Manic Organic (Birmingham)

Having lived in the region for 7 years; I've only heard this place mentioned once before. It's odd for a vegetarian cafe to get so little attention amongst the vegan community (completely obsessed with food).

It only came to my attention again because we've eaten at the Warehouse far too many times recently and Jyotis is currently closed for a holiday. As the UK's second largest city; Birmingham really doesn't score well on the number of places to eat at the moment.

We checked it out last Saturday and as usual I snuck my camera along. The place is easy to find and has free parking at the Asda next door.

The first thing you notice about this place is that it's definitely a cafe. Whilst the Warehouse claims to be a cafe too, it resembles more of a low budget restaurant than a cafe. Here you pay before getting your food and collect your own cutlery.

The second thing; it was packed. They definitely have a good customer base.

It's not expensive, but it's not super cheap either. The menu is very cheese/egg orientated and no items are marked vegan. The front of house staff don't seem to know what is vegan either, so every query requires a separate trip to the kitchen - a minor annoyance and not overly impressive.

We didn't have long so just ordered mains. I had a burger (with mushrooms) and Sarah a "samosa".

They've a sign behind the counter that proudly proclaims their choice not to serve deep fried food. As I'm fairly sure the crisps the burger comes with are deep fried, I can't help but feel that this policy is a little confused. If anything's going to be deep fried I'd rather it were some proper chips or wedges.</grumpy old man>

The burger itself looked home-made (I've not seen any quite like it before), but was really bland and seriously lacked flavour.

The "samosa" was quite unlike any I've ever seen before:

It was basically a large triangular burrito (I guess they couldn't use samosa pastry as that would need to be fried). In contrast to the burger however it was packed with flavour and actually pretty nice.

Their juice appears to be freshly squeezed, and my smoothie included a label from a piece of fruit (which on balance is probably more reassuring than alarming).

In short: if it was located at the end of my road I'd probably pop in quite regularly. As it's not; I can't say for sure that I'll return.


  1. Steven said...:

    We did return, about a year later. The food was terrible - after all the cheese, sour cream etc had been left off our nachos there was practically nothing left! Luckily the complete lack of interest in catering for vegans properly is a minority amongst vegetarian places in the UK.

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