Gas Street Social is back open in Mailbox, serving up tasty brunches and lovely service.
The story of how I came to know this is mildly ridiculous. In the typical haphazard fashion you’ve all come to know and love (she assumes) over the last few years, the reason for my visit was being a bit hungover and not reading (very clear) instructions properly. You see, the husband and I were actually due to have brunch at Yorks IKON, but after an hour of various things going wrong (on our part, not theirs) we ended up not being able to eat there. Apparently I didn’t read the new opening times or indeed that they still sell brunch – wonderful. So off a merry wander we went, starving and trying to pretend it was warm enough to enjoy the brisk walk around the canal basin: twice.
Eventually, after considering eating the kebab someone had casually thrown on a bench on the walk to Mailbox the night before, I noticed the lights were on in Gas Street Social – something I hadn’t seen since 2020BC (before Covid). With the rain about to set in we took a chance and managed to blag a table by the bar before the pre-booked sensible people showed up. A bank holiday miracle!
Enough waffle – let’s get into it. The bar itself looks pretty much the same but obviously with a bit less seating due to social distancing restrictions. The menu isn’t hugely different to pre-apocalypse in terms of the offering and the popular boozy brunch deal remains. This time however, we went for the new offer that for just a tenner is a total bargain. A crisp £10 note will buy you a brunch dish of your choice from a decent selection, a coffee and a pint of orange juice. When you consider the brunches alone are around £9 it’s a no brainer to go for this.
Once the coffees and juices arrived we waited about 15 minutes for food in a half full venue, which we were more than happy with after previous experiences of hour waits. My chorizo hash was generous, to say the least, with two crispy bottomed fried eggs ready to dribble their runny yolks all over the bounty below. Sliced peppers, onions and red chillies are nestled in and around crispy potatoes and big chunks of smoky sausage – a proper savoury delight. Comes with buttered sourdough toast too, not that you need it (I ate it, obviously), to mop up the leftover unctuous tomato and yolky mix.
Ian’s smoked salmon and scrambled eggs did the trick but I could tell he was jealous of my hash. Because he told me he was. He still gobbled all this down and seemed happy enough – I’d like my eggs a bit softer than this but he said it all tasted grand. All in all a good value (albeit unexpected) brunch that we both came away from full and happy, talking about possibly revisiting again over out anniversary in a few weeks.
It’s probably fair to say at this point that I’ve had mixed experiences with Gas Street Social, as discussed on here before. I want to love it (it’s somehow stayed the course over the years in a part of the city thats 99% chains and tossers) but occasionally the food has fallen below par and it’s usually a bit slow to arrive. But the one thing that’s always remained is really good service and bloody strong cocktails. They also rescued my phone once when I was a day-to-night drunk mess, and frankly that’s the kind of service I need. So I’m genuinely really glad to say I loved my recent experience at this place.
The weekday £10 brunch deal is a bargain and ideal for lazy days, and there’s a boozier option with breakfast cocktails you can add for around £20 if that’s more your vibe – I’m not one to judge. The service was incredibly kind and friendly, from the host on the door seating us to the lovely guy serving us all the way through who seemed genuinely thrilled to be back at work. A great brunch and a really nice experience in the new normal.
Gas Street Social, 166-168 Wharfside Street, Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1RL
Disclosure: We paid in full for all food and drinks and left a tip. All words and photos are mine and this post is not in collaboration with GSS.