Britain has finally caught on to the street food phenomenon and, whilst Edinburgh is a little slow on the upkeep, my home town of Birmingham is embracing the craze with open arms. The Digbeth area of Birmingham seems to have had somewhat of a bohemian makeover in the past few years. Now the home to several vintage shops, indie clothing stores and the jack of all trades The Custard Factory , it’s seemingly the place to be. So its pretty fitting that an area at the forefront of underground cool is embracing this street food trend, and I couldn’t be more appreciative.
*Warning this post contains a severe overuse of superlatives*
After a gander in Big Yella aka cow vintage I wandered over to the Spot*light forecourt and was welcomed by the sight of three wholly different but equally intoxicating food vans. First up was The Meat Shack whose twitter bio sums up all too accurately the awesomeness of their burgers- DRIPPING FILTHY GOODNESS. I went for the ‘Jam Pudding’ Burger, a beef and black pudding patty with bacon chilli jam, dutch cheese, smokey chipayo sauce, and pickles, served on the most amazing Brioche bun. Watching meat sizzle on a grill right in front of your very eyes is street food at its finest. If possible I would consume a Meat Shack Burger for every meal and on every day of my life. Their flavour combinations are insane (making choosing just one a formidable task) yet I was extremely happy with my decision. The meat was juicy and tender with the condiments forming the right mix of sweet and spicy, and did I say how awesome the bun was? Seriously SO. GOOD.
At this point I should mention I had an eating accomplice and, whilst I did consume a hideous amount in one sitting, it was shared with another, so your judgments shouldn’t be too harsh.
Right, next up was El Kantina, a mexican and southern food truck specialising in pulled pork…pulled freaking pork. The choice was extremely wide, ranging from ‘cones of love’- potato wedges and pulled pork- to chilli and nachos. The service was excellent, the woman working there was so friendly and eager to talk about what was on offer (and I love a good foodie chat) Due to her enthusiasm, myself and my accomplice decided that we couldn’t just order one thing. We went for the pulled pork cone of love, a combination of (or should I say- beautiful relationship between) smokey pulled pork and spicy wedges. As well as some half and half nachos, one half being pulled pork (can’t get enough of the stuff!) and the other half chorizo chilli. Spicy but not too spicy, smokey but not too smokey, El Kantina were spot on. Another excellent choice.
Finally, despite the plethora of food already consumed, myself and my accomplice decided to round off the night with some spicy chicken wings and ‘slaw from Van29. Whilst I’m not opposed to meat on the bone, its not a choice I would normally make. But my wings from Van29 have revolutionised my eating life. Yes, they were a sticky mess, but it was most definitely worth it.
Digbeth Dining Club is my kind of club. It’s on almost every friday from 5:30pm till 10pm with a rotating selection of food trucks present. The three I sampled have set the standard pretty damn high so I can only expect the other participant trucks are excellent too. If you’re a Birmingham native, or you find yourself in the area on a friday evening check it out. It’s ridiculously well priced, with most dishes coming in at between £5 and £7, and you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck.
Spot*light, Unit 2, Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth (Opposite Air Nightclub)