The Old Crown building has stood defiantly in Digbeth since the 14th century. It’s been through many phases during its existence, including being a backdrop for one of the first battles of The English Civil War.
For today’s visit however, there is much less drama to soak up – apart from local historian Carl Chinn conducting a Peaky Blinders talk & tour in and around the pub.
I’ve been drinking Guinness in The Old Crown since the early 1990s, but until recently I’d never eaten here. It has been thoughtfully transformed into a historic place of interest which serves a great pint, the food always looks and smells amazing. I’ve tried the sausage rolls, sarnies and coffee in the quaint little cafe next door, which are easily the best in Digbeth, and if it were closer to town, it’d be my regular sandwich hang-out! (office workers know this term).
The music is always spot on in The Old Crown, great eclectic mix and staff are always ALWAYS friendly. This makes a huge difference and comes from being independent I think. Thinking Lord Clifden, Victoria etc.
On this occasion I’m here for the Taco Tuesdays. Two for a tenner basically.
I order my Guinness and a member of staff takes my order. There’s an interesting mix of people in The Old Crown, from students, to creatives from the nearby Custard Factory, to a few regulars and people who look like they’re about to attend one of the many events at The Academy down the road.
You can’t help but notice the sympathetic decor, which suits the heritage, of one of Brum’s oldest buildings. It’s not too over the top, just enough to make you aware of the building’s history.
Tacos arrive by the time I’ve sunk half my pint, and I start by tucking into the Cod. The fish is cooked to perfection, it tastes fresh and flaky, with a really delicate crispy batter, not greasy at all. The taco itself is soft and tasty with a real homemade feel, and I’ve tasted some great homemade tacos in my time. It was small but far more filling than it looked.
The second Taco was full of soft chicken, with a crispy outside and a really great kick of chili. While there were two appealing looking bottles of Encona chili juice sat nearby, there was no need, and as my mother used to say – adding sauce is an insult to the chef. The chicken melted as you crunched in, and the various tastes of the accompanying relish left a completely satisfying taste.
You notice, not only attention to presentation, but also how fresh all the ingredients are, even the salad was crunchy and delicious – there’s no mush here! Everything is spotlessly clean, knives forks, tables, glasses. It’s a 10/10 for Taco Tuesday ten pound temptation!
That’s Tuesdays Sorted!
Review by Nick Byng for Grapevine Birmingham