Saturday 21 July 2012

The Pierate Ship gets an update!

So what better time than celebrating the #100thPie Review to announce that the Pierateers have a new logo and t-shirt to celebrate the success of the world's most popular pie reviewing blog! So look out for the Pierateers wearing their Pierate Ship t-shirts with pride in pubs and pie shops near you in the coming months...

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Thursday 19 July 2012

#100th Pie Review - Square Pie

Well it was bound to come sooner rather than later, with so many pies being eaten and reviewed amongst a busy schedule for the Pierateers, so 852 days after the first review on, the world's most popular pie blog, we have reached a milestone #100thPie Review! Thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged the ridiculously high consumption of pies by the Pierateers (it's a wonder we're not all morbidly obese by now). And as a special treat for you all, the pies that got us up to #100thPie have been reviewed by the three most prolific Pierateers. Here goes:

Square pie

So to mark the final appearance of one of the Pierateers in West London, the three most prolific reviewers hit Westfield Shopping Centre to give Square Pie a go. You can imagine from the it-does-exactly-what-it-does-on-the-tin title of the company that the pies were all - you guessed it - a square shape. So with three Pierateers and way more than three different flavours of pie on the menu, here are the 98th, 99th and 100th pie reviews on

Square Pie: Steak and Cheese = 4.34/7
Reviewed by TJP
The Steak and Cheese pie was a high quality offering and the meat was particularly good, however the reviewer felt it was too salty overall which meant that the reviewer couldn't manage to finish the whole content of the pie. The pie was expensive, but it was evident that they cared about the condition the pie came in.

Square Pie: Chicken Curry = 5.25/7
Reviewed by SJL
It was a nice, vintage pie, with light pastry and a spicy but not too hot filling. It packed a flavoursome punch. The pastry was nice and light, gooey and complemented the contents well. A bit too pricey but one thing I would say is that the pie was certainly filling, so this more than made up for the cost.

Square Pie: Steak and Kidney =5.15/7
Reviewed by RAS
The pastry was nice and light, with no thick side crust which can be the downside of many a pie. The content was very nice, with good chunks of tasty steak. The gravy was also very good, and the mix of content between the steak, kidney and chunks of carrot worked well. The price was quite high but for a filling pie it was worth the expense.

So there you have it - the #100thPie reviewed and here's to the next 100 pie reviews!
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Wednesday 18 July 2012

The Steak Pie’s Soak-ay

Many have guessed at why The Soak has acquired its name, but right in the heart of Selly Oak (S. Oak...Soak...) it certainly provides a nice friendly place to meet friends and have a pie. I went for the classic option – Steak pie. As you can see from the photo, it came with mash, peas and a gravy boat. The mash was not too appetising it had to be said, but the pie was certainly a whole lot better. The pastry was golden and not too thick, and the meat and gravy was pretty decent. It was odd being given a half-slice of pie, as it did make me wonder who had taken the other half, but it was a decent enough pie. Nothing to write home about, but certainly okay.

Steak Pie – The Soak, Bristol Road, Birmingham (B29 6AF)
Score: 4.15/7

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Sunday 15 July 2012

The Green light’s on for a recommended pie!

So on a Sunday lunchtime, what better plan after the morning City Church service than to enjoy a nice pie with some lovely friends from church*. And so, going to one of our regular post-service haunts, we headed to the Green Man pub in Harborne (part of the Ember Inns chain). And to my delight, the chef’s recommendation was for a very nice sounding pie – which fortunately they still had available on the menu (so no need to get green with envy!) There it was – the Steak, Stout, Baby Onion and Pancetta Pie! It pretty much had my name on it, especially with the meatylicious content and a recommendation from the chef themselves!

 And the good news is that it was certainly worth its recommendation. The steak and ham content blended well together, making me wonder why I had never had this meaty mix before, and the gravy was very nice and complemented the pieces of meat well. I did feel the number of baby onions slightly exceeded the requirements, given that this wasn’t the biggest pie in the world, but it was still very filling. It certainly made the pie quite expensive for its relative size, however the quality of it more than made amends. The light butter pastry was particularly nice and was packed to capacity -you can even see in the photo that the content was trying to ooze out of the lid! All in all, it was a delightful tasting pie which I’m sure to have again sometime soon! And hopefully I'll be there on Monday's Pie Night next time!

