There are pursuits in life in which sticky and smelly fingers are a small price to pay for the pleasure gained.
Such an activity is eating Low ’N’ Slow’s food.
It demands that the food should be picked up and that fingers should be licked clean afterwards.
Andy Stubbs – the self-taught chef behind what is probably Birmingham’s most revered street food venture – is doing a weekend pop-up this month at Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath.
The menu changes frequently, but his food is based around slow-cooked smoked meat.
The driving force is his love of Texan BBQ, with inevitable influences from Mexico.
But that’s a simplistic description because he brings to his craft touches of great delicacy and imagination.
Andy’s a cook with a fantastic palate, an eye for detail and no small amount of ability.
Wonderfully tender and moist pig cheek, gently fragrant after being smoked over wild plum, came on flavoursome soft corn tortillas.
The Mexican salsa pico de gallo – a combination of tomato, onion, chilli, coriander and citrus – provided vibrant balance to the rich meat.
Yuzu mayo added extra notes of freshness.
Though served in a take-away box, the dish was gorgeously garnished with micro-leaves, all of which added extra notes of flavour.
There was similar playfulness displayed by a serving of cherry wood smoked chicken fajitas with pico de gallo, this time joined by guacamole, lime sour cream and cheddar.
Again, this was a dish with both oomph and restraint.
A box of oak smoked back ribs was an absolutely triumph – the meat precisely seasoned and gently sweetened so that its high quality shone through.
A serving of feistily spiced chips provided starchy relief from the flesh-fest.
Need to know
Expect to pay around £15 a head for plenty of food and a drink.
A smoked Sunday lunch costs £15.75.
Low ’N’ Slow will cook at the Hare and Hounds each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this month.
Thursdays-Saturdays operate on a walk-in basis.
Book for Sunday sittings by emailing lownslowbookings@gmail. com
Find out more about Low ’N’ Slow at www.facebook.com/LowNSlowStreetFood/
Find out more about the pop-up at the Hare and Hound’s website: http://hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk