So I bought some train tickets on a whim. A fiver each way to Birmingham? Rude not to. We had already ticked all the fine dining boxes a few years ago, so I fancied trying a couple of places doing something a little different. I asked Twitter and Facebook, but nothing was really shouting out, so I left it until a couple of days before we went, and then panicked!
Luckily, during this 'head in sand' period, Pure Bar and Kitchen opened. It was launched a couple of months ago by the Purity Brewing Company (makers of Pure Ubu - the one with a dog on it...) and seems to have evaded my radar until last Thursday. It could have gone either way to be honest. Was it going to be a bit faddy? All beer and no decent food? Anywhere that's matching craft beer with food deserves a look in, in my humble opinion.
We both loved the dining space. Tables are well spaced with a mixture of free-standing types, benches, and one long table in the centre. In the middle is a rather handsome bar, with a ridiculous amount of beer on tap, with more bottles lurking behind.
Cwtch by Tiny Rebel Brewing Co (he gave this 4/5 on Untappd). This was closely followed by IPA by Lagunitas Brewing Company (4.5/5). They have an absolutely fantastic range of beers, and not only from their own brewery. They genuinely want people to enjoy good craft beer.
Jodie also recommended we go to the Post Office Vaults down the road, who have one of the most impressive bottle lists I have ever seen! They had 330 at the last count... Paddy got to try a Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren which is pretty tricky to get hold of here.
Dunkel BBQ beer glazed chicken, frites and salad (minus the salad in this case): A big, juicy chunk of chicken with the most beautiful crisp skin, home made sauce and moist flesh. Unbelievable. I pondered how they must cook this to get the outside so crisp whilst the inside remained so juicy... my husband suggested 'with a wand'.
Steak, frites with Longhorn IPA shallots: Jeez Louise. Charred on the outside, rare on the inside. My mouth is watering just looking back at the picture. It almost makes me angry (this happens a lot). The addition of the sweet Longhorn IPA shallots to this tender steak was just mind boggling.
Mac and cheese with bacon bits: Served in a hot skillet and finished with toasted breadcrumbs, this was an absolute delight. I'm just angry that I left some and could now devour a whole pan (there I go with the anger again).Peanut butter ice cream, hot caramel bananas with mini Maisels Weiss: This was a recommendation from Jodie. Husband demolished it and the beer it came with in a couple of minutes flat. Enough said.
(Maisel's Weisse Original by Brauerei Gebr. Maisel 4/5).
Apple pie with oatmeal stout custard: A little individual apple pie with a sugar encrusted lid, served with hot oatmeal stout custard. Packed with tangy apples and plenty of cinnamon - absolute heaven.
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