Four adults, a baby and an overexcited spaniel walk into a pub… The Old Crown in Digbeth, to be precise.
After a busy few weeks the plan was simple: a quiet Sunday lunch in a cosy pub. The beauty of having a small human in your squad is that you have to pre-plan, to some extent, what you’ll do and where you’ll go. A hungry baby doesn’t give a crap if you want to be spontaneous – what they want is to be milk drunk and warm. I mean, I don’t own an infant nor do I speak fluent baby, but I’m led to believe this is the case by the various superwomen I know who have managed to keep these little people alive for months and years.
With all that in mind I pre-booked us a table at this popular Digbeth pub that’s about 1000 years old and more well worn than the bike saddles probably are at my local gym this week. I’ve talked about The Old Crown before, so I won’t bleat on about the pretty exposed beams, shabby furniture and wonky flooring. It’s charming and I’ve been drinking here since I moved to Birmingham way back when. Thankfully they’ve revamped the toilets since then – if you know, you know.
On this visit we were seated in the main bar. The place wasn’t particularly busy but in the post-Christmas ‘what day is it?’ lull I wasn’t really expecting it to be. The Sunday menu unsurprisingly focuses on roast dinners, with a few added pub grub plates such as burgers thrown in for good measure. For meat eaters there’s beef, turkey or lamb shank; for veggies a chestnut and butter nut squash roast. Whichever you pick it’ll set you back about £11.
We started with Pork Croquettes (£4.95) that were totally unnecessary in light of the roasts to come but delicious nonetheless. The meaty béchamel inside the crisp shell was light and well seasoned. Beef was the universal choice for the main event, each plate topped with a thick slice of Sirloin. Just blushing and tender, the knife sliced through this slab like butter.
The usual accompaniments nestled under and around the meat, including a light, crisp Yorkshire pudding and three well-basted roast potatoes. The gravy was more of a thin meat juice jus but had plenty of savoury flavour and was available in an extra jug as needed. Shame there wasn’t any horseradish available but all in all it was difficult to pick much fault.
Relaxed dining, helpful staff, and decent grub in a pub that has plenty of charm. Don’t forget, if you have an Independent Birmingham card you get 15% off the food bill – that makes a roast here about £9.50. If you like a Sunday lunch in a pub setting I also enjoyed The Wolf’s offering.
The Old Crown, Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, B12 0LD
Disclosure: I paid in full for all of the food and drink included in this post. All words and photos are mine. The Sunday lunch menu/prices online are out of date but the prices in this post were correct at the time of eating.