Monday, 20 November 2017

Food: Bottomless Brunch at The Lost and Found


Style: Brunch                                                                       Location: Bennetts Hill, Birmingham

Cost: ££ (£22 for any brunch item plus unlimited prosecco, bellinis, mimosas or Bloody Marys)


The venue

A former bank, turned into a Victorian greenhouse-style hideaway. The Lost and Found is situated on Bennetts Hill and despite being a airy space, manages to feel cosy. I always find the atmosphere very comfortable, even when it's busy. I've been for food, drinks and afternoon tea and always enjoyed myself. The cocktails are excellent; it's somewhere I can always get a good classic cocktail without fuss.

So I was pleased to hear that they were launching bottomless brunch; one of the best ways to start a day. Available Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm, by reservation only, you get a brunch dish of your choice plus unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Bellinis or Prosecco for £22. It's a lovely environment to start your day off.


Drinks

I decided to stick to Bellinis from the standard menu choice. The servers checked on everyone regularly to see if more drinks were needed, but not so much that people got too tipsy. I like a Bellini at brunch- it's not as harsh as neat prosecco but not as overly fruity as a Mimosa.


For the special launch weekend of The Lost and Found's Bottomless Brunch, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur were there serving up some special cocktails. I'd heard great things about this liqueur and I was pleased to try it- it added a strong coffee hit without being syrupy.

The Coffee Alex was a twist on a Brandy Alexander, one of the first classic cocktails I loved. Brandy, Mr Black liqueur, creme de cacao and cream were shaken together and topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg. This tasted like Christmas morning.


Mr Black Old Fashioned was enhanced by the coffee and the chocolate bitters, making an Old Fashioned appropriate for the morning.


Spiced Iced Coffee seemed to be the most ordered around the room, and was probably the lightest and easiest to drink. Spiced rum, coffee liqueur, syrup and milk made this an excellent breakfast treat.

I do hope The Lost and Found will be making these available to brunch customers.


The food

It's an excellent brunch menu, with everything from Full English to granola and yoghurt. I was tempted by Turkish Eggs with whipped yoghurt and chorizo butter or Eggs Royale with marmite Hollandaise.

I chose the English Breakfast to line my stomach (and also keep me going all the way through to dinner!). You can see poached eggs on my plate but you could also have fried. I enjoyed the excellent herby sausages, the delicious bread and even the peripheral items like mushroom and tomato were good quality. I do wish the beans were in a little pot as many people like to keep these separate. I'd also prefer back bacon to streaky but that is personal taste. The food was well cooked and seasoned and kept me occupied for some time.


Bacon and cheese burger without the bun was a clever twist on steak and eggs. While the burger wasn't the greatest to exist (please see my previous post on The Meat Shack), surrounded with bacon, smothered in melted cheese and topped with a fried egg, this was a good, fun brunch dish. Ideal for those brunching later in the day.


Whether or not you believe this is good value depends on whether you enjoy a leisurely breakfast and whether you can knock back a few drinks. I feel this is one of the better value Bottomless Brunches I've come across. The food was good quality, the drinks were plentiful, service was organised and excellent and the location is beautiful. I'll certainly recommend this to people looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend.

The Lost and Found

Photos by Helen and Edd

Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Food: The Meat Shack, Birmingham


Style: Burgers   Location: Thorp St, Southside

Cost: £ (Around £16 for a burger, chips and a cider, less if you share the chips). 

The venue

Meat Shack were always my go-to street food vendor. Whenever they were at an event, their burgers are what I would choose. They'd managed to get the perfect oozy, meaty tasty burgers, with soft, shiny buns that stayed in one piece throughout. I was delighted to find they were opening up their own restaurant in Southside, near the Hippodrome.

They've joined forces with a bar- named Thorp 17 due to its street location- which you have to pass through before heading up the stairs to Meat Shack. They don't take reservations but you can sit in the bar and wait for a table.

