Ah Paul McCartney – yes he dirtied our ears with that song with bagpipes in it but apparently he was in a pretty good pop group before then. But it is of course his campaign for ‘Meat free Mondays’ that will be his legacy and greatest achievement.
The idea has caught on and plenty of restaurants offer great deals or exciting plant based menus. This week, Vegan in Birmingham looks at two of the nicest places in the city to check out on a Monday.
We have the most Michelin starred restaurants in any city outside London (three, which doesn’t seem like that many but you know, we’re trying). There seems to be some kind of consensus however that these places have to be laden with meat and cheese to truly reach the heights of fine dining. None of the three starred restaurants, all with a surname as a name which is so boring I can’t be arsed to type them out here, have much of a vegetarian option, let alone vegan.
1847, in the Great Western Arcade, bucks this trend. You can tell because the food looks arty (yeah, the sauce looks a bit like a very long melted slug but honestly it tastes lovely) and the prices are high enough to make you lose all sensory perception for a moment. The food though is beautiful and worth it, if you have plenty of disposable income or are trying to impress someone. This is third date city, baby.
However, for us cheapskates, 1847 do good lunchtime deals, plus have a look for them on deal websites and apps and you probably won’t be disappointed. They also offer a massive 50% off the food bill if you quote ‘MFM’ (that’s code for ‘Meat free Mondays’ – ingenious) when booking on a Monday, in case you need that pointing out to you. If you haven’t checked this place out, then book in and get down there, the food is delicious, the vegan options are plentiful – check out their menu on the website. Last time I looked I was disappointed because I read the key wrong and thought there were hardly any vegan options, but then when I used my eyes and my brain together rather than separately it turned out most of the menu was vegan or there was a vegan version of a dish. Book it up now, you won’t be disappointed, unless you don’t like beautifully cooked and presented food, you terrible weirdo.
Bistro 1847, 26 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5HU
Tel: 0121 236 2313
This place boasts fantastic South Asian cuisine and on a Monday, their whole dinner menu is vegan, served from 5.30pm, to eat in or take away. This includes a huge range of starters, mains, side dishes and even a choice of desserts.
The phrase vegan desserts is enough to make most plant-based eaters weak at the knees, and if you can cram in any more food after the first two courses, then the Sticky Rice Pudding with coconut cream is bloody lovely.
There aren’t any offers on unfortunately, but the prices are fairly reasonable mid-range, with mains from £8.95-£9.95, so it won’t break the bank and let’s face, Monday are shit, you deserve a treat.
I’ve only been to the now closed branch in Kings Heath, Blue Ginger, but the Edgbaston restaurant and bar is in beautiful surroundings, including a lovely garden, which if you pick the right Monday this year, you might be able to sit out in. You can even stay at the guesthouse, if you’re planning on eating so much you can’t move, which sounds like a great idea to me.
If you drag along a carnist who just can’t give it up even on a Monday, then they can still order from the usual menu, so everyone will be happy, apart from Paul McCartney but we don’t have time to worry about him.
Blue Piano, 24-26 Harborne Road, Edgbaston B15 3AA
Tel: 0121 454 6877
Know of any great Meat free Monday offers? Let me know in the comments!