A friend of mine is a great one for a bargain.
If a item of clothing appears on a rail with a label saying “half-price”, he’s likely to snap it up quicker than a Tory government snatches food from the mouths of hard-up families.
Trouble is, frequently the garments don’t fit or are of a colour or design so grotesque that they’d make even Tom Cruise appear as unprepossessing as Compo.
The clothing disappears to the back of a cupboard or is passed on to bemused friends to vanish forever.
Thus it is with all things described as bargains.
Bargains are only bargains if you’d spend full price on them.
Which is most certainly the case with the food at the Bournbrook Inn, a pub and hotel in Stirchley that was modernised and relaunched at a time when Covid was wreaking havoc.
On Mondays, it offers 50% off food and hot drinks.
And, since the prices are reasonable to begin with, that makes for a very cheap meal out.
More importantly, the food is good.
The menu is simple – lots of pub and bistro classics – but ticks the right boxes.
A starter of cauliflower “wings” (a silly name, but I’ll let it pass) was well executed.
Florets were crisp on the outside and soft within, their earthy and slightly sweet flavour combining nicely with a hot chilli dipping sauce.
Opposite, a bowl of house salad was fresh, varied and well dressed. If I were being super-critical, the red onion might have been more thinly sliced.
But the star of the show was a rump steak that I ordered as a main.
I’d feared a meagre, thin slice of poor quality meat but was presented with a good plump lump that was, as requested, properly rare, with a seared exterior.
The steak was as well cooked as any I’d eaten for a long time.
It has excellent flavour and texture.
It came garnished with rocket, oven-dried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes, scorched onions and chimichurri sauce.
Triple cooked chips served alongside were all your would want them to be.
A plate of fish and chips, with peas and tartar sauce, was equally well received on the other side of a table.
These were substantial servings and thus we shared a dessert – an indulgent slice of chocolate, praline and cream cheese cake from Bakery 30, based at the excellent Caneat just along the road.
Now to the business end of things – the price.
Two starters, two mains, a dessert, two pints of lager, a soft drink and coffee – a touch over £30.
Would I have flinched at paying double that later in the week? Not at all.
Especially since the space is a pleasant one in which to spend a few hours and the service was impeccable – friendly, attentive and efficient.
Ingredients are locally sourced where possible, there are craft beers, cocktails and a decent wine list.
More importantly, it’s a place that seems to care about quality and customers.
You need to book to take advantage of the Monday deal, by the way.
1273 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2YT.
0121 459 8655.