The Warehouse Cafe, 54-57 Allison Street, Birmingham B5 5TH

The Warehouse Cafe, Birmingham

The Warehouse Cafe Restaurant in the lower edge of Birmingham’s city centre is a small oasis for vegetarians and vegans. Situated very much in the alternative lifestyle category, The Warehouse Cafe continues to offer good vegetarian food from around the world.

The Warehouse Cafe, Birmingham

The Warehouse Cafe, Birmingham

The cafe sits in a nucleus of green values and to get to it you go through the Friends of the Earth shop and then up some narrow, steep, wooden stairs. Next door there is also a very good vegetarian/vegan shop that has everything from egg-free mayonnaise to tofu, the usual pulses, grains and soaps and lots of cruelty free stuff – all at normal affordable prices.

The food served in The Warehouse Cafe is as varied as their tables and chairs with choices such as:- Falafel with Tahini, Tabbouleh and Pitta; an organic Veggie Burger with chunky Potato Fries; a Paneer Cheese Curry with stir-fried vegetables; and larger ‘main’ meals such as Lentil Sausage and Colcannon Mash. The blackboard shows their daily specials which, when I visited, were a Chilli Burger and a tempting Five Lentil Dhal.

If you want, nearly all of the dishes are available as vegan options …and not just by leaving out dairy stuff but by also substituting in other proteins such as Tofu.

The Warehouse Cafe, Tortillas

The Warehouse Cafe, Tortillas

Last time I went I had the Refried Beans and Toasted Tortilla Wrap. I expected this to be a big wrapped-up tortilla roll of red kidney bean chilli, cheese and salad – just like Burritos I used to have at Blue Juice in Cotham Hill, Bristol – but when it arrived it was more like triangles of toasted tortilla sandwich with a refried red kidney beans and cheese mix inside, so it was more Quesadillas than Burrito.

The presentation was a surprise but there was nothing wrong with the taste. Everything was fresh and freshly made. The refried beans were smoothly spiced and genuinely did remind me of the Mexican foods I’d had in California. The salad was also a big feature of the dish, packing a sharp hot burst of flavours mainly coming from the slices of pickled jalapeno peppers.

The meal was quite light – it was in the “light meals and snacks” part of the menu, which I hadn’t picked up on – so I almost had a veggie burger to follow. It was only my lack of time that stopped me.

It’s rare for vegetarians to get the opportunity to “pig out” but you can at The Warehouse Cafe. It’s even rarer for vegans to get the opportunity to “eat out effusively” but you, too, can at The Warehouse Cafe.

[MP. September 2009.]

One Response to “The Warehouse Cafe”

  1. CovOx Says:

    Although this place is only a short stroll from Digbeth (the bus route to Cov) and the glitzy new Bull Ring it is still tricky to find for those who don’t know their way around Brum, being located in a back street as it is. That it is located in a building owned by FoE (who are also the landlords for the One Earth Shop) unfortunately means that it gets ghettoised for those seeking an ‘alternative lifestyle’. The good thing about the Warehouse Cafe is that it is cheap, the bad thing is the ‘alternative’ setting, which is off-putting to anyone who doesn’t share the eco-evangelical ideology peddled by FoE.

    CovOx, Coundon

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