Mash House meal bang-er on money.
Place: Mash House, The Water's Edge, Brindleyplace.
Why go?: Boys' own grub, which girls will enjoy, too. Lashings of gravy.
Some snooty types, usually those who prefer chips on their shoulder rather than their plate, have suggested my concept of a "credit crunch" lunch is not always "credit crunch" in realisation.
They have missed the point.
The point of this regular slot is to highlight places that offer, or fail to offer, value for money in our new-look economic landscape. The issue isn't cost as much as value. I could eat out every week at places that bang out two meals for pounds 5.99, but I would be sick and so would you. Because meals served for less than pounds 3 a head are not meals, they are crap.
That said, there are places where it is possible to get good value (at a relatively low price) and in this respect the Mash House is a little cracker. Brunch, served noon-4pm, includes beans or egg on doorstep toast (pounds 3.95) and there are sarnies for under a fiver.
There are also traditional British mains such as fish and chips (pounds 8.25), lamb shank (pounds 9.95), rib eye steak (pounds 10.95) and, joyfully, faggots & peas (pounds 8.25). The latterly was sorely tempting and remains a criminally underrepresented dish on Midland menus.
If you know of a good place serving, or making, faggots, please get in touch.
The Meal: I took Jerry along for scoff. He went to boarding school and was breast-fed by the nanny 'til he was four, so I figured the menu of bangers and mash and pies - all specialities at the Mash House - would spark tears of nostalgic yearning.
"Crumbs, it's like school dinners!" he barked on seeing the menu. "Yumyum-yum, in my tum." Jerry didn't hesitate for a second and went for the house sausage and mash (pounds 7.45). There were fancy bangers on the specials board, with chilli and rosemary and stuff, but my chum insisted on the entry-level free range porkers. No sooner had his dish arrived than he was making mash potato islands in the gravy and dreaming up all sorts of wizard capers..
The bangers, Jerry declared, were "good," a marked improvement on his usual comment of "adequate". I made him have the mushy peas because matron would have approved.
I had a very tasty steak and kidney pie (pounds 7.95) which came from something called the "Urban Pie" range. Are urban pies different to suburban pies, or countryside pies? Or is the name a legal requirement of the EU food police? I have no idea, but I do know the urban variant had a good crust, a generous meat content, hair-on-your chest gravy and the ability to feed a member of the 1st XI for 72 hours. The mushy peas are a must.
Obviously we were full, so obviously we had pudding. Only the A-level Latin set - and girls - fail to show for puds.
"I spy crumble!" said Jerry, scanning the specials board. He vowed he'd only have it if the apple crumble came with custard. The waiter said it did.
"Oh, Mummy!" he said. "Yes, please!" There were other desserts and ladypuddings like ice cream, so I had the crumble, too. And jolly good it was.
We had a bottle of beer each - me an Old Speckled Hen and Jerry, it must be said, a slightly wussy Italian job.
Bread watch: With mash? Are you asking for a detention, boy? Verdict: A welcome, newish (in astronomical terms) addition to the city centre for solid, honest eating. Kids welcome - childhoods invoked.
NEXT WEEK: To contact Richard McComb, email: email@example.com BOWLER HAT RATING GUIDE BOWLED OVER HAT-TRICK HATTIE JACQUES OLD HAT'S THE WAY I LIKE IT
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|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Apr 10, 2009|
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