When you think of the best places for brunch in Birmingham you would be forgiven for not giving the crossroads by Lidl in the Spring Road area of Acocks Green much thought. Hardly known for its chic eateries, the area is largely ignored by foodies – ordinarily for good reason. I know when I usually make plans for a wholesome breakfast or lunch I hop on the train and head into town, but this week I discovered a cafe on Shaftmore Lane that’s worth checking out.
The Rustic Cafe is a small but beautiful new independent opening offering breakfast, brunch and lunch, and is open 5 days a week. With a focus on wholesome, healthy and fresh food (unlike the plethora of below par chippies and fast food outlets surrounding it) the cafe produces attractive and elegant light bites served in a pretty setting.
Rustic by name and nature, the cafe is an effortlessly tranquil spot with a neutral decor. There’s plenty of simple white and natural wood and earthy-coloured soft furnishings, and despite being small (there’s seating for around 15-20) the cafe is bright and airy. Cute vintage wall hangings provide some interest, and the bespoke made furniture gives rustic charm.
The menu is concise but includes breakfasts, deli style sandwiches and salads; there are lots of ‘feel good’ dishes available. I was told most menu items can be tailored to specific dietary requirements, and they’re happy to go off menu too. Being a cafe, there’s obviously a variety of hot drinks available and homemade cakes.
Ordering at the counter I asked what options were available for someone that was avoiding bread, explaining I was ‘off carbs’ as my hen do was imminent. (Yeah yeah I’m a saddo etc) Keen to help was Shadia – the owner – and I was offered a tailor made brunch of salmon, poached eggs and spinach, but with the sun shining I decided to use that salmon on a salad instead. I took a seat and sipped my steaming hot cappuccino (£2.00), made with skimmed milk as requested. They actually went out to buy red top milk just to make my coffee, so I have to give them kudos for effort there.
My salmon salad (£3.50) was pretty although quite small, making it a light bite, but being half the price of a salad anywhere else I won’t complain. In fact, price wise this place is quite remarkable generally; very reasonable. The smoked salmon was delicious and spiked with dill, and the green olives were plentiful. An optional sweet chilli dressing came on the side. From what I could gather from the menu it was missing avocado but when I asked I was told I’d been given a bigger salad to compensate. No biggy, and I enjoyed what I had.
The Rustic Cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday 8am – 4:30pm, and is a family run independent. Based on my first experience I’d return, although maybe mid morning or after the lunch rush. The little extras, such as the mix and match cups and saucers, are lovely and provide a homely touch that visitors will no doubt warm to.
Note: There’s no parking but it’s a 30 second walk from Spring Road train station.
The Rustic Cafe, 14 Shaftmore Road, Birmingham, B27 7RS
*Disclosure: I paid in full. All opinions and photographs on my own*