We visit The Stable on a warm Sunday morning, the communal bench seating bathed in Spring sunshine through the large glass panes that line the front of the building. The place is empty, save for a couple down one end, and a member of staff sat the other, casually tucking into a McDonalds meal whilst looking hard in to his phone. We should have took this gents actions as a warning and fled, that if the staff here would rather feed on Ronald’s massacred beef over their own food, maybe we too should look elsewhere for a casual lunch. But we don’t. We sit and we order and we drink and we eat. We do the last bit disgruntled because this is not the place to come if eating well is your ‘thing’.
The Stable specialise in pizza, cider, and pies. They have the brilliant marketing idea of naming some of these dishes after areas of Birmingham. We could choose the Perry Baa Baa, which is an unbelievably hilarious pun on Perry Barr for a lamb topped pizza, or the Smethwick Scorcher, which I assume to be a reference on the areas many torched cars. I could be wrong on the last point.
We order three pizza’s, the first being that Smethwick Scorcher, actually named because of the dishes heat levels. It’s a one dimensional blast of pure heat that wipes any other flavour off the face of the planet. There are milky white pork balls that taste of chilli, red onion that tastes of chilli, all on a tomato and naga chilli base that tastes of 50% of the listed ingredients which are not tomato. The thin base is overcooked and crisp. It is supposedly sourdough but then your guess is as good as mine. In my two pint haze of bitterness I take to Twitter to call it ‘twelve pounds of shite’ – I was wrong. It’s actually eleven pounds of shite.
There are others similarly bad. The least offensive of these is The Blazing Saddle with pulled beef and bacon that starts off well enough and ends up a monotonous crawl through Mediocre Town. A Fresh Hawaiian is something that could have come from The Plough if they stopped trying and went home. The ham is the best thing on the board, rich and meaty, the rest of it a lesson in blandness. We are offered avocado for an additional 50p which confirms my opinion that guacamole is the only sensible home for this overused fruit. It adds nothing other than an unwelcome texture.
I mention The Plough in jest above, though it’s an important reference point in comparison. I love The Plough; they do solid cooking with high-quality ingredient’s. The food here felt like they were trying to be very similar and ended-up a mile away in quality for much of the same price. It was sloppy, disinterested, and littered with errors. And we were hungry again just an hour later. We should have gone to McDonalds. Or better still, The Plough.