This was the last of the Brumderland x Bitters and Twisted events and neatly tied in with the launch of The Victoria's new menu. I was at their menu launch last September so I was intrigued to see what would have changed.
We headed into the cosy back room and enjoyed a Passionfruit and Orange Spritz- a twist on an Aperol Spritz with the addition of passionfruit.
Food wise they have stuck to what they know- great, thin pizzas, loaded fries, warming pub classics and a variety of fries.
Mac and Cheese is creamy, with a crispy topping and can be served with spicy sausage or crayfish. I liked the crayfish best but I had the sausage one a couple of weeks later with a drink and it was perfect booze-soaking food.
The Victoria serve some fantastic giant chicken wings, now available in a Korean style- sticky, sweet, a little hot. The meat on the wings is generous and they were well cooked. These were very popular with everyone in the room. I prefer hot wings myself but these were lovely.
As well as mac 'n' cheese and chicken wings, there are also falafel balls with a super salsa verde and chilli cheese fries- loaded fries still being very popular.
Hot dogs are available in classic (£8.00 with mustard, ketchup and onions) or sonic (£9 with chilli beef.) I'm not a hot dog fan so these didn't wow me, but I did enjoy the chilli.
The best bit- pizza! The Victoria serve some of my favourite pizzas in the city. Thin and cripsy, not over-reliant on cheap cheese or tomato puree and with some interesting toppings.
Pizzas sell from £7-£10 and have a variety of toppings, meat and veggie. I loved the Olympus (£10) with plenty of veggies, pesto and goats cheese. I love a bit of salad on a pizza too; it makes me feel vaguely healthy.
Los Pollos Hermanos (£8) is chicken and sweetcorn, lifted with ranch dressing. I loved how charred the sweetcorn was.
Finally, the Bunga Bunga (£10) is essentially a meat feast but with peaches and rocket to make it a little fresher.
I was a little sad to see that my favourite Bayou Burger (fried chicken with bufflo sauce) was gone from the burger menu but there's plenty more to try. There's two veg burgers- one halloumi with a sweet potato hash, the other a veggie patty made of beetroot, carrots and oats. Both chicken burgers sound lovely- both spiced, one Peri Peri and one Mexican. Finally, a classic beef burger and a blue cheese burger. A great variety and not too reliant on beef. Burgers are priced between £8 and £10 and come with fries and salad.
Onto pub classics- sausage and mash is served with gravy and is also available as a vegan dish. I tried the maple cured Aubrey Allen pork sausage and mash (£9.50) which was just what you want on a cold November evening.
Fish and Chips are available for £10. I didn't get to try this but I would hope it would be good for the price.
Finally, a simple, fresh Crayfish, Fennel and Orange salad (£8). I can't imagine going specifically to the pub to order a salad but this is a tasty bowl and would be great shared between a few of you with other mains.
The back room at The Victoria is a cosy place to spend time mid-week and I always love the music in there. I do miss the cool Birmingham painting they had years ago but I suppose they are going with the rum thing.
We ended the evening with a Hazlenut Old Fashioned. You can see it isn't a proper Old Fashioned and purists should look away now. However, it had a good kick of whiskey and the hazelnut liqueur made it a very soothing nightcap.
So, The Victoria have stuck to what they do best (great pizzas and burgers, a few sides to keep you going) but added in some new little twists. I love the fresh toppings on the pizzas and I need to work my way through the burgers!
The Victoria, John Bright Street, Birmingham
Photos by me and Edd.
Food and drink were complimentary.