The Bristol Cafe – on the Bristol Road
The Bristol Cafe is one of a row of independent shops which have opened in a the bottom of a lovely row of Victorian buildings on the Bristol Road just up from the Pagoda Roundabout. There is a mini communal atmosphere about this isolated group of charming independent shops: the jam jar lighting company, a clothing boutique, a gluten-free friendly coffee shop, a racquet repair shop, the Bristol Cafe. Unfortunately, while I’d love to spend lots of time hanging out and shopping here, the route here is rather dire: coming under the Pagoda Island underpass you nearly pass out from the stench of urine, and the road route from the New Street direction is mostly abandoned shops, strip clubs, or grimy takeaways.
Luckily, if you do get to the Bristol Cafe, it is well worth it!
The cafe is no frills, clean and bright, with a few inspirational sayings stickered on the walls, and a good clear menu board up above the service counter. There were a mixed bunch of people in there at 11am. A casually dressed couple popped in to get bottled water and coffee, and two guys coming down from their night clubbing had just finished their second full English breakfast, leaving their plastic sequined trilbys on the side. The cafe’s twitter feed describes the Barmy Army influx last week – it is very conveniently located for the bus to Edgbaston and the cheap hotels locally.
Tea was served builder’s style, and very cheap at £1:
The standard English was cheap and very cheerful. All the elements were standard quality, nothing fancy but definitely nothing bad, but what really stood out was the quantity of food. This is the standard English breakfast. There are two larger English breakfast sizes above this order size. It also came with bread and butter on the side included in the price:
I had scrambled eggs on toast, again at the cheap end of the scale for a Brum Breakfast at £3. White sliced toast and plenty of eggs: again, nothing fancy, but well cooked.
There is one unisex toilet, fully kitted out for disabled access, in line with the small size of the cafe. The toilet and sink were clean, although the walls around the sink were a bit grubby. There is a small Ikea mirror, although it was aimed at people who are much taller than me, as I could barely reach to see into it.
Price: cheap – standard English, scrambled eggs on toast, tea, pepsi: £9.90
Atmosphere and design: clean, modern, no frills
Food: well cooked, large quantities for the money
Toilets: 1 unisex/disabled access – functional
Enjoyment: thumbs up for a relaxed, basic breakfast