Steak, Stout, Baby Onion and Pancetta Pie (Ember Inns - Green Man)
Score: 5.75/7


(*Thanks Andrew, Ben, Emj, Emma, Gemma & Josh – who by the way enjoyed most of his Apple Crumble Pie at the same pub!)
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Friday 13 July 2012

Open Pie Outrage!

I’m going to cut to the chase here – I’ve had some pretty controversial pies in the past, for various reasons, but this has got to be one of the most outrageous! I admit – I could see it coming the moment I placed my order for an “open chicken pie” from the Slug and Lettuce Pub... but that did not stop the jaw-dropping controversy that shortly followed. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. This picture asks just one... “WHY?!?!?!”

Yes, you guessed it. The “open chicken pie” is basically a top crust pie without a proper top crust! There’s a massive, gaping open hole in the lid. It‘s like rubbing salt into the wounds, like stealing the last penny from a guy who’s just given generously to charity, like removing the penultimate piece of pastry from an already pastry-light pie... no, wait, it IS removing the penultimate piece of pastry from an already pastry-light pie.

And why in the world would you want to do such a thing?! This is not the time or the place to discuss top crusts (plenty of previous reviews have already gone there), but it then beggars belief as to why you would remove pastry from a top crust pie?! Surely you should just forget the pastry all together and just serve it as it is – a glorified, sauce covered piece of chicken in a dish!

It’s at this point that I do have to admit, much to my obvious annoyance at the lack of pastry and initial thoughts over whether it was even a meal that could be classified as a pie in the first place, that the meal was actually very nice. Annoyingly nice, in fact! It shouldn’t have been so nice, considering it barely counts as a pie! But there you go, beggars cannot be choosers. The pastry was light, crisp and golden. The chicken sauce was delightful and the chicken pieces very filling. However what I would say is that the Slug and Lettuce Pub chain are really missing a trick here by not encasing their pie fully with pastry, as this could have ranked as a top 20 pie had they done so. But alas, this will forever be recorded as a “what might have been...” entry.

Note to self: when it says “open pie”, prepare to be outraged!

Open Chicken Pie (Slug and Lettuce, Birmingham)
Score: 5.15/7

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Thursday 12 July 2012

15,000+ page views as the Pierateers hone in on 100thPieReview


Yes, it cannot go unmarked that on 5th July the pie rating blog received its 15,000th page view, and continues to grow. (We were clearly so busy eating pies we sadly were a week late noticing it ourselves!) Spurred on by knowing they are so close to gaining their landmark 100th Pie Review (from here on in, know as #100thPieReview), the Pierateers are continuing to eat and review every pie they can get their gravy soaked hands on. And the business ideas are already flowing for the creation of pierate merchandise, with a new logo from the Pierateers set to be launched when the 100th Pie Review is done. Keep your eyes on the pies and be sure to come back soon to the World's most popular pie rating blog!
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Are You... Local?

It is great to see that these days people are buying more local food. We have become conscious of the ridiculous journeys our food sometimes makes to the supermarkets. For example the story of Scottish chicken being taken on a 1,000 mile round trip to be processed. This is a case of the environmental costs being ignored and is not sustainable in a world where we have limited resources and a growing population. There is also the important fact that local food tends to be fresher and taste better! Local Roots in High Wycombe specialises in satisfying this taste for food and drink where a trip to the country of origin wouldn't require a passport.

I got hold of a Fruity Pork pie for £3 from their store which can be sold hot or cold. I was skeptical about such a flavour at first because I don't tend to like mixing sweet and savory food. However I was caught off guard by a completely unexpected flavour sensation! I would describe it more as a Spicy Pork pie. It had flavours that reminded me of a mince pie. There was a definite aniseed type flavour which might have been fennel. It was hard to identify what the other spices might have been. In addition there was onion to keep the pork company. This might all sound a bit strange but it just about worked as there was as much spice as there could be without it being too overpowering. The pork was tender and the pastry was melt in the mouth. There was not much gravy but the pie was moist enough without it. It is great to see such originality in this twist to a winning formula. Having said that, I wouldn't put it on my 'desert island pies' list as it goes so close to being overwhelming in its intensity. But as a Pierateer, although eating lots of pies is always a pleasure, it is too often a case of 'pie by numbers' so this pie was a breath of fresh air and the experience is recommended.

