The Victoria is a beautiful old pub on John Bright St. A classic pub building with quirky decoration, cocktails, beers and ciders, music, a buzzing atmosphere and a rather excellent food menu.
The focus is on burgers and pizza. I've eaten there several times over the last year and have been impressed by the quality. I was invited along to try out the revamped menu.
The chef has updated the best bits and added some new dishes, including salads and sides.
First up we sampled sweet potato fries and two lots of fashionable topped fries. In the pictures you can see Swine Fries, topped with pickled red cabbage, pulled pork and jalapeños. This was very popular on the table but I preferred the second option, covered with Marinara sauce, cheese and onions. The sweet potatoes were crisp and tasty but you'd expect nothing less these days.
I definitely still like some cheese and bacon on my burger though.
Next up, a vegetarian option, the Falafel Stack. Three delicious falafel patties piled up with lettuce and raddicchio and raita.
Next up was the Bayou burger. Now, this was on the old menu and I never fancied having it. Now I wonder why! A southern fried chicken fillet smothered in sharp, hot Buffalo sauce. I really liked this one, it was my favourite of the three burgers.
I should say at this point that I wasn't eating a whole portion of every dish. A few of each dish were brought out for all the bloggers to share.
Nevertheless I was pretty stuffed by the end.
Next up was pizza! The pizzas at The Victoria have thin, crispy bases and interesting toppings. There are a few new ones on the menu and some from the old menu.
We tried the vegetarian Ciao Bella pizza first. Roasted Mediterranean vegetables, mozzarella, olive tapenade on a honey and tomato base.
Auntie Polly was basically a fancy meat feast pizza. Salami, chorizo and parma ham were elevated by the addition of tiny pink stem radish.
Finally, my favourite, Surf Shack. The pineapple had been soaked in Sailor Jerry which made it basically the best ever pineapple. Alongside parma ham and mozzarella, this was a Hawaiian with a twist.
We all thought that the food was over at this point but no, there was more! Firstly, crayfish popcorn. This is from the sides menu like the loaded fries. You can get three of the small sides for £10 which is a bargain. The crayfish popcorn was battered crayfish served with wasabi mayo. This was extremely rich and I had trouble eating it after all the burgers and pizza! I'll have to try it again when I'm not full and see if it is still as rich.
I was pleased to see a salad appear next. The cous cous salad contains bulgar wheat, peppers and pomegranate. Refreshing as it was, it did feel like something I could just make myself at home.
Finally, my favourite dish of the night. Chicken wings. I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm a sucker for a good wing. These were fabulous- huge, tasty, crispy skin, fantastically unhealthy. You can choose from three sauces- blue cheese, bbq or secret hot sauce. I will definitely be having these wings again. I wish we'd had them nearer the start of the evening when I wasn't so full so I could appreciate them properly.
To round off the evening we were given a sample of their Victorian Lemonade cocktail. This contains absinthe which gives it a kick!
While we were eating, Edd and I also tried a couple of ciders. The Victoria have just had a cider festival so they had a few bottles left over in the fridge. I haven't seen either of these ciders before so it was interesting to try. I had the Maeloc which was dry and quite intense.
The Victoria- John Bright Street, Birmingham http://www.thevictoriabirmingham.co.uk/
Photos by myself and Edd.
We were invited to The Victoria along with other bloggers to try the new menu, in return for my honest opinion.