When I visited at lunchtime on a Thursday, it was reasonably busy with local workers but I didn't have to wait. It's a simple room, with some features left over from the original use of the building I suppose, jazzed up with burger themed stencils and stickers on the wall.


Drinks

A small and to the point drinks menu has a couple of beers and cider on draught, local Birmingham Brewing cans of beer, lots of soft drinks and a decent selection of wine by the glass or bottle. I chose a pint of Sharp's Orchard cider (£4.50), which isn't the most exciting cider in the world, but was cool and refreshing to have alongside my burger.


Food

That's what you came for! The food menu, like the drinks menu, is simple and to the point, with burgers, chips and sides. There are specials available every so often and they seem to be adding more sides too.

I'm a massive fan of Buffalo sauce if you didn't already know, so I chose the Buffalo Blue burger (£8)- beef patty, blue cheese, American cheese, candy bacon crumb, salad, blue cheese dressing and Buffalo sauce. The Buffalo sauce was a perfect acidic foil to the richness of the beef. A delicious meaty, oozy proper burger.


I also shared some fries. As well as standard fries, you can get them with a variety of toppings. The fries are what you would expect, made excellent with the addition of Buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing (£3.50)! It was completely necessary to have chips to mop up the burger juices too.


Keep an eye out for the Dutch Piggy (basically cheese and bacon with Dutch cheese) and Frickles (deep fried pickles) too.



I can't say it's particularly great for vegans but there is a veggie burger made with deep fried halloumi and mushroom, which sounds delicious.

Burger lovers everywhere will find something to enjoy at Meat Shack. I'll be heading back soon to try a non-spicy burger so I can truly appreciate the burger itself. Or perhaps I'll be tempted to go for the Buffalo Blue again as it's so good!


Find at:

The Meat Shack, Thorp Street, Birmingham


Food paid for myself

Photos by Helen

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Shop: T2 tea, Bullring


Style: Loose tea shop  Location: Bullring, Birmingham city centre

Cost: ££ (100g loose leaf tea approx £8)

The Venue

Situated just inside the Bullring, T2 really stands out with its black and orange branding. An Australian business who have been going for 20 years, they sell loose leaf tea and infusions, some tea bags, plus all manner of tea accessories, such as cups, travel mugs and flasks and infusers. 


The teamakers are absolutely fantastic. Simply spoon in your tea leaves, top with hot water and infuse as you would. The clever bit comes when you pop the teamaker on top of your mug, and watch as it strains through the bottom.




They sell a lot of tea paraphernalia and a lot of tea so I find the store a little overwhelming, particularly if you visit when it's busy. I suggest starting in the corner and working your way around the walls of tea! There's plenty of little tins to open so you can see and smell the infusions and teas.


If you treat yourself to one of their flasks, you can take it in each Friday and have it filled with a tea of your choice.


The tea


Wow, there's a lot of tea on offer here! Black, green, white tea, matcha, many infusions, for all occasions. They come in cute boxes and, as previously mentioned, there is a tin for you to open so you can give it a smell and see what's inside.


Go along to T2 and you'll be able to try any of the teas or infusions they currently have brewing. They're happy to talk to you about how best to brew your tea at home. I loved the advice to add a splash of cold water to your white tea as it's so much more delicate.


I was also shown how easy it is to make Iced Tea at home. Simply brew your tea with hot water as usual, then add ice. I left it in the fridge for a while and had myself a gloriously refreshing iced white tea several times this summer. Green tea also works excellently with a few slices of lemon.




I also enjoyed a delicious matcha tea, mixed with honey and almond milk- a comforting and healthy drink.





I'd really recommend getting along to T2 to investigate their offerings, pick up some Christmas presents and treat yourself to something too. Tea lovers will be overwhelmed!


Find at:

T2, Bullring, Birmingham

I tried a variety of drinks and was given a box of tea and a tea maker for review purposes

Photos by Helen