The Plough left me with no furrowed brow

Please let no-one run away with the idea that I have anything but the greatest respect for Harborne and its inhabitants.

To spend a zillion pounds on a two-bedroomed former nailmaker’s cottage with no parking space and rooms the size of a Lilliputian’s postage stamp shows remarkable imagination.
And they’re rightly proud of the area’s most famous pub, The Plough.
No…. really… I’m not being sarcastic.
It ticks so many boxes that it is almost the template for what a great neighbourhood family-friendly boozer should be.

The food

Usually, long menus alarm me because – let’s face it – kitchens often struggle to do a few things well let along dozens of different dishes.
But The Plough’s menu is long in a good way – none of the dishes seem over-ambitious but offer lots of choice.
There are breakfasts in styles to suit the bacon-loving trencherman, the grain-adoring hipster and the smoked salmon-munching mum, who may be yummy or otherwise.
There are snacks, brunches, burgers, pizzas, chillies and a few other dishes such as fish and chips and shepherd’s pie.
A chilly Tuesday night found me craving spice and a calorific festive period caused me to seek to eat healthily.
Thus I chose a chipotle chilli in which quinoa – hey, that’s the grain of choice of Moseley, not Harborne! – was used in place of meat.
Here I shall display my MoHo superiority by suggesting that nuttier, crunchier black quinoa would have been better than the ordinary white stuff because it would have retained its texture and added favour.
The version I ate was a little sludgy and, I thought, far too sweet and a little too spicy. But it was satisfying and a splodge of creamed avocado on top was gorgeous.
My wife thoroughly enjoyed a chilli made with chunks of slow cooked beef shin and black beans, but it emerged from the kitchen lukewarm rather than hot.
No reservations, though, about a shared fig and and almond tart that was brilliant in flavour and texture or the indulgent caramel fudge ice cream that accompanied it.

The service

The pub was hectic even though we visited unfashionably early on a mid-week post-festive night.
But service was unfailingly helpful, friendly and super-efficient.


The decor

The Plough is an old pub, somewhat awkwardly shaped, but it’s easy enough to navigate and there are plenty of tables and seats.
There’s an outside area, kids’ toys and books and a good buzz about the place.

The drinks

There are craft beers and a tempting selection of rums. The wine list is sensible, kicking in at £17.40 and rising to £55 for a decent bottle of red Burgundy.

Need to know

Expect to pay around £25 a head for a couple of courses and a drink.
Cut costs by going for a two-for-one pizza or burger offer available some nights.
There’s a kids’ menu.

The Plough
21 High Street, Harborne, B179NT.
0121 427 3678.

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