Have you discovered this proper pub in the city centre?

The Bull

There was a time when the Bull was popular with journalists from the old Birmingham & Mail headquarters in Colmore Circus.

This was mainly because it was located next to an office car park that had been so neglected by the newspapers’ blundering owners that there were tyre-threatening holes the size of lunar craters.

It certainly wasn’t – from memory – because it was an especially brilliant pub.

The food was adequate. The beers likewise.

But it was a convivial and cosy space in which to get drunk, eat plates of chips floppy with vinegar and, as is the way with journalists, insult colleagues, moan about readers, whinge about media officers and complain even more about management.

The Bull’s cosiness and conviviality haven’t changed in the intervening years and it remains a traditional, welcoming pub on a site where booze has been served since the early 18th century.

The decor remains quirky and old-fashioned.

The Bull

But it’s been taken over by the guys who own the Wellington, a bit of a magnet for real ale anoraks.

So, unsurprisingly, the beer list has improved immeasurably.

An early evening visit found the place fairly busy with the sort of people who looked like they knew their ales.

By which I mean men and women of a certain age and of a sipping disposition – not callow yet beardy youths who seek IPAs flavoured with Peruvian mango and Scandinavian toenail clippings.

The beers at The Bull are many and various, most boasting bizarre names.

Not being a particular aficionado of real ale, I stuck to Pravha, a light Czech lager that was refreshing and pleasant.

My wife, meanwhile, went completely outré in such a beer-centric environment and ordered red wine.

The Bull

Which was an odd choice because she also ordered fish and chips from a menu full of simple pub classics.

It was a generous plateful – chunky chips, flaking and pearly white cod, mushy peas, tartar sauce.

All the components met with her approval, though she’d have liked the fish’s beery batter to have been crisper.

The Black Country faggots that ordered were orbs of immeasurable joy.

They were good meaty things with a gamey punch of offal and a whack of pepper.

The Bull

Garden peas added colour and sweetness to the plate and chips proved a good vehicle with which to convey dark, gloopy and tasty gravy from the plate to my gob.

That some chips and peas remained uneaten is evidence of my dainty size and the generosity of the serving rather than any shortcomings on the part of the dish.

This was very enjoyable, substantial and simple pub grub at a boozer that sets out to serve good beers and the sort of food you want on such occasions.

Service was friendly and efficient and prices were very fair.

The Bull’s a bit of a hidden gem on the edge of the city centre and is a place to which I will return. It adds something different to the area’s pub scene.

Need to know

Mains range from £7 to £12.

There are also sandwiches.

There are veggie options.

Students get a discount on food.

The Bull

1 Price Street, Birmingham B4 6JU. 0121 333 6757.

https://www.facebook.com/thebullbirmingham/

 

The Bull

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