Buddy’s 232, Moseley Street, Digbeth
Buddy’s 232 is stuck on a corner in a very unprepossessing street in Digbeth. This is a working, industrial setting, full of factories, warehouses, and car parks: not the sort of place you stumble upon while window shopping or enjoying a scenic stroll. But I’d go well out of my way to visit Buddy’s again, and would encourage anyone to make the short walk behind the bulk of the Wholesale Markets in order to do the same. It is a surprising joy in the middle of an area of Digbeth you may not otherwise think of visiting.
Inside, Buddy’s is brightly decorated, with lots of light from the wide windows, and comfortable seating through the two rooms. The front room has one large table with those inevitable Eames-style chairs, and bar seating at the windows. Chalk boards hang over the counter displaying professionally stylised menus.The back room features wide bench style seating around two sides, half exposed brick, half chipboard floor and walls, with a pile of stools by the door if you want to sit at a smaller table. White tables and spotlights continue the clean, bright feel. A map of the area painted on the walls highlights local landmarks and places of interest. When we visited, the front room was reasonably busy, with men popping in from work for food and a browse of the papers (The Sun and the Birmingham Mail were piled up on the side).
The service was excellent; the welcome was warm and friendly from the moment we stepped through the door, announced by the clang of a bell. The full English options include tea – unlimited tea, we were assured, so no need to try and make it last! The feeling you could while away an afternoon here over a hot drink and the papers was reinforced. It comes in plain mugs, and help yourself to milk from the jug at the counter.
There are four all day breakfasts: standard, large, veggie, and vegan. The large breakfast is excellent value for £5.50, with 2 each of sausages, bacon, hash browns, eggs, toast and tomatoes, as well as the unlimited drinks. Mushrooms are also included, although were left off this one at our request. Hot, cheap, and plentiful: spot on.
For the standard breakfast, the mushrooms were especially nice: tiny little mushrooms, cooked with a minimum of greasiness. Again, the eggs were well-cooked, just runny enough.
Reminiscent of the Hylton Cafe in the Jewellery Quarter, the toilets are outside across the tiny yard. The toilet and sink were immaculately clean, with plentiful soap and noticeably soft toilet roll. Outside toilets are old school, reminiscent of a by-gone generation, and thus add to the atmosphere of the cafe.
Price: cheap eats: £4.50 for a standard full English, including unlimited tea/coffee, or £5.50 for the large version
Atmosphere and design: small and bright, lots of wooden finishes, and a lovely art map of the area painted on the wall highlighting local landmarks
Food: cheap and well-cooked
Toilets: outside, clean, soft loo roll
Enjoyment:an unexpected treat: great service, tasty food, and positive encouragement to draw out your tea or coffee over an extended read of the papers