The Stable: such boaring puns

The marketing wizards of the pizza, pie and cider chain The Stable no doubt had a meeting at which they decided how best to add a local edge to their Birmingham outlet.

Thus the menu features pizzas such as the Perry Barr-Baa (yep, it’s got lamb on top), the Bournville Bantam (chicken, obviously), the Bull Ring Boar (cured pig meat) and the Smethwick Scorcher (which contains that well known indigenous Black Country crop, naga chillies).
One can, I suppose, celebrate that they hadn’t been hitting the scrumpy and decided instead on locally-themed names such as Carrott’s Colon, Benny’s Balls, Ozzy’s Orifice or Kevin Turvey’s Todger.
Nevertheless the whole thing seems buttock-clinchingly embarrassingly contrived – a bit like that boring bloke who wears a musical bow-tie to the office party in the mistaken belief it will give him an engaging and amusing personality.
But at least the food was reasonably pleasant to eat.

The decor

The recently-opened bar and restaurant occupies a large space at the top end of buzzy John Bright Street and, being a contemporary space full of exposed pipework and urban lighting, looks as much like a stable as I resemble Adele.
There’s inevitably lots of bare wood and exposed brickwork.
The tables are long, communal things. You sit on benches.

The service

The staff are friendly and informed, but service is a bit Nandos-style – you place your order at the bar, you’re given a number and your food is brought over once prepared.
This is a system I despise for, at busy times, it’s likely to cause me not to bother to go back up to order a dessert.

The food

Let’s here take a break from the negative stuff and say that the Bull Ring Boar pizza I ate was a good thing, though at £13 it should have been.
The thin sourdough base was crisp and flavoursome and the topping was tasty.
A pizza was smeared with a pleasant tomato sauce, on top of which sat slices of the Real Boar Company’s gamey chorizo and salami which itself was covered by melted, stringy mozzarella and a mound of uncooked rocket leaves.
The Dijon house dressing that had been drizzled over added zing.
A smoked salmon and smoked mackerel salad comprised the fishes, lettuce, spinach, capers, tomato, cucumber and a horseradish and crème fraiche dressing.
It was enjoyed, though was so overdressed that I wondered whether, in keeping with the menu’s local theme, it might have been renamed the Solihull Slapper.

The drinks

There’s a huge range of ciders of many styles served draught, bottled and boxed. There’s a £7.50 tasting board which offers the chance to try several brews.
There are also beers, soft drinks and a sensible wine list that kicks in at £16.50 a bottle.

Need to know

Expect to pay around £16 for a pizza and a pint.
Cut the cost with the £10 Tuck-In Tuesday deal – a pizza, a side salad and drink.
The place is child-friendly and accessible for the disabled.

The Stable
115 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BE. 0121 643 8918.