Monty’s Deli Sandwich Bar, 4 Colmore Row, B3 2QD
How you have lunch says a lot about the place you work. Once, on a rare training day, my boss and I had lunch in Strada, surrounded by office types for whom this seemed routine. I – on the other hand – was like an overexcited child playing at being grown up. The fun of leaving work and sitting in a restaurant for your lunch! Not having to survive on a cheese sandwich at your desk, or a bag of hula hoops snaffled from the snack drawer! Just sitting there, two adults, paying attention to our meal, and having a rest and refresh…It seemed another world.
Monty’s is snuggled just through an office building opposite Snow Hill Station. It isn’t a place many casual Birmingham visitors would find, but it is super convenient for it’s main business: serving the refuelling needs of the office workers that surround it. People come here for the group preorder, or just to pick up a quick lunch, queuing out of the door and down the street as I passed at lunchtime. Drawn in by its apparent popularity, we returned at a quieter time for breakfast.
Inside, you order at the bar, hot food down one wall, and an extensive sandwich and salad bar down the other. The service was very quick and friendly; scribbling our names and orders onto paper bags to pass back into the kitchen, the lady working the till blasted through the small queue super fast.
It is possible to sit in to eat your food, at a limited row of bar stools with single high tables fixed to the wall down one side. We grabbed a wooden-topped bar stool each, emblazoned with some Shakespearean inspiration, and prepared to tuck in. The decor has some lovely touches like this.
It’s greasy spoon food, quickly and perfectly cooked and wrapped up in Monty’s paper. My sausage and egg sandwich was great, hot and tasty. Condiments come as part of the ordering process, so make sure you order at the bar, then just open the wrappings and get stuck in.
The full English comes in a tray for easy transportation, and again, exactly fits the bill if you’re looking for a fry up before work: cheap food, plenty of it, thoroughly cooked. Toast came in its own paper bag on the side, which is a very sensible plan to stop it getting all covered in beans. The sausages come pre-sliced in half, which is something I associate with my grandmother, so always find vaguely comforting.
By its nature as a sandwich bar, Monty’s doesn’t have toilets, but for most clientele I imagine you are only popping out of the office for a moment, so can use the facilities back there.
Price: cheap eats –£10 exactly for a full English, cup of tea, coke, and a sausage and egg sandwich.
Atmosphere and design: functional and fresh, clear signage, and a classy take on a wooden-topped bar stool
Food: plentiful, greasy spoon style breakfast food, with a huge other range of lunch options as well
Toilets: use your own
Enjoyment: friendly staff, not a great place if you’re hoping to sit down and chat over breakfast with friends, but if you’re in a grab and go mood, I don’t think you can do better