Two weeks ago Moseley Village was voted the number one place to live in the country, just nine months after I made the switch from Harborne. A coincidence? Unlikely. It is, as the judges rightly point out, a great place. Without wishing to turn this post into a episode of Location, Location, Location, it is a youthful, vibrant and genuinely exciting place to live. It’s slightly rough around the edges in a nice, unpretentious way. I am pretty sure I could amble down to the local pub in my dressing gown and no one would bat an eyelid – something that warrant an ASBO back in Harborne. And yet, despite my obvious love affair, it falls short where my previous residence came up trumps. Moseley is seriously lacking in places to get good, casual food. It has pubs that try to emulate The Plough which fall tragically short of doing so. It has Italian restaurants that dream of being anywhere near as nice as Bounissimo. Yes, it has the brilliant Carters, though a trip there requires prior planning and a spare ton in the bank. I would be lying if I haven’t been frustrated with the quality of food within walking distance of my home.
All of this makes the following admission all the more difficult. There is great food to be had in Moseley, though by sharing it I have further reduced the odds of being able to put my fat arse on one of their fifteen or so chairs. Surprisingly its in the shop, well, delicatessen to be exact, that I buy my filled pasta from.
Lewis’s is hardly a secret locally. Visit on a weekend morning and be prepared to wait for a table, for here is probably the best breakfast in the city. Homemade baked beans see pulses long simmered in a tomato sauce spiked with hot paprika and dotted with brindisa chorizo that laughs in the face of its cheaper versions. Underneath toasted sour dough soaks up the good bits, whilst a poached egg adds further luxury. I could eat this everyday and not get bored. I may actually try. By the way you can buy the chorizo whilst you wait. And so you should, its a cracker.
A brunch dish had another poached egg atop of griddled halloumi, spinach, and tomato. This time toasted bread was present not to soak up the juices but to give texture. It was a phallic shaped pepper grinder away from transporting me back to the Mediterranean last summer, where they share the ethos of a few ingredients of high quality sitting on a plate together and making perfect sense. More of this approach was present in a salad of roasted beets, sweet potato and goats cheese. Pumpkin seeds add crunch, rocket gives gentle pepper notes. Its earthy, fresh and seasonal
A special saw eggs benedict given a shake-up, with serano ham and a truffled hollandaise in place of the usual suspects. I am not usually a fan of anyone messing with classics, though here it made sense, making it equally lighter and more luxurious. Espresso from Monmouth Coffee Company is predictably brilliant and more than makes up for the lack of booze.
The tragedy of all of this is that I seldom get to eat it whenever I want. Being a deli its opening times never stray deep enough into the day for me to grab my dinner. I suppose this means I have something to look forward to come Saturday morning and believe me, Lewis’s is well worth the wait.