Don’t tell owner Emma, but I’ve secretly moved in to El Borracho de Oro. The floor isn’t that comfortable but the food is worth the bad back.
I seem to spend more time at the Edgbaston restaurant than my own home, but it’s hard to stay away from a place oozing charm and knocking out Spanish grub that’s good enough to make you shout “delicioso” from the rooftops. This visit was for Father’s Day. I gave my dad (give us a wave, Richard) the option of eating anywhere in the city and this is where he chose – despite eating here just a month before. Turns out it was a good time for a revisit, as a new summer menu had just been launched and the Sunday 3 for 2 tapas offer was available. Double win.
Having talked about El Borracho de Oro before I won’t bang on about the authentic Spanish tiles around the bar, the beautiful airy dining room, or the brilliant staff. If you’ve been here you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t you’ll understand what I mean as soon as you arrive. That I promise you. What I will give you is a run down of the dishes we ordered on this visit, including some of the new menu options. We kicked off with a bowl of Manzanilla Olives (£3.50) and wedges of Coca del Mossen con Tomate (£3.75) as standard before choosing the tapas. My dad and step mum were big fans of the Catalan coca bread topped with grated tomato and olive oil, and it’s easy to see why when you taste how fresh and fragrant the coated slices of crispy bread are.
We liked the Gambas al Pil Pil (£8.75) so much a second bowl was ordered. Plump prawns in a punchy garlic and chilli oil; order some extra bread and just mop up whatever rich juice is left. Perfection. Vieira con Morcilla (£8.50) proved popular with my step mum and I, the scallops perfectly tender nestled on a crumbly black pudding base. I always just wish there was more than two. New to the menu, Croquetas de Centollo (£6) are crispy balls of spider crab and decadent béchamel sauce. They’re moresish and pretty much perfect, and with five in a portion the four of us had a fight over the last ball. This place really knows how to make a croquette it has to be said; the cured ham variety are rather wonderful as well. Obligatory squid comes in the form of Fritura de Calamares y Puntillitas (£6.95) with a cold green mojo dip splitting the table; I personally love the heady coriander and garlic sauce – it reminds me of teenage Spanish holidays with friends – but others weren’t so convinced. The occasional piece was a little over cooked and chewy but the portion was enormous and it all got eaten.
A red wine reduction kept the Chorizo al Vino (£6.95) moist, the plentiful meaty cylinders having multi levels of smoked flavour. I love the softer texture of the chorizo here too. My dad and I went wild for the Tortilla Al Borracho (£5.75) made with fresh herbs and Manchego cheese; it’s unashamedly rich and gives you a real cheese rush. As well as cubes of lamb leg my husband inhaled some Pinchos dePollo (£8.75); tender chicken breast pieces grilled on skewers in a soulful red mojo sauce. He loved both but talked about the cumin soaked lamb for hours afterwards. I didn’t get a photo of it because he destroyed it in seconds. You can’t have tapas and not have some kind of patatas – so we had two. The usual Bravas (£4.50) was classic, but it was the Patatas con Queso Azul (£4.50) that won everyone over. The light but creamy blue cheese dressing is something extra for sure.
The guys running this place just get it. The food is honest, tasty and great value, especially if you visit on a Sunday when the 3 for 2 offer is available across the entire tapas menu. Come hungry and enjoy the experience; if you can find a more authentic and charming Spanish dining experience this in Brum I’d love to hear about it. No seriously, if you know anywhere doing better tapas I want to know..
Psssst… a new sister restaurant, Migas, is opening up in Sutton later this summer. Keep your eyes peeled.
Are you a fan of El Borracho de Oro? What dishes do you like most? Let me know in the comments.
El Borracho de Oro, Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3BU
Disclosure: I paid in full for the food and drinks. All opinions, photos and words are my own.