Monday, 23 April 2012

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner eating an average pie.

Some question why most of our pie scores seem to be so high. Our average score seems to be around 5/7 which is over 70%. One obvious reason is that we do endeavour to follow up recommendations and search for the very best that the pie universe has to offer. Another is as a pie is a great product to start with you don't have to do a lot to make a great pie. Yet further reasons exist; we all eat many more pies than we have time to review so sometimes, unfortunately, the average pies are the ones that either get forgotten or just aren't interesting enough to review.

This brings me nicely to a pie I had in London the other day at The Jack Horner pub on Tottenham Court Road. This is a Fuller's Ale and Pie House which makes these average pubs sound more interesting than in fact they are. With the average decor, service and below par ambiance it would be easy not to realise that the pub had any special link to pies. However, all the pubs in this London chain have a very decent range of pies. The best part is that each of the 13 pubs has it's own House Pie. I love this fact and it does make me want to go to each location and try them all. I of course ordered the Jack Horner house pie which was Beef, Bacon and London Porter. I was a bit disappointed they missed the link to the Jack Horner nursery rhyme by not including plum in this pie.

The shape of this pie was quite interesting with a square puff pastry lid on a round shortcrust base. There was also a nice addition of a gravy boat included. Unfortunately this was needed to soften up the shortcrust pastry of this pie which tasted like cardboard in some places. I genuinely thought for a few moments that perhaps the sides were not supposed to be eaten and I was eating the container by mistake. The filling rescued it somewhat. The sauce was nice and thick and the meat was tasty but too chewy in some places. At £10.50 with mash and veg this was a pretty standard price for a pie in London.

So this pie is the perfect example of average, not bad, but nothing special. I think this deserves a middle of the road score so I have gone for 50%. I would eat it again, but why bother, there are so many better pies out there, with much more passionate service and at a similar price (e.g. Canteen)

Beef, Bacon and London Porter (The Jack Horner)


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