“In my brief, humble opinion eating brunch in Birmingham has no equal”
A gentlemen’s weekend had broken out. A rock gig at Birmingham’s premier ‘mega hangar’ the supposed centrepiece. However as subsistence director I was tasked with ensuring our humble threesome didn’t starve or become slaked with thirst. Thirst was sorted by local hostelries The Wellington and The Victoria, food came via the unlikely titled Yorks Bakery. Having travelled by train and being really adventurous you may be surprised to learn that all this sustenance was had within 200 yards of New Street station!
We stumbled on Yorks first and foremost on the afternoon of said gig. We were enticed by a beer and burger for a tenner banner. We soon learned that this was a midweek special, however, undeterred the decor and general demeanour had us suitably hooked to sit in a try it out. I immediately recognised the place as a typical, urban, trendy type, ‘Northern Quarter’* cafe, resplendent in the obligatory exposed services and homemade tables, chairs and benches. A hip backing track and cool staff completed the look. A well stocked, stack of homemade cakes on the bar helped too!
As it was we went for the burger and fries anyway, allied to a bottle of pale ale and a super boost smoothie. The fries gun powdered, the burger suitably sized, cooked pink but overshadowed for me by an over ‘garlicky’ aioli. Could have done with it on the side and not caked over the bottom bun. All in all though a super effort and enjoyed by all.
What really caught the eye for me was the menu for breakfast/brunch. As we were staying at the nearby ‘Nitenight’, breakfast was an extra that we had to fund ourselves. And so come 9.30 next morning we took our place back in Yorks whilst the young staff optimistically put out the kerbside tables and chairs. We surveyed the super A4 card once more to confirm our order.
A couple of trendy teas, served in big glass urns and a decent ‘americano’ take the edge of the previous nights beer. The house breakfast here when shared is called ‘The gentleman’, which was highly appropriate, as my two esteemed cohorts took up the offer of a sharing plate. A fairly hefty £15 each with unlimited brews. But boy what a set up. Quality, local, artisan ingredients set on a huge plank that barely fitted on our table. Fine herby sausages, oak smoked bacon, huge shrooms, homemade barbecue beans (a particular highlight), fried eggs and wonderful sourdough toast and local butter. All done to perfection.
I went off beam and tried the middle eastern breakfast ‘Shakshuka’ (£8). Peppers, onions sweated in garlic, cumin and Harissa with baked eggs, yoghurt and herbs. This came hot in its own skillet and sourdough bread. Absolutely wonderful, what a great start to a day. I followed with a bit of sweetness. Toasted banana bread, with espresso labne? Sweet dukka and a raspberry coulis (£5). Oh my, another triumph.
We were in the place for a good hour and a half. By the time we came out for our 11.20 train the place was packed. It would appear quite a lot of the Birmingham city dwellers are aware of Yorks, as they were all out getting their brunch. Even outside was full. So once again it’s a full recommend. If you ever find yourself with an hour to kill at New Street railway station you can either grab a snack from the chains inside or take the gentle 50 yard stroll to Yorks. I know what id do……
Yorks Bakery Cafe
29 Stephenson Street
T 0121 643 4331