Review: El Borracho Del Oro, Birmingham

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It’s always hard choosing somewhere to eat when you’re away but it’s a task I take real pleasure in. I peruse blogs, trip advisor and ask twitter and usually, its twitter which gives me the answer, or at least a final shortlist. I discovered El Borracho Del Oro in Edgbaston this way when I was looking for somewhere to eat on a recent trip to Birmingham.

El Borracho Del Oro bar in Edgbaston, Birmingham,
Brum is a city I know relatively well from my days living in the Midlands and as its such a foodie place, I found it harder than usual to select somewhere for dinner because the choices were endless. I was visiting with my mum for a midweek break at the High Field Town House and we’d already decided we wanted something Mediterranean so I was pretty chuffed that El Borracho, a relatively new tapas place, was just a stones throw from the hotel. 

Some of my fave Birmingham bloggers rated it highly when it first opened so my expectations were high but unfortunately not quite met which is always disappointing  On arrival we were greeted warmly and taken to our table, given menus but then... we waited... and waited for over twenty minutes before someone came back to us. 

Candle and menu at El Borracho Del Oro in birmingham

Finally our drinks order was taken, at which point we also ordered food, having had plenty time to decide what we wanted. The hostess clearly realised we’d had to wait a long time and that we weren't happy and I think she may have pushed the kitchen to get our order done quickly which in turn made us a feel a bit embarrassed when our dishes started coming out before the table next door who’d ordered before us. 

Bread and oils

Some of the dishes were absolutely delicious. We loved the cheese and ham croquettes, they were creamy and really moreish. The prawns were delicious too, chargrilled and full of garlicky goodness. I love getting in there and pulling off the shells. The baby courgette with it’s flower stuffed was interesting and not something I’ve seen on a tapas menu before. I loved it and would definitely recommend it. 


The final two dishes weren't quite as good. At £9.95 and on the specials, we found the suckling pig disappointing. A small square of quite bland meat with a soft fatty top and some grey, split broad beans left us wishing we’d ordered more of the croquettes. The tortilla was also dissapointing and quite dense although the fresh tomatoes accompanying it were tasty. 

Spanish tortilla and fresh tomatoes

The main hostess (and possible owner) was great but very busy. I think the root of the whole problem was that they did not have enough staff and so, we ended the night the same way we began - by waiting. We were given a dessert menu and would have ordered one if our waiter had returned, which he didn’t. After around half an hour I went up to the bar to ask for the bill and paid it there. Then we left feeling really disappointed about the whole event.

It’s not very often I write a bad review but I like to be honest and will always write from my own experience. I know other bloggers who've enjoyed their food there so I’m chalking this one up to a bad night. 

*The bill for tapas for two plus two glasses of wine was around £60. The restaurant did not know I was planning to blog and we paid for our meal in full.* 

5 comments

  1. That place looks tasty! I'm usually not much on tripadvisor for looking for my initial shortlist, but I use it to rule out any of the shortlist that have particularly poor feedback or something that I know is a pet hate. Like you I use twitter a lot, but also food blogs from locals in that city, or other travellers. I've always been an avid blog reader, long before I ever started my own in 2009!

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    1. Twitter is amazing for food recommendations! I don't generally trust trip advisor and a lot of what you see online can be sponsored so I really rely on bloggers too!

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  2. Not having enough staff can really let a restaurant down in so many ways! The fried courgette does look fab though - maybe you'll have to go back at a quieter time and just order more of those croquettes :D

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    1. The croquettes and the courgettes were both fab but yes, not enough staff can really marr an experience!

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  3. The last thing you want when you're hungry is to wait 20 minutes before someone takes your order! I must say the courgettes sound and look so delicious! I would have ordered 5 of those instead of mains :P

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