On Monday night Jo and I had tickets for the Barnum show at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and we decided to grab a bite to eat before hand. We chose Las Iguanas in the Arcadian, just outside Birmingham’s Gay Quarter.
As a part of the Arcadian centre, the exterior of the Las Iguanas restaurant isn’t a purpose built outlet but part of a larger complex. It has a great feel though, with South American music playing and just audible outside the doors. Through the windows we could see wooden blinds and a half full restaurant at about 17:30 when we arrived.
As we walked in we were greeted by a very friendly manager who explained they’d just had a really busy lunch, but would have us a table in a couple of minutes. He invited us to grab a drink at the bar, which we did, and before they were complete he was already back with us to guide us to our table. He offered to combine our drinks with our table bill which I really like – I can’t stand it when you’re forced to pay your drinks bill at the bar and then start a new one at the table!
I’d ordered the Pear drop Caipirinha, listed as “Brazil’s favourite with a fruity boost. Served long with Xanté pear liqueur & apple juice.” It was really tasty and nicely balanced, though it did seem that the pear liqueur sat right at the bottom of the glass. Presumably its high in sugar, but just a little more churning would make the drink more consistent throughout. Very minor criticism. Jo had a Diet Coke, she’s not much of a drinker, though give her a cocktail with ice cream and she’ll be happy all night long.
Las Iguanas Menu
The manager (i’m sure his name was Mark) sat down with us to introduce the menu as we hadn’t dined there before. Its a great mix of South American and deep south flavours, with a good range of Burgers and the usual, as well as enchiladas, burritos and fajitas (which he personally recommended).
A great bonus was that their lunch menu ran up to 18:30 so we were able to get great value and had two courses. We shared a Quesadilla and Nachos (with a generous helping of Jalapeneos) to start, the lunch menu apps are smaller, but start from less than £2, so its a great way to get a little taste. I’d be tempted to go back and just order a bunch of starters later on, though they also have a great tapas menu.
The apps arrived really quickly, maybe just 5 mins from ordering and were delicious! For our main course we’d ordered Chicken enchiladas and a beef burrito, again, the food was served quickly and efficiently, and I also had a nice big bowl of their “volcano” hot sauce, the hottest they serve on their wings. I am a hot sauce fiend, and this was tasty, but not as spicy as I would have liked in an ideal world, though I accept I’m probably on the edge of humanity with this.
I also ordered a couple more cocktails as their 2 for 1 happy hour runs all day on their quieter days, though you do have to have two of the same. I’d really prefer if places let you mix and match, simply so I could try more drinks and find a new favourite!
My second (and third) drink was The Chivalrous Hombre, a mix of Chivas Royal, Ginger, pineapple juice and chocolate bitters, super tasty and really enjoyable.
We shared a desert as it was approaching time for the show (which, by the way was superb!) and paid the bill. My pet peeve is places that take way too long to bring the bill to the table – its that point in the meal where you’re just waiting to give them your money and they don’t seem bothered in many places, but Las Iguanas had the bill with us in a little over a minute, and the payment was done right away.
Thanks to the team at Las Iguanas, we WILL be back!