There were days when football fans couldn’t expect more than a plastic cup of mouth-scalding Bovril and a soggy meat pie served at a temperature more conducive to the wellbeing of bacteria than the consumer’s enjoyment of the pastry product.
Of course corporate hospitality long ago took food in the posher parts of grounds to far higher levels.
And I’ve had many fine lunches when I’ve been invited to the corporate areas at Blues’ ground St Andrew’s.
But what of the supporters in the seats of, say, the Tilton Road End and Kop?
A visit to the ground for a recent game proved they’re very well fed indeed – thanks to the Cookhouse concept.
Essentially, this is catering from kiosks that serve very good quality street food.
Slow-cooked ribs of beef, deftly spiced, juicy and meltingly tender, came with mashed sweet potatoes and were a delight.
It was a deeply satisfying and filling dish and a bargain, too, at £6.
Likewise a plump, meaty burger made from great quality beef and stuffed with cheese.
It came with onions that had been beautifully caramelised and on a brioche bun.
Again, at £4.80, it was brilliant value.
The menu changes frequently and there are also a range of soups on offer at £2.50.
Cookhouse has been operating since the start of the 2013-14 season.
A club spokesman said: “Menus are based on seasonal availability, locally sourced products, products to highlight Birmingham and also in some cases the away team and most importantly we aim to provide a healthy well cooked homely meal.
“The beef we use is hand selected 21-day matured Hereford brisket beef that we use for our gourmet burgers and again Hereford beef for all our beef dishes.
“We use hand selected cuts of Staffordshire pork belly in our burgers and also the pigs are orchard fed from pear and apple trees.
“The gourmet burgers and prime cut sausages are blended and mixed with the finest spices and seasoning to an old family recipe, which complements the prime cuts of meat to make our gourmet burgers.”
It’s a great concept that I hope one day will impress in the Premier League.