Issue 240
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Probably the country's best-looking food festival starts tomorrow. A debate rages as to whether the Friday post-workie crowd or the all-dayer Saturday lot make for more good times. While other people worry about that, we've turned our top picks for the festival into a faintly ridiculous horse race, complete with our odds on each participant producing the best bite or slurp. Entry is free and it's just £4 to try any dish or drink. "A PONY ON PURNELL IN THE THIRD!" 
  ADAM'S CRAB (3/1)

Dish: Crab satay with coriander and ginger
Tipster says: It's the first year you'll get Michelin-starred Adam's at the fest, so go and find them as early as poss. The team's gone full Thai, with a green, coconut curry and mango for their second dish. Bookies' Favourite

Dish: Eggy crumpets
Tipster says: Though not as well known as some of the other runners, this Worcestershire-bred brunch and coffee house (which you'll find on Bull Street) is bringing its most popular dish to Vicky Square. Served on chilli jam and topped with grilled halloumi.

Dish: Daube of pork, with caramelised apple puree
Tipster says: Short odds go this champion performer, who isn't afraid of a big stage. Talking of which, you'll find trainer, Glynn, on the festival's kitchen stage doing demos with his fave traders from the indoor market at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Friday.
  MOTHER'S RUIN (20/1)

Drink: Mr Hyde's Summer Punch
Tipster says: This far out — with no knowledge on ground conditions — it's tricky to call odds for this Steelhouse Lane stalwart that's gone ALL IN on super summery refreshers, with a fruity gin punch, proper lemonade and premium G&TS.
 Dish: Fillet of British hake, fennel and chilli pasta salad
Tipster says: The kitchen behind this lean, muscular, experienced colt makes an impact at the festival every year. Known particularly for serving excellent seasonal fish, this time round they're focussing their energy on hake.
Dish: Aloo chana chaat
Tipster says: That's a spicy chickpea and potato combo to you and me. The city centre stud may benefit from a cooler day, or riding alongside Purecrafts or The Welly (both also racing) if conditions are warm. Strong finisher. Will go the distance. 

Drink: All the grapes
Tipster says:  It may be the first appearance by the Great Western Arcade filly, but they're not messing about, with Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve on the bubbles and a Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc rose. Well worth an each-way flutter.
Colmore Food Festival is free to attend. From 11am 'til 7pm on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7. The latest
Venue: Wok To Walk,109 New Street, B2 4EU; website
Choice: It's complicated Chooser: You!

Lunch happens every day, and with it, big decisioning. Long story short, this week's 'You Choose' is going to make that process tougher, but you'll ultimately thank us. It's basically impossible not to like the food at Wok To Walk, because a lot like an Asian pic'n'mix, you select each element yourself. For your 'base', there are four types of noodle, two rice and a vegetables option. Next up, you pick your main events — think duck, prawns, tofu and shitake. Sweet, spicy, peanuty sort of sauce options are your next ponderer. And finally it's a question of toppings. All items are priced individually, and no combos are off limits. Each dish is then cooked up in the theatre-like trio of woks, and despite there basically always being something of a queue, you won't wait more than five minutes, and we waited way less. For us, it was all about the rice noodles, hot Asian sauce, prawns, pak choi and fried onion topper. But we're not here to dictate to you — go forth and enjoy getting exactly. Chop'N'Wok this ain't. 


It's a very personal thing, but we've always been more BRIO than LEGO. But then LEGO went and built a load of brillo Birmingham landmarks, like the BT Tower (pictured) and the greater Grand Central area, then put them in their new discovery centre. MINILAND opens today at the bottom of Birmingham Arena. It took nine people nine months to build, has a population of 2,500 minifigures and more than 5,000,000 bricks. Your move, BRIO.


Like the film it follows, this sequel is being marketed as a thriller, when really it’s a kind of horror film where the oppressive dread comes not from some supernatural beastie, but the Mexican border country’s bad luck in being close to America. This time, Emily Blunt’s squeamish Fed is written out as Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro set up an elaborate plan to foster a cartel civil war. The Byzantine plot isn’t really the point, other than as the basis for a mood piece on how hopeless the war on drugs is for all concerned. Not as terrifying as the first film, tense as anything. Times & trailer


Here's how you build a wood-fired pizza oven. If all goes according to plan, it'll take you a minimum of nineteen hours, not including the material buying and inevitable screw ups. Alternatively, Baked in Brick opens a perma-home tomorrow, a fifteen-minute amble from New Street Station. And the winner of ‘Best Street Food Trader’ at the British and European Street Food Awards'll do the washing up and everything. Lee DeSanges' 60-seater restaurant in the Custard Factory is majoring on pizza and his opening menu includes a choice of seven combos, including his Shire Meadows beef shin ragu and wild mushroom calzone with a Colston Bassett Stilton dip. There'll be a lighter menu at lunchtime, with chicken tikka wraps, charcuterie and pizza by the slice. Get Lawless on draught and Longhorn IPA, Mad Goose and UBU by the bottle, or take direct aim at the cocktail menu. And if you're wondering why the F there's a full size Mini Cooper in the wall, Lee used to grill over one, after he'd outgrown the wood-fired pizza oven in his garden that is.

House of Hen is at Birmingham Brewing Co July 13 and 14. Fried chicken and plenty of vegan gear is the menu. More
CoCoMad is the loveliest of festivals. And it's in Cotteridge Park this Saturday from 12pm. Entry is free.
The Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival is the other loveliest of festivals. And it's in Moseley Park all weekend. Tickets

Leading the charge on making media actually national, HuffPost is in town this week, and they want to hear what you think about life, the universe and everything.

See Daft Punk muzak performed by a 16-piece orchestra at the 02 Institute. On August 17, tickets are £17.50.

Serve opens for your ping pong pleasure from 11am on Sunday 5 August. We'll be incorporating daily visits into our new fitness regime.

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."

Yogi Berra

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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry

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