Consider the humble onion ring.
It can be an unprepossessing thing – floppier than a chap in need of Viagra, with soggy batter encasing a circle of onion that’s barely cooked.
Now try the onion rings served at The Meat Shack, the newly-opened restaurant of one of Birmingham’s street food legends.
These are big buggers with the tanned colour of a Solihull second-hand car trader who’s spent a couple of weeks in Marbella.
The cider batter is light and crisp.
The onion inside is melting and sweet.
Its flavours and textures take me back to the fairground food of my youth.
The onion rings were one of many pleasures experienced during first visit to the restaurant – an unfussy but funky space above a bar close to the Hippodrome.
The burger itself was everything you’d expect from a guy with a great palate and no small amount of skill.
The Buffalo Blue comprises an aged beef patty of exceptional flavour perfectly cooked so that it retains its moisture and succulence.
Blue cheese adds an umami whack, American cheese a richness.
Candy bacon crumbs give the combo sweetness and there’s moderate heat from a chilli sauce.
The bun itself was perfect.
Though I’m sceptical that skin-on fries can ever be anything other than inferior to properly peeled spuds, I have to confess that those I ate here were rather good.
They were crunchy and beautifully seasoned.
Opposite me a Mr C burger – a patty with American cheese, pickled, ketchup and other bits and pieces – was eaten enthusiastically by one not known for her love of burgers.
The Sharp’s Cornish Pilsner I drank from a short but well-balanced drinks list was well kept and a good match for food that left me satisfied and with greasy fingers since I ate without the assistance of cutlery.
It had been several years since I’d eaten Meat Shack’s food.
It’s likely that I’ll return to his great new restaurant very soon.
Need to know
Expect to pay around £18 for a burger, sides and drink.
There’s a halloumi burger suitable for veggies.
A desserts menu is being developed.
The place is child-friendly.
It’s open Thursday to Sunday.
There’s car parking nearby.
The Meat Shack
17 Thorp Street, Southside, Birmingham B5 4AT.