A Spanish gold mine in the heart of Edgbaston, Birmingham, El Borracho de Oro is full of delicious food, exquisite décor, and brilliant staff. The restaurant’s owner, Emma, has just recently opened El Borracho on Mondays and is offering a special deal too. Available from Monday to Friday 12:00pm-2:30pm and Monday and Tuesday evenings, customers have the honour of choosing 2 Tapas for only £7.50.
Now open 7 days a week, customers can enjoy a taste of Spain whenever they please. Emma’s passion about Spanish food and providing the best service for the customers, makes El Borracho a wonderful place to experience a taste of tapas and relax with friends and family.
Walking into the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the tranquil and calm atmosphere. It was a Monday evening, my boyfriend and I arrived at around 7.00pm and the lighting which permeated throughout the restaurant was beautiful. Vibrant shades of red and orange lit the whole place, giving it a wonderful, relaxed aura.
As I had never been to a tapas bar before, I was a bit confused with the ordering side to things and how large the food portions would be. However Emma and Miguel (our waiter for the evening) explained it very well. They mentioned that the main idea of tapas was sharing between friends and having a varied selection of different flavours to tickle your taste buds with.
The exotic music really set the ambience of the restaurant and for a moment, got me thinking I was somewhere within the midst of Spain, instead of the urban setting of Birmingham. With the music alongside the Spanish décor, including the bull figurines, flamenco fans and the lit table candles, I felt like this was the perfect place to experience tapas for the first time.
We were shown to our table by Emma and given more than enough time to choose our dishes from the extensive menu. It was a delightful feeling to be made right at home in a place you have never even been to before.
To begin with, my boyfriend and I decided to order two appetisers. The Coca del Mossen con Tomate (Catalan Coca Bread Topped with Grated Tomato) and the Coca del Mossen con Ajo (Catalan Coca Bread Topped with Roasted Garlic Butter).
The first to arrive was the Catalan bread with grated tomato. We were presented with four, well sized pieces. The main thing which hooked me with this dish was how well the hot and cold of the bread and tomato worked together. The succulent taste of the tomato and the warm, juicy texture worked extremely well with the crispy bread.
The Catalan bread with roasted garlic arrived shortly after. As the first taste of the garlic bread hit my tongue, this is the honest truth, it was the strongest, most intense flavour of garlic I have ever had in my life. My mouth was literally drooling for the next bite. The crunch of the bread with the warm juices of the garlic was the perfect way to start my journey into the world of tapas and to discover even more gems which El Borracho had to offer.
As all of El Borracho’s dishes are based upon the Tapas style of service and eating, each dish arrived at different times, depending on how long they took to be made. I didn’t mind this at all because I could definitely tell how much better everything tasted with it being freshly made, straight from the kitchen.
The first dish we shared was the Croquetas de Jamón (Crispy Croquettes of Cured Ham & Béchamel).
These were crunchy and cheesy on the outside with an explosion of creamy ham and white sauce on the inside. I was surprised at how soft the inside was, I have tried other croquettes in different places where the inside has gone too hard, but the fresh and just-made quality of these croquettes made a huge difference. My taste buds were going crazy at this point and we had only just started…
The next dish of delights was the Albóndigas con Salsa de Tomate (Pork Meatballs, Tomato Sauce). We had four meatballs altogether, which I thought was just the right amount and they were decently sized. They were served in their own tomato and herbed sauce which was so tasty and succulent that I coated every meatball in it.
The service at El Borracho was brilliant, to say the least. Every now and then, Emma and Miguel checked with us and asked if everything was OK, this I loved and made El Borracho one of the most welcoming restaurants I have ever dined at. After every meal, our plates were cleaned away promptly and we were asked whether we wanted anymore drinks.
Next, my absolute favourite, was the Tagliata de Tenera (Marinated Beef Skirt Steak with Crispy Onions). Wow, this combination was incredible. The steak was cooked to perfection with beautiful presentation. After tasting the first piece of soft, juicy steak, the crunch of the onions complimented it wonderfully. Normally, steak is difficult for restaurants to pull off and cook well, but El Borracho put their heart and soul into this steak and it came out flawless.
The Tortilla Española la Clásica (Potato and Onion Stuffed Omlette) arrived alongside the steak and looked almost too good to eat. The array of different colours made this dish irresistible. The green of the salad with the orange of the carrot and the red tomatoes looked really appealing with the omelette. Now I can talk about the taste. I have never had an omelette so infused with onion before, so this was a whole new different taste going on. The salad was fresh and crispy which made the dish even better.
The last plate of tapas we shared was the Chorizo al Vino (Chorizo Sausage cooked in Red Wine). Along with the chorizo sausage, this dish was also served with roast potatoes and a fried egg. The sausage had rich, pleasant spices which went surprisingly well with the potatoes, which were crispy and full of delicious juices. Even though the egg was cooked a bit too much for me (I’m fussy with eggs), I still enjoyed the wonderful mix of different textures in my mouth.
After experiencing these vast amount of flavours, El Borracho tricked my brain into believing that I had been to more than one restaurant. I felt like I had traversed across all of Birmingham. But the journey was not over, I had to have a dessert…
Typically, at every food place I go to, I always have something chocolatey for dessert. However, I couldn’t resist the sound of the Tarta de Santiago (Almond Cake with Vanilla Ice-Cream).
As it arrived to the table, it was almost majestic looking with a perfectly sliced piece of cake, a scoop of melt-in-your-mouth vanilla ice-cream placed on top and a crispy wafer stick propping out like a flag. The taste of the almond was perfect and wasn’t too overwhelming with a creamy consistency. I scraped my plate clean and savoured every mouthful.
I left El Borracho feeling completely satisfied and happy. Even my boyfriend, who had just experienced tapas for the first time too, was amazed with the quality of the food and the service we had just received. Next time, I can’t wait to try the Tarta de Queso de Vanilla (Vanilla Baked Cheese Cake with Red Fruit Coulis) for dessert. Just by typing that sentence I have an urge to return to El Borracho immediately and eat that cheesecake. I didn’t get a chance to try much of the alcohol, which is all Spanish, but I will definitely do this on my next visit, which will be very soon.
Review by Laura Bourne for Grapevine Birmingham @LauraBourne96