Not every pub needs to be a gastropub. Not every restaurant needs to do a ten-course tasting menu. Sometimes the correct ambition is not to get a Michelin star, but to feed its customers well, with food that suits them at that given time at the right price. It seems so obvious, yet so many get loftier ambitions. I’ve seen successful neighbourhood restaurants go from affordable evening dining to lengthy, pricey tasting menus and then wonder why they failed, and good, honest boozers – the type that good, honest men frequent – lose custom because someone once watched Ready Steady Cook and decided the pub needed hummus. 

I don’t know if they have hummus on the menu at The Queens Head. I doubt that they have good, honest men given this is located in between the law courts and the place where the barristers twiddle their thumbs in between cases. I gather the hacks from the local rag used to drink here, also, meaning that here has the accolade of being within two metres of the worst of Birmingham at any given point. In keeping with that tradition, I have come for dinner, partially because I like the no-frills menu and a little bit to escape the heat of outside. Davenports have done a great job of returning it to a drinkable state. It’s seriously handsome, with a tiled apron and gold-fronted bar. On the walls sit pictures of the rich history. 

The food is mercifully simple and I mean that as the biggest compliment ever. Portioned into terms you can understand – snacks, starters, sandwiches, sharing, mains and desserts – it has the language of mass appeal. I start with snacks of halloumi fries and pork crunch; the scratchings cleaner sibling. Scratchings – sorry, pork crunch – better than the breaded halloumi, which were nice but ultimately lacking interest. Then a starter of Ultimate Cheesy Garlic Bread, their words not mine, which, to their credit is extremely cheesy and garlicky, set upon some fairly generic bread and covered with cheese and garlic butter until it resembles a cautionary advert for British Heart Foundation. It comes, as every garlic bread should from now, with a pot of melted garlic butter to dunk in. Seriously, I have no idea who came up with that idea, but whoever it was knight them immediately. 

Mains are massive. I could bang on about mains this size killing an overall spend by depriving them of starters or mains, and subsequently more drinks, but it would fall on deaf ears. It is deliberately generous; deliberately fair on price. The fish and chips are £13.45, cheaper than my local chippy and twice the size. The haddock is cooked well, the beer batter surprisingly delicate. There are chips from a bag, as likely were the peas (both are fine), and a very good tartare sauce. Everything is seasoned well. I went with eyes on the gammon, egg, and chips, but my hangover won and ordered the curry. It’s homestyle; heavy on the tomato and with powdered spice, but that’s fine because it’s £12.45 and comes with rice, naan, poppadom’s, and mango chutney. The chicken is cooked well and it’s more than competent. And if it sounds like I am being overly generous, it’s because food like this makes me happy. It’s honest. It’s generous. It’s simple.

Surprise, surprise I have no room for dessert, though I can tell you that the cocktails are mostly too sweet and too boozy and fifty percent of that is fine with me. A look on the menu tells me that they do three sizes of breakfast and I can almost guarantee they’ll be great given feeding people is what they do. Oh, and they do have hummus on as a starter. I guess we can blame the solicitors for that. Still, it’s as good a boozer as you’ll find in town and that’s a glowing endorsement from me.