John Bright Street is home to my favourite date venues, Cherry Reds and BrewDog. There’s also Turtle Bay and The Victoria not far. When I thought JBS couldn’t get any better, I read the words, ‘Pizza. Pies. Cider’.
The story of The Stable is pretty heart-warming, as it’ll all make sense when you walk in; but to summarise: A Dorset-based couple converted a stable at the back of their hotel-home in 2009 into an eatery with a concept of showcasing local produce, which became a quick success.
The venue is therefore an impression of the original stable. Everything’s wooden; benches, panels on the walls and the tables. Throw in quirky hanging lights, lots of candles and what I imagine will be highly-Instagrammed wall decorations (I admit, I’ve posted one), and what you’ve got is an incredibly warm and cosy venue which is perfect for these cold nights.
The Food and Drink
Pizza is the single greatest love of my life, but if I had to cheat, it’d be with pie. The likes of The Old Joint Stock and Pure Bar have got some competition. I tried the Steak Out (£9.50), which is beef, stout and horseradish. It comes with herb roast potato/wedges and a decent side salad. A nice accompaniment of pickled onion and lovely tomato chutney, too.
When I saw there was Old Spot bacon on one of the pizzas, I was sold. The Old Spot Trotter is smoked bacon, field mushrooms, tomato sauce and mozzarella, topped with an egg (£11). The base is thin and crisp and overall the taste is better than any of the other chains you may opt for. It’s quite cute, too, in that everything is named after something Birmingham-related. I had some room left to try The Stable Meringue (£4.50 for a small, or £7 a large), which is their pizza base with lemon curd, little meringue pieces and raspberry purée. The base works as a pudding surprisingly well once it’s dashed with icing sugar.
The best part for me was the cider tasting board. For £7.50 you’ll be presented with five 1/3 pints of various ciders. There were two of us and I was over the moon when two totally different boards came over with a hand-written card detailing each. I am first and foremost a stout/porter drinker, but cider is a close second. They ranged from old-fashioned cloudy to some lighter perry. If you like cider, you’ll love it and if you don’t, I can’t think of a better way to find one you do. There are bottles, draught, and bag in a box. I had a glance over the wine menu, and it looks pretty decent! There’s always lager and ale, if you’re really not into apples. Hot drinks galore and of course some softies.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
The Stable is so warm and welcoming. Sometimes when it’s known that I’m reviewing, the staff can go a little overboard on attentiveness. The folks here were friendly, helpful and fast, and I really appreciated their nonabrasive approach.
Whilst I was there I saw groups of people, two-person-dates, and even a guy happily working through a pizza alone. I really can’t think of who wouldn’t enjoy it! I wouldn’t suggest that only cider-lovers should come either, as there’s so much on offer.
This is an absolute winner for me. I’ll be going back. It’s going to draw in more popularity for JBS and it’s awesome to see Birmingham’s bar and restaurant scene just getting better and better.