Scratch beneath the surface of our city and you'll find some real hidden gems. So we have set out to explore the best-kept secrets and unsung heroes of Birmingham. This week, Kim ventures to Buffalo and Rye...
Buffalo and Rye is a kitschy little joint on Bennets Road, pulling inspirations from American culture and with a deep Chicago hip hop vibe it’s an easy eatery with friends on a warm weekday night. The moment you walk into Buffalo and Rye you are greeted with a warm reception, a cool hipster looking chap with a beard approaches you to take your order and recommend a quirky cocktail or two.
But what matters is the food and the overall taste. The first thing I dug into was the parmesan and truffle fries I had been dreaming about since I perused the menu on the car ride over – these babies were the shizz. They were crisp on the outside whilst fluffy on the inside, the truffle oil was merely a hint whilst the parmesan did the talking. They were incredible and are on my list for a guilty pleasure snack from this point forward whenever I’m in the city centre.
The cheeseburger was equally as good, the pattys were thick and juicy on top of a toasted brioche bun. One thing I hate about burgers at restaurant is how badly they can be put together so when you bite in it will fall apart – this one retained it’s structure and was a delight in my mouth! Unfortunately this meant the expectations were high for the burnt ends, which didn’t meet what I was hoping. The smoked barbeque sauce was overpowering and swamped the taste of the delicate brisket, which is a shame when compared to the triumphs of the mains.
James made sounds akin to a cow in labour whilst eating his food so I’m guessing that’s a good sign he enjoyed his brisket burger!
I ordered the pie (£4) which came with whipped cream, James ordered a knickerbocker brownie with salted caramel (£4). The key lie pie didn’t live up to expectations, whilst I could tell this was homemade and not just some generic supermarket pie that the owner had picked up on his way to work, it simply wasn’t that great. It was slightly burnt on the bottom and wasn’t tart enough for my personal taste. James on the order hand enjoyed his, the ice cream was creamy and the caramel was rich in flavour… more animal like noises came out of his mouth.
Onto the mains, B&R’s Instagram boasts a burger that I won’t forget so, of course, that’s what I had to get. I ordered the house cheese burger (priced at £7.50) with a side of parmesan and truffle fries (£3) and a pot of burnt ends to share (£4.50). James is a very fussy eater, typically staying away from most dairy products and potato based meals (trust me, Sunday dinners are interesting) so when he forewarned the waiter he was going to be making a lot of amendments I was curious to see how the restaurant would cater for it. We’ve been in restaurants before where we have received bad customer service or flat out refusal to amend an item before, Buffalo and Rye did neither of these things and simply took the changes with grace. James ordered a brisket burger, holding the cheese and sauces (priced at £8.50) and chilli fries without any cheese (£5.00).
Whilst we waited for our meal we took in the surroundings, to simply put it – this place is cool. It’s hipster chic without being pretentious and could easily take it’s place in trendy areas of London such as Soho. The walls are lined with upcycled pallets and tiles, the showcase displays have various comic dolls and retro prints. The light fixtures and furniture have a seventies feel whilst feeling clean and simple. Over the stereo plays hip hop and rap, giving it that modern feel – it feels cosy whilst being effortlessly on trend. I could have spent all night drinking Tom Collins and cocktails listening to the music and taking in the ambience.
Our waiter bought our meal over on trays, a simple sheet of grease proof paper and basic crockery that is common place with restaurants going for that ‘rustic’ feel these days. Generally well presented but nothing to write home to mom about…
Feeling content with our meals we were tempted by the dessert menu, which we never usually order from (I’m a savoury girl through and through) but the Floridian Key Lime Pie called to me…
We finished the night with a late Summer night stroll in Victoria Square to walk off our full bellies before heading home for a night cap. All in all we really enjoyed Buffalo and Rye, it happens to sit opposite a fantastic pub (The Sun on the Hill) so would be a great eat before heading out for some live music and drinks literally across the road. We’ll be back for a cheeseburger very soon!
Review written by SWOOPE content partner Kim Chanlter. Check out more from Kim on her blog: www.callmekim.net
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