Concrete Collar’s Ana takes a look at some of Birmingham’s culinary institutions. This week, she takes a trip to spud lover’s paradise, Mr Bumble’s Tramcar…
As a university student I have developed the habit of eating in a hurry, because I’ve decided that I couldn’t let my love for food stand in the way of my studies (I’ll let you know how that one goes).
But what do you do when you only have 10 minutes to get to class in time and you’re trying to prevent your stomach from communicating with your fellow students to let them know just how much you miss eating?
I strongly believe this was one of the main reasons why food trucks were invented. And when I came across this one, at the right place and the right time, it was love at first sight.
Mr Bumble’s Tramcar is a little piece of heaven that can be found on Cherry Street, in Birmingham’s City Centre, that serves jacket potatoes.
I must’ve passed by it hundreds of times by now, but it took me a while to take the time to see what it’s serving and why the queue is so long, so early on in the day.
It didn’t take me long after reading the menu to rush to the back the queue. Crispy skin, tasty, fluffy flesh, quality filling and the option to add extra butter. Did someone say heaven? I couldn’t remember the last time I was so excited to eat something served on the street.
While waiting for my turn, an interesting discussion, between the two women who are in front of me, catches my attention. One of them stares at the McDonalds who is right across the street and complains that…
“…no matter where you eat; you still get fat.”
I approach the stand boldly to discover that they do not only sell snacks and drinks on the side, but also have a daily special, which is a great reason to come back.
A chirpy lady takes my order and there is something about her that gives off a Julia Child kind of vibe. Or maybe it’s because she gives the most understanding and somewhat proud smile when I order extra butter with my potato.
She takes the time to have a quick chat with me while my spud is being prepared and gives me a small student discount, and I decide to never underestimate the benefits of the student life.
My food is presented in a paper bag, my spud is well preserved in a takeaway container and the cutest spork accompanies it in the bag.
It does not happen often, but the food looks so good that I forget to photograph it and I dive straight in.
After eating every little bit of potato, the jury comes back with a verdict: it’s mashing! (get it?)
And ever since, I have to take another way home because I simply cannot pass by without buying myself a jacket potato.