You know your fella knows you well when, instead of flowers, he surprises you with tickets to the Independent Birmingham Festival for a day of eating.
Set up within The Bond in Digbeth, the Independent Birmingham Festival celebrated all that is brilliant when it comes to Brum’s indi scene. I bang on relentlessly about my love for my IB card and all the wonderful restaurants, cafes, bars and shops I’ve discovered as part of having one, so I was excited to see so many of my favourites in one place.
Heaving with street food pop ups, bars, and independent retailers, The Bond had a real party atmosphere, with live music all day. It was nothing short of awesome to see the likes of Original Patty Men, El Borracho de Oro, Low N Slow, and Baked In Brick trading in the same space. This is the kind of lineup most pop up events can only dream of. We spent the majority of our visit eating and drinking, finding something new and tasty to shove in our gobs every few metres.
My first port of call was Low N Slow, because quite frankly what Andy can do with meat should probably be described as soft porn. I followed the smoke and opted for the Barbacoa Tostada; possibly the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Cooked over charcoal and oak, ox cheek this tender and flavour-packed should come with a warning. Wild garlic cream and a vibrant salsa macha elevated this little beauty sky high; utterly glorious.
Knowing I’d visited the El Borracho de Oropop up at 1000 Trades earlier this month, The Husband made a beeline for this Chorizo Toastie. Simple but satisfying, this is a lovely snack between beers. (See this post for the full jazz about this little beauty). The ever delightful Emma owns the restaurant of the same name in Edgbaston and serves up tapas aplenty. Well worth a separate visit; great food and people.
Other notable mentions go to Fat Snags for this obscene Supersonic hot dog. The meaty Lashfords sausages are delicious with incredible attention to seasoning and the guys behind the scenes are mega lovely. P.S Beki’s Brownies are a bit bloody lovely, I can tell you. Check out this flavour below – ooofft.
Honourable mentions to my beloved Pip’s Hot Sauce (BUY SOME IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE) and Island Bar for kicking out this absolute beaut of a cocktail: Missionary Downfall. Booze slush reminds of getting married (being pissed for three days) in Las Vegas, and I’m totally down for that. This was cheeky and tart, both of which also describe the state of me by 11pm that day.
Shame about the grey skies on the Saturday but a fabulous event nonetheless, with lots of truly lovely folk. Walking around and seeing throngs of people loving their local businesses made me so proud to be a Brummie, and I left feeling even more lucky than usual to be surrounded by such incredible local talent.
Did you visit Independent Birmingham Festival? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.
Disclosure: we paid for tickets and all food and drinks mentioned above. All photos and food chat are mine, as well as this bulging belly