Pit stop at Tapas Revolution

I know I talk about it a lot, but is there anything on Earth better than taking a short pit stop and propping yourself up at the bar of a little restaurant selling tapas? I love dipping in and out of different dishes, sitting chatting with a glass of vino in hand.

Recently, I was en-route to Digbeth to see a band (a family friend was the guitarist) and I needed a quick bite to eat before hitting Cleary’s Irish Bar. The band weren’t coming on until 11pm and so a full belly would only serve to send me to sleep before a heavy night on the booze.

Despite the fact that Birmingham’s New Street Station turned into a hub of shopping outlets and restaurants way back in 2015 and was renamed Grand Central, I am guilty of doing the typical thing that locals do and never sampling anything more than the prosecco on tap bar and nipping in to Boots. Quite simply, I would run in and out of the station faster than a shark on speed.

I’d read pretty good things about Tapas Revolution on Trip Advisor and due to it being one of the only restaurants in the station to be serving food after 9pm, I decided to sample what was on offer.

The gluten free symbol featured heavily on a lot of the choices. The struggle I had as usual was with dairy free dishes. After a conversation with the helpful waitress, I opted for Paella and Bacalao con Piperrada, roasted cod loin with slow cooked red peppers and olives, all washed down with a jug of sangria (to share obviously).

I’m a massive fan of Paella, especially when squid and prawns are involved, however, this time I would like to give a massive shout out to the chef who decided to combine cod with peppers and olives. Any fans of the traditional fish and chip supper will most likely agree that if you stripped the deep fried batter off this cold water fish, there’s a high chance it would taste dry and bland. Tapas Revolution created a masterpiece that left you wanting more.

The Paella was delicious. Granted, it didn’t compare in quality to the best I’ve ever tasted in Spain, but it filled me up and was fresh. Price wise, we ordered four dishes, olives and sangria and it came to under £40. There were also set menus on offer that were both reasonably priced and provided the opportunity to sample a selection of little dishes, although of course not all gluten free.

Overall, Tapas Revolution really hit the spot when I needed speedy, friendly service and tasty food. Will I go again soon? Perhaps not – I’ll be too busy running in or out of the station. I would though recommend it to people passing by, whether they be shopping, having a little lunch break or meeting someone for a quick business meeting.

Top marks Tapas Revolution!

Taste testing Tapas at Casa Med

One of the best things in life in my opinion is jetting off to a gorgeous city like Barcelona for a short break and pulling up a seat in the sunshine at a little café for tapas and a nice glass of sangria. There’s something about those little dishes of yumminess that automatically relaxes me and makes me feel as content as can be.

It’s pretty rare to find a nice tapas place in England that serves up authentic dishes and I often compare anywhere that I try to Taller de Tapas, a restaurant close to the bustling La Rambla market in Barcelona city centre.

I recently took a trip to a new restaurant in Bromsgrove called Casa Med that focuses solely on preparing food ‘inspired by the dishes of the Mediterranean.’ Set in a cute old building dotted with fairy lights and with Spanish music ringing out from the walls as you walk through the alley and up to the door, you can be forgiven for wanting to book a holiday to a sunny destination upon your return home. Granted, the views are hardly of sunny España, but the food takes some beating.

The menu featured the Gluten Free symbol, and although many dishes still contained dairy, I wasn’t disappointed with the selection on offer for me. In traditional Spanish style, dishes were brought out as soon as they were ready and the table was soon filled with an assortment of colours and flavours to suit even the most dissatisfied of palettes.

I opted for Boquerones, which consisted of anchovy fillets with toasted peppers, lemon juice and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil. I’m not always a massive fan of anchovies due to an unfortunate experience in Greece whereby the chef had mashed the fish in with a tomato based sauce which was simply disgusting, but the ones served here were truly delicious and very fresh.

Next I had one of my personal favourites, Pork Belly, which the menu stated had been marinated in apple juice, fennel and chilli and left to slow roast for 12 hours before being served up with a fennel, thyme, ginger and balsamic glaze. I had four and they were cooked to perfection with the crackling nice and crispy.

I then opted for a Salmon and Green Bean salad, which contained a beautiful dressing of honey, chilli and ginger for a real sweet taste, as well as cute cucumber ribbons for decoration.

Finally, I couldn’t visit a tapas restaurant without ordering the ever delicious Patatas Bravas, AKA crispy fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce. I needed a good dollop of carbs on my plate to accompany the meat and fish so this dish was never really going to fail me.

This gorgeous feast was of course washed down with a jug of Sangria and a Bellini – it was happy hour so it would have been rude not to.

A the end of a wonderful night I came out full to the brim and recommended the place to friends and family. Move the restaurant to a secluded spot in Barcelona and I’ll die happy, but for now the grey cobbled stones of little old England will have to do and Casa Med certainly has one satisfied customer in me.