Missoula, Hurst Street

So, shopping’s a thing, just not my thing. I find it flabbergastingly dull and worse than that I panic in a crowd.

When a friend forcefully suggested shopping the sales and put forward an impressive argument that tugged at the heart strings, I agreed to the not so jaunty day out.

Two hours in and I wanted to make a grand exit and contemplated chucking myself off the shiny curved roof of Grand Central. Clearly I didn’t, but only because lunch was hastily suggested to calm the situation. Dragging many bags – not one of them mine – we headed to Missoula in the Arcadian, a safe distance from retail spaces, but close enough to go back for more after lunch.

I was a Missoula virgin, but the friend regaled tales of a couple of stonking nights that included numerous inventive drinks. A new menu sounded appealing and I reckoned two for one cocktails would improve the day no end. More importantly if you’re a shopaholic the high sofa style seating was perfect for housing multiple bulging bags.

HITTING THE SPOT

Two for one cocktails meant two of the same cocktail, so unless you want the same drink as your friend or you fancy lining them up and tying one on, you’re screwed. The Long Island Iced Tea hit the spot nicely and mocktail Ginger Snap was refreshing and light with a bit of heat.

Tapas style starters were part of the new guard, so we gave a couple of those a whirl. The quesadillas were fiery little numbers with a welcome cooling sour cream dip and Iberico ham croquetas were delicious, crisp little treats.

The friend’s mission to find the perfect burger which almost always ends in disappointment was in full swing. She ordered a cheese and bacon burger. Fresh, juicy and packed with flavour the patty was pretty much spot on and the bun – a simple sesame seed version was the perfect vehicle. The chips didn’t live up to the burger, but were ok. A New York style focaccia with salt beef, mustard and gherkins looked offputtingly huge, but tasted great with sweet potato fries that were crisp and moreish.

Fuelled by what was our veritable carbfest we trotted off for more retail therapy (really?) which was surprisingly more palatable after a good lunch and a spot of alcohol. I could be coming round to the idea.

MISSOULA, The Arcadian, 70 Hurst St, Birmingham B5 4TD ww.missoulabirmingham.co.uk