Food and Drink Editor Emily Calder reviews one of Selly Oak’s student hotspots
Located on the doorstep of many students living in Selly Oak, The Bristol Pear is a hotspot for anyone looking for an affordable evening with a special feel. Upon entering you are instantly welcomed by a mixture of cheap and cheerful, yet also trendy and high quality. With lighting that could happily feature on anyone’s Instagram, and homely shabby-chic décor and furniture, students feel instantly at home upon entering the restaurant. Seating is plentiful, and the provision of plug sockets makes it the perfect place to get work done over a lovely lunch, or to recharge your phone as you share a portion of loaded fries with your housemate.
As a lactose-intolerant, I was delighted by the variety of vegan options on the menu – these included an all-day brunch, a jackfruit burger and mac and cheese to name a few. I opted for the vegan grilled cheese with fries and salsa, and can honestly say it was one of the best vegan meals I have ever eaten. The cheese was excellent quality and was reminiscent of the long gone days when I could eat dairy, and as my friends tucked into their meals I for once did not feel as if I was missing out – an issue for many people with dietary restrictions. Vegans will instantly feel welcome and settled at The Bristol Pear, and with my large portion costing only £6.75 I can guarantee that I will be sampling their other vegan options before the year is through.
One should not assume, however, that the restaurant caters only to vegans; my dining companions had the chicken curry burger (which they confirmed to be delicious), whilst the other tucked into a delicious looking portion of loaded nachos. We struggled to find an item on the menu that did not look appealing; The Bristol Pear offers breakfast options all day, alongside a ‘Burger and a Drink Deal’ and a variety of sharing options. These are all extremely reasonably priced, deals like 25p pancakes on a Tuesday are a true dream for any student on a budget!
Furthermore, The Bristol Pear is an excellent option for a simple drink with friends. Whilst you may be tempted to tuck into a sharing portion of tater tots, you may be too distracted by the drinks menu to even think about food. The variety of wines mean that there are options for everyone’s budget – whilst my friends split a bottle between three of us and this only came to £3 per head, customers can also splash out on prosecco, or even ‘Black Label’ fizz for a special occasion. Students also enjoy the quirky and extremely popular ‘tin can cocktails,’ or can treat themselves to pitchers which rival Wetherspoons in both price and quality. For those staying away from alcohol, you can nab a smoothie, protein smoothie or milkshake for £3 or less, which in my eyes is an absolute steal.
All in all, I would recommend The Bristol Pear to anyone, but especially students. The restaurant is great for any occasions and caters to all, making it an obvious choice for anyone in the area!