Lunchtime is my favourite part of my working day, obviously. I really enjoy stretching my legs, buying an overpriced sandwich so I can eat it in front of my computer while I pretend I’m working when actually I’m reading crap on the internet. I call it research.
All this research is leading up to my thesis, which focuses on how the internet efficiently distils all the usual human oddities into a 1000% proof foaming insanity and then puts it on BuzzFeed as a poll involving the Kardashians and what your favourite fabric softener means for your relationship.
I need fuel for this research, and fortunately working in the city centre means that there’s a lot of choice. I can’t even moan that there’s nothing for me to eat, which is annoying as it’s about 10% of the reason I became vegan; so I could take my general misery up a level and find a way of inflicting it on other people whenever possible. The other % is like animals and the continued existence of life on this planet and blah blah boring vegan stuff.
But I can’t complain sadly, because there are some pretty decent options in Birmingham when hunger strikes. Which is usually about 10:30 but let’s pretend I wait until 12:30 like a civilised person. One option for lunch is 3 Threes Coffee Lounge, where you can drink coffee and lounge about. Which is particularly helpful for vegans and vegetarians, as we generally have no energy and need a nice sit down between rants about factory farming.
What is also particularly helpful is that 3 Threes is totally vegetarian and vegan. There’s no meat anywhere, apart from the human meat serving and consuming caffeinated beverages but for some reason we have all decided we won’t eat them, so they don’t count.
3 Threes has a friendly vibe and looks cool; plenty of seating including a few sofas for maximum lounging, plus art on the walls, which you can buy if you fancy some culture with your coffee. Why is art in coffee shops a thing, by the way? Surely a pub would be better; give me a few cocktails and I would totally be asking for cash back so I could purchase a picture of a turquoise rabbit in stilettos surrounded by discarded toothbrushes, a thought bubble saying ‘Lucky me yeah?’, no question about it. I hope they don’t start selling art in pubs.
As well as art, 3 Threes also sell the usual range of coffees and teas, with a choice of milk (including soya, almond and the milk from cows, if you like that sort of thing you weirdo). They also have a great selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads and paninis, most of which are vegan, but any that aren’t will say. The selection is mostly fake meat or cheese, a bit like vegan Greggs (but a bit more expensive – it’s about £3 for a sandwich), there are some fake meat free options available (yah, it’s falafel). They also do nachos and hot dogs – all vegan, including the cheese.
Unquestionably, however, the highlight of a trip to 3 Threes has to be the cake. The second time I went in I asked which cakes were vegan and they said they all are and that is why this place gets a top vegan avocado rating. Before 3 Threes, Cherry Reds was the place for cake, but every time I go recently the only vegan cake is carrot and walnut and it’s nice but I’m bored already. At 3 Threes I’m gradually working my way through the options.
So far I’ve tried the orange brownie, carrot cake, oreo cake, bakewell tart and the oreo rocky road. Yes to all of them, especially the brownie and the rocky road. I will obviously have to keep visiting to make sure I’ve sampled everything; I’m starting on the cupcakes next. If you too want to systematically work your way through all the cake, I highly recommend a visit. Cake for lunch is not unhealthy if it’s vegan, right?
Vegan rating: 5 avocadoes out of 5. For the cake.
3 Threes, 17 – 19 Martineau Place, Birmingham B2 4UW
Tel: 0121 448 9919
10 Great Hampton Street, Jewelry Quarter B18 6AQ
Tel: 0121 439 3040