The first ‘Digbeth First Friday’ in Digbeth.
6 in the pm and we’re on our way from Marketing Birmingham HQ to Digbeth to sample the first ‘Digbeth First Friday’ a showcase of Digbeth’s great cultural scene. Late-night gallery openings, exhibitions, live music, street food and more. It’s May 2, the weather is clement.
Our base for the evening - Digbeth Dining Club (DDC) - winner of the Best Street Food Award in the UK 2013 at the British Street Food Awards. We’d been before; we knew this would be a night long remembered.
And as we arrived we knew this was bigger than usual - Street closures et al. Work was also underway setting up the Rainbow’s Open Air Arena for the MADE Birmingham Festival which would kick off tonight - a 3 day party in the Rainbow Venues warehouses.
Being no stranger to DDC I had formulated a game plan on route to get some tasty meaty feast from 'Low ‘n Slow', and as we made our way into the mêlée I was delighted to see the queue for aforementioned proprietor was respectable.
‘To the bar!’
Mistake. Delicious smells must have wafted through Eastside to Southside to Westside as when we returned, 'Low ‘n Slow’s' queue was formidable. We had been too slow, this made me low.
‘To the bar!’
On a typical DDC evening there are usually 5 delicious outlets from which to purchase, but tonight, like an ambassador at a party with a platter of Ferrero Rocher, ‘zey vere really spoiling us’ with 18 tasty vendors to choose from. Whilst this was undoubtedly a good thing it also caused some anxiety as the choices were too many, should I go Buddha Belly, Pietanic, Jabberwocky, The Hungry Toad... the Bournville Waffles! No save those for dessert...
Oh the choice, the abundance of options – woe
Note: perhaps they should have a taster menu?
‘To the bar!’
‘No!’ ‘We must choose now!’ or the queues of uncertainty would certainly become the queues of upmost regret.
Just then we spotted ‘Big Daddie’s Diner’. We were stood right next to it you see. Ellie, one of my dining companions had Digbeth Dined here before, raving about the Macaroni Cheese dog. Not my bag but the Edna had my name written all over it, chilli, jalapeno’s... heat basically. 10 mins later that bad boy was in my hand and soon after that in ma belly.
My goodness me, it was the best hotdog I had ever procured. I think I may have even proclaimed this very thing whilst scoffing it. Take a look people... mine’s the one on the right – have you ever seen a finer thing? Granted you can’t actually see the sausage but I mean...look at it
In hindsight for the purposes of this blog we should have perhaps each had something different, but, as I said the queues were growing and our tummies rumbling.
I am still yet to get to try 'The Meatshack', the queue for this... well... shack is monumental, which must speak volumes about the quality of the burgers. Surely they could expand their operation from one griddle into a fully fledged McDonald's bothering burger empire? Please if you're reading this Meatshack guys please throw a burger our way, we have oft admired your perfectly formed buns from afar.
Tonight’s DDC had special significance as it was also the Midlands heats of the British Street Food Awards. Those who had downloaded the App, could vote for their best trader. The winner was...drumroll...'Buddha Belly'...congratulations to them. I can attest to the quality of their noodles as I have had them at a prior DDC, In fact my friend Rob was so taken with their delicious qualities that he went back there twice!
The night was young and next door to 'Spotlight' in the aptly monikered ‘Next Door’ live music was underway. We ventured inside and got a prime spot on the upper balcony.
We particularly enjoyed the set of Midnight Bonfires, we couldn’t decide if the one guy had a really small guitar or if he was a giant. Perhaps it was time to leave. This was the beginning of the afformentioned MADE Birmingham Festival, which would run until Sunday and include performances from Chase & Status & Annie Mac amongst many others.
Four times the vendors, the live music, the weather, the woo hoo it’s a bank holiday... I think half of Birmingham had arrived, young and old, regulars, newcomers, foodies and microwave mealers alike.
On the walk back we were discussing the many merits of the evening, what a fine time we had had... but wait... the waffles!...we forgot the waffles!
Digbeth Dining Club runs every Friday from 5.30pm at Spotlight
Digbeth First Friday returns on the 6 June
And if you value good times I wholly recommend you get yourself to them.
The full menu for your viewing pleasure.
Big Daddies Diner –Bourneville Waffle Company - Buddha Belly – Bushmans Pizza – Canoodle –Chilli Dog Dogs - Churros Susanna – Esmes Seafood Kitchen - Fat Duck Spuds - Habaneros – The Hungry Toad - The Jabberwocky - Kus Kus Foods – Low n Slow – Manilla Munchies - The Meatshack – Mexican Bean– Original Patty Men - Spectacular Goat – Platinum Pancakes
21 March - 10 June
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