The work team and I fancied a bit of lunch away from our office, so we made the 15 minute trip into Stokes Croft, Bristol. The Stokes Croft area has been known for being slightly rundown with derelict buildings and social problems. Yet as time has gone on the district has attracted professionals and students alike for its cultural and artistic offering. The community vibe is impressive and that’s why it’s so appealing.
We decided to head for the flagship branch of Pieminister, the well-known pie producer and small chain of restaurants. Pieminister opened this first branch in 2003 and has done remarkably well ever since for its dedication to good ingredients, good products and investment back into the community.
You can’t miss Pieminister on the street with the words ‘Live and Eat Pie’ written on the face of the building. Inside expect an industrial feel with shadowy, dark licks of paint and warehouse-style furniture. The room is dark but it has a nice atmosphere.
I opted for the Orchard Pig apple presse – as I’ve tried the brand’s cider before so I’m guessing the juice would be good. I also opted for a Moo & Blue pie, which is beef and stilton for those of you that can’t figure it out. Out of £10.00 I had around 30p change – a good price for a team lunch out.
We weren’t sat waiting long until our food came out. Soon there were steaming hot plates of pie, mash and a boat of gravy in front of it. The great thing about Pieminister is that they are proper pies – none of this dished casserole with a puff pastry lid nonsense.
I cut into my pie that was settled on top of a mountain of real mash, surrounded by its gravy moat. The pastry was just right, perfectly cooked, and the right amount of flaky. The beef inside was
slow-cooked and tender. The stilton gravy was not too overpowering but had the right amount of rich, creamy and almost bitter taste of the blue cheese – a perfect complement to the braised bovine.
The gravy was good consistency for pie and mash – not too thick, not to thin – and the mash was good too. It was mash that was sturdy and stodgy, perfect to support a pie.
Pieminister is definitely worth a visit and it now has branches not only in Bristol but also Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Oxford and London.
‘Live and Let Pie’ people!
Pieminister, 24 Stokes Croft, Bristol. BS1 3PR. Tel: 0117 942 3322