do lunch, two courses for £18! Imagine! In London that would have cost me £4,500.

To begin we had some Sourdough and some churned, whipped buttery goodness. The best bit about this was that I got to indulge in one of my favourite past times – licking stones (which is one of the reasons I’m not allowed round Ronnie Wood’s house).

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Salmon, I never usually order salmon because it’s BORING but I didn’t fancy the veloute or the parfait. Good news, it was nice, with a lovely pickley-ness knocking about to maintain my interest.

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

The beef was goooood, and with the smoked mash, peas and crispy onions on top you’ve pretty much stuck all my favourite food items on one plate you bloody genius.

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

I had a lovely glass of Fleurie with my beef, the woman accepted the waiter’s recommendation for her two glasses of white wine, they cost £13 a glass so I’m not talking to her anymore.

The Indian Brewery

On my first Friday night in Birmingham I met an old friend and decided to show off how ‘bang on trend with all the top cool shit going down’ I am these days by taking him to The Indian Brewery near Snow Hill.

This small venue does craft beer and Indian street food snacks, this gave me an excellent opportunity to pretend to know about beer and also talk about the time I lived in India.

We ordered a couple of pints or Birmingham Lager and a selection of food.

Indian Brewery Birmingham

Indian Brewery Birmingham

The stand outs were the fat naan with chicken tikka and red onions, and the Bombay Wings which had a batter round them that sort of tasted like onion bhaji. The masala fries were a bit of a non-event and could do with some more spice to them.

The Plough

I went here after work on Wednesday, and seeing as it’s at the end of the road and I imagine I’ll be going there all the time I’m almost certainly going to give them 4/5.

It was taco night on Wednesday, you get four for £12.50, so I ordered the slow cooked chorizo and chilli,  spiced pork belly with slow-cooked apple, chilli battered cod and buffalo chicken tacos. The other on offer was a veggie one which obviously I didn’t choose as I’m a man.

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

These were all pretty good, the cod was the best, followed by the chorizo. I always feel a bit disappointed with tacos, as I’m usually not entirely satisfied and I’ve got juices all over my hands – a bit like your dad in his shed.

I’ve booked to go to Adam’s next month which will hopefully bring about the first 5 boy review of this new and exciting era. My favourite review I’ve seen of it so far is by this guy who was clearly pissed off that a taller, better looking man was talking to some women.

8 months ago
Went there with my wife, food was bland very bland to be honest nothing special however am concerned about a waiter that is tall short back and sides first of all he smelt of cigarettes and chatting up with a group of girls I think it was a party rude attitude should take immediate action for a 5 star restaurant

Review: Dirty Bones

“Mucky penis, more like!”

“Bones, not boners.”

“That’s a shame. Do these people not know anything about viral marketing?”

This was the conversation I had while discussing where to go for lunch on Saturday. We had planned to go to the Rum Kitchen but a truly baffling conversation about trying to book a table for three people left me so exasperated that I’ve decided I can never eat jerk chicken ever again.

Dirty bones – when someone says let’s go and eat at ‘Dirty Bones’, the first thing that comes to mind is of course Richard III and his skeleton found having a nap in a council car park in Leicester.

Richard’s boozy brunches

Not a lot of people know, but one of the reasons Richard III was defeated, and killed, at the battle of Bosworth was because he was a bit pissed.

He and a few of the other House of York lads had gone for one of their infamous ‘Boozy Brunches’. Here they’d drink shit loads of Prosecco and eat hundreds of tubes of Pringles.

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Dickie suffering from Pringles hand

It is perhaps with this in mind that Dirty Bones offer their:

“BOOZY BRUNCH: Feel the weekend vibes at London’s best boozy brunch.

Our Boozy Brunch Flights get you up to four dirty drinks for £19pp, with options including the Lexy cocktail, Dirty Mary cocktail, Spiked Ice Coffee or prosecco by the glass. Mix n’ match, or pick your poison and stick to it.”

The Dirty Mary cocktail a clear nod to Richard and his exploits, with the rim of the glass adorned with with sour cream Pringles.

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Dirty Mary cocktail

I enjoyed the Dirty Mary and the Spiked Coffee had a decent amount of booze in it. Congratulations everyone.

Coffee cocktail Foodie Boys

Spiked coffee

FOOD

Now, as it was the weekend the restaurant were only offering their Weekend Brunch menu. I searched the menu for something with bones in it.

“Excuse me, waiter! I have a bone to pick with you. Does the chicken and waffles have any bones in it?”

“We hope not!” the waiter laughed.

“Oh, that’s a shame. The caramelised banana waffles?”

“Erm, I wouldn’t have thought so.

With no bones for me to chew on I decided on the short rib hash.

14 hour slow-cooked pulled short rib finished with caramelised shallots and mustard seeds. Served with potatoes and two eggs.

Maybe it’s because I was very hungry, maybe it’s because I’m a fat man, but there wasn’t enough rib for my liking, however, it was very tasty.

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Short rib hash

Fortunately, the others had ordered burgers and fries, so I ate their incredibly addictive skinny fries with onion and garlic salt like a man possessed.

I had a dessert ‘milk and cookie’ which was milk gelato and a soft baked cookie. The milk gelato was alright, and the cookie was hard. The fact a fat man who is desperate to be morbidly obese, and to achieve type two diabetes, didn’t finish it – speaks volumes.

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All in all, you’d have to say:

3.75 boys out of 5.

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Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

Yeah Burger Gladiator burger

Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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