If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that second to food my biggest love is film. Oh, and my husband.. he’s quite nice, too.
Said husband knows me well enough to realise that if you can combine food with the cinema you’re probably on to a winner, especially if it also involves one of my favourite films. So I was pretty delighted to be treated to a night at Everyman Cinema in Mailbox as a belated birthday gift, with Ian booking us a sofa to watch Shaun of the Dead (part of the Edgar Wright season) after a visit to the cinema’s bar for cheeseburgers. Beef covered in melted cheese followed by shouting, “We’re coming to get you, Barbara!” in a dark room full of strangers – pretty decent Monday night, that.
Unfortunately, when we arrived, we discovered the showing had been cancelled (annoying) but we were offered replacement tickets to any other film and a discount on anything we ordered (good management) to eat or drink. Not ideal but they resolved the situation quickly and efficiently – I can’t knock that.
Somewhat Tardis like, Everyman Cinema sits snugly in a corner of Mailbox’s main terrace and looks tiny from the steps that lead to the glass doors. Inside you’ll find a sprawling bar, the Spielburger restaurant and three screens hidden away. It’s quite an experience and makes the Odeon on New Street look even more horrible than you probably remember. You can have your food delivered to your comfy seat just as your film hits the screen (eating dripping burgers in the dark is kinda sexy, no?) but with time to spare we got scoffing in the bar area.
A bar menu is available if you’d rather have traditional cinema snacks or warm nibbles, such as padron peppers – we’re here to gobble the main menu, though. It’s unapologetically burger-based and includes beef, chicken and veggie options. All of them are slathered in your choice of cheese and come with a side of fries you can choose to add truffle to. I am so about that life, especially when suffering with the hen do hangover I had on this visit.
My blue cheese bacon burger with truffle fries was a welcome sight after a day of travelling. The beef burgers here used to come pink on request but that seems to have been revoked which is a shame, although the patty was still flavourful. Buns are sturdy enough to house the melted cheese and meat juices, with the usual lettuce, tomato and onion topping the patties.
The blue cheese was more like a thick sauce and very tangy, so keep that in mind if you prefer a more mellow flavour. Ian’s quickly inhaled Gruyere alternative had a generous amount of cheese and a bigger piece of gherkin than mine, leaving me quite jealous.
Both bowls of fries were topped with truffle cheese and made a tasty side. The portion is more than generous, and other upgrades are available like sweet potato fries. I chugged a chocolate milkshake with my food; a creamy, rich glass of deliciousness that made me very happy.
It’s about as middle class a cinema date as you’re going to get in Birmingham, but there’s no pretension and it all feels very relaxed. The burgers are pretty good (there are better at Meat Shack, OPM and Pint Shop) and it’s a great alternative way to enjoy a cinema experience, although you can just visit the bar and restaurant without having a cinema ticket. Keep an eye out for special events – there’s some excellent retro screenings.
(Oh and by the way, we ended up seeing Godzilla and it was so poor I fell asleep. Save yourself the time and money)
Everyman Cinema, 116 Mailbox, Birmingham, B1 1RF
Disclosure: we paid for the tickets, food and drink included in this post. Words and photos are mine