There’s a mini food revolution happening in Birmingham. It started a few years back with food festivals becoming a regular occurrence which has over time slowly developed into a number of standalone and “corporate” food establishments opening their doors. Brindleyplace has had a few turnovers with old favourites like Yo! Sushi closing shop but newer restaurants like Friska opening up and creating a buzz with their food. So, there is no shortage of new and exciting places to eat, especially in the city center area.
What’s different though, especially over the last couple of years, is that some of the lesser known “malls” have come up in a big way and The Great Western Arcade is one of them. The reason for this sudden burst is the ever expanding food culture of Birmingham.
Nicely tucked in the middle of the Great Western Arcade – which already had some popular and unique food outlets with Loki Wine and Anderson & Hill – Treat is a real treat (for lack of better words).
A small and quaint family run Greek Deli, Treat proudly serves “authentic delicatessen products”; Jams, pasties, coffee, yogurts, sweets and a variety of seasonal offerings, it’s truly mini-Greece in the very heart of Birmingham city.
As I sat outside the shop on one of the three tiny table-and-chairs setup they have in the alleyway of the arcade, I noticed a continuous inflow of regulars – some came in and went within seconds knowing what they wanted, while others could be seen chatting with the owners – which is always a good sign when it comes to food.
Being a hot day – surprise British weather I know – I skipped on their coffee – which is recommended – and settled for a chilled Fanta for a drink – boring I know – but I was on the lookout for something else.
The traditional Spinach and Cheese Spanakopita (filo pastry) was extremely flavoursome with a hint of bitterness from the chopped up spinach and a cool freshness because of the feta cheese. The pastry was a little hard for my liking but having said that, if it wasn’t then the spinach could have made it soggy, which isn’t nice either.
Now, it was a short visit and I didn’t try a whole lot of what they had to offer, nevertheless Treat brings something different on the table. That’s a lot of love in the food and it may have the clichéd white decor with a hint of blue thrown in for good measure – typical of most Greek restaurants – but that doesn’t deter from the fact that it’s cute and homey with the owners more than ready to help with smiles all around.
There’s a constant warm fuzzy feeling at Treat; part of it is because of the food, but the other half is from the love and passion for this very food that clearly the owners have in abundance.