This could potentially get me I trouble, but the pubs of Moseley don’t do food. Some try to, in the same half-arsed way that I try to do modesty, but it’s not there. I live next to one that I would love to tell you were brilliant, but the reality is it’s dismal; an embarrassment to the grand building and plush interiors it houses. Still, I like to have a pint in there occasionally and I’m not about to ruin that by calling them out publically. Others don’t even try; at present both The Prince of Wales and Patrick Kavanaghs are open to folk taking in their own food, on account of them not having a functioning kitchen in which to sell their own food. I prefer this, as I can control exactly what I want to eat. So, on a bitter January Saturday evening, we descend on Patrick Kavanagh’s for beer, football, and a takeaway courtesy of Deliveroo. That sentence was so masculine it should come with a beard and a pipe.
I’d never heard of Black Lab before we placed our order with them, though Google Maps tells me that it is on Kings Heath High St. The menu reads well; some sandwiches, some tapas, mostly with a Mediterranean slant. Food is ordered from phones, pints obtained from the bar.
Food arrives half an hour later. Whitebait is crisp and lightly fried, exuding a whiff of ammonia throughout the bar that upsets a few nostrils. Camembert has an equally strong aroma, baked with a little onion that has sunk into the skin. The inside is molten and smeared thickly onto chunks of baguette. We round up the food with a chicken quesadilla, cheesy and not exactly brimming with meat. It all serves a purpose.
My biggest issue is the price. The cheapest of those three items was £8.00, the other two a tenner each – this is when I could have ordered a Cafephilia from Deliveroo for about half the price. Will I be hunting Black Lab down in Kings Heath? Probably not. Will I order them again on Deliveroo? I doubt it. But the experience has opened up a new way of dining that I’d probably not considered before. Take one pub that doesn’t serve food, log on to phone and order what you like. I’m eying up The Wellington in the city centre next, already dreaming of a pint of real ale, a game of darts and a Byron burger. Now try telling me that doesn’t sound like a plan.
The credit for this meal was provided by Deliveroo. For £5.00 credit on your first meal use the code roo.it/simonc3898