Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Review: Old Dresser Cafe

Well, what can I say?  It has been the craziest of times lately - life has been turned upside down for us all.  Although I've not been blogging/Tweeting too much lately, I hope that you're okay and that you're staying safe and well.


Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Literally, the weekend before lockdown we managed to squeeze in a meal at the Old Dresser Cafe in Bearwood, just across the Birmingham border, on the main Bearwood Road (by the primary school).

It's been on my radar for a while after hearing some positive plaudits, so I'm glad we had the opportunity to visit.


Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Old Dresser Cafe upon first inspection looks and seems quintessentially English, with its name, chintzy object d'art and Union Jack imagery.  However, take a look at the menu and it has a heavy bias towards Polish cuisine with a little sprinkle of Mediterranean influence, so there is a little bit of mixed messaging happening.


Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

The restaurant is run by 2 Polish guys who are promoting their repertoire of Polish cuisine with a host of Polish spirits and beers if you fancy a change from a pint Carling or a glass of chardonnay.  MCH had Debowe (meaning oak) beer and I had a couple of glasses of quince flavoured vodka.

MCH had the 5 Course Special (£40) which was meat and fish laden.  He absolutely loved it, true home cooked style, good portion sizes and everything he exclaimed was delicious.


Vegetarian Bigos:   Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

I wished that they had the Polish stalwart Pierogi (filled dumplings) on the menu, but alas no.  However, they did have Vegetarian Bigos which I love having when I can.  Cabbage, sauerkraut and mushroom stew with a tart, sour hit to it.  Served with slices of homemade soda bread, hearty and filling.  Just a thought, it would've been good to see a couple more Polish vegetarian items on the menu so I could've had more to choose from.


Celebration Cake:  Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Both of us had a slice of Celebration Cake from the menu which was very moist, moussey, very much like a party/birthday cake, but it made for a 'just enough' lighter dessert option rather something too heavy.

It's a really nice little find and the guys put their heart and soul into the food and try to make it a home-from-home experience which makes it all the more endearing.

Obviously in these unprecedented times, visiting the restaurant for a sit down meal isn't possible, but I note that they are open for deliveries and takeaways.  If you feel like trying something different, then do give them a try and in turn you'll be supporting local community, business and economy.  Smacznego!  https://www.olddressercafe.co.uk/ 


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Note:  I paid for my food and drinks in full.  The venue did not know I was visiting or that I am a blogger or that I would be conducting a review/article.  








Sunday, 9 February 2020

Review: Bora Coffee - Shirley

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

'Saturday Night Fever' was booming out of the speakers as I walked into Bora Coffee  last year.  Not what you expect when you step out of the suburban hum-drum of the Stratford Road for a quick caffeine fix, but discotheque beats on a weekday afternoon are not to be sniffed at, it may not be a 1970's New York disco, but it is a mood booster - a pick me up.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

The other pick me up is the coffee, which incidentally is very good.  With every sip you take you are supporting Bora Coffee's mission of promoting ethical African coffee.  As a social enterprise, not only do they re-invest some of their profits into The Zuri Project charity but they champion African farmers that are paid above Fairtrade and current market price for their coffee.    For every 250g bag of coffee sold in the cafe, they plant a coffee tree to support sustainable development projects in Uganda.   

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Food wise, the Light Bites menu leans towards veggie/vegan options, offers good value for money, and is spot on if you're in a hurry and just need a little something.  

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways


The Hummus and Cucumber Bagel (toasted) for £2.60 endorses this.  Very nice.

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways

Looking around, I realised that 'Saturday Night Fever' came courtesy of the record player in the corner that allows customers to DJ during their visit with vinyl a-plenty to choose from.  Tempted to unleash my inner Pete Tong, I was beaten to it by an immaculately dressed older man who had made a choice which was unfortunately somewhat dreary and polar opposite to the Bee Gees ditty I heard upon arrival.  He positioned himself right next to the stereo so there was no way I, or anyone else, could change it.  But not to worry. 

Photo:  Word In Veg Ways


I love supporting local businesses and one with an ethical stance is a bonus.  I've been back a few times since the visit I've described above,  I enjoy it there and it's become a welcomed addition to Shirley's shopping hub.  

For my next visit I'll dig out some old Abba vinyl to take with me and I'll make sure I get that table by the stereo!


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Note:  I paid for my food and drinks in full.  The venue did not know I was visiting or that I am a blogger or that I would be conducting a review/article.