Fruity Pork (Local Roots - HP13 6LJ)


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

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Sunday 1 July 2012

Ginsters Pie is the Perfect Tonic

Ginsters - Chicken Pie Review

Welcome to another edition of the pierate blog. My name is Simon Pyeman and I have been asked to conduct a series of investigations into the group of pie bloggers who call themselves 'The Pierateers'. A mysterious bunch they can be difficult to track down. I have today discovered the South London residence of the Pierateer known as SJL. It is a slightly dodgy area to be honest. There were riots here last summer. Rumours abound the riot was caused by a local pie shortage.
Knocking on the door it appears no one is here. Fortunately the glass in the window is quite easy to break and I can put my hand through and open the catch from the inside....
Okay, so now we are inside SJL's flat, there is a smell of last night's pie in the air. There are many posters and pieces of art work on the walls, all of them pictures of pies. He has a pirate costume with the hat shaped like a pie, it is all exactly as I expected.
Now to the kitchen which is surely where you want to visit! The cupboards are as anticipated, plenty of different types of stock and some flour; important for making pies. There is an abundance of gravy, the vital sidekick, like Robin to the Pie's Batman. However, I am surprised to find ready rolled pastry in the fridge. I would have thought SJL would have perfected the art of pastry making. Next I check the recycling for any discarded pie boxes. To my shock, I find not gourmet pies but a Ginsters Chicken pie box. Just as I am mulling over this disappointing find in walks SJL.
“What the flip is going on here??? Have you broken into my flat? Why are you going through my bins? I'm calling the police.”
“Please sir, don't do that, I was merely passing by and noticed this flat had been broken into. As it was open I thought I had best guard it and make sure that no one comes in. It has actually taken quite a bit of time and I was supposed to go and look after a sickly puppy.”
“Oh gosh, I am sorry for being accusational, thank you so much. Damn, I hope my computer hasn't been stolen.”
“No, nothing has been stolen. I suppose you would be worried about the computer given that you have to review so many pies on”
“How.... how do you know that?”
“Oh well I couldn't help notice when looking through your post that your initials are SJL, the same as one of the pierateers. Also I recognise your chin from some of the photos on the blog.”
“Oh... okay, wow, I didn't realise that my chin is so distinctive!”
“Yes.... yes, it is, but now I see it is eclipsed by your nose. Can I ask why you don't make your own pastry? I was going through your fridge because I was feeling faint from hunger after looking after your flat for so long. I then see Tesco's own ready ready rolled puff pastry. Is it too hard to even roll the pastry yourself?”
“I'm so so sorry to have been a disappointment.... I just find it hard to even roll the puff pastry, I always get the temperature wrong and it goes sticky. I am sometimes lazy. I have let myself down I know...”
“That is not the worst, I was going through your bin and found a Ginsters Chicken Pie box. I was expecting something a bit more upmarket from a Pierateer.”
“Hey, that comment is not fair, we need to review all sorts of pies otherwise we might miss out a real bargain. Plus, I was quite impressed by the Ginsters Chicken pie, I would give it about 4.43. It was also on offer at just £2.79 for a family sized pie.”
“Intriguing, tell me more what you liked about this pie.”
“Admittedly the meat seemed quite processed but it wasn't at all chewy. There were ample amounts of a thick, peppery, creamy sauce which was great. The pastry was good and had a bit of crunch. Trust me, I didn't want to like it but I did. The condition wasn't great though, looked nothing like on the box."
“I saw the box said it can also be eaten cold which is unusual for a pie such as this. What are your feelings regarding this?”
“Well you would have to be pretty desperate to eat it cold but could be useful.... wait, why were you going through my bins and post anyway?”
“I am a private detective so naturally I was looking for clues.”
“In the bin? Who are you anyway? Can I get your details in case you need to be a witness or something to the break-in?”
“I'm afraid as a private detective I don't get on well with the police. Also, I must be going, I have medicine that the sickly puppy must receive as soon as possible. However I will leave you this piece of paper with my address on in case you need to contact me. Have a good day.”
“Okay... well thanks for staying... goodbye....”  ............. “HEY, wait, come back this piece of paper just has my address written on it, hey.....” (Simon is nowhere to be seen) “Why did he have my address written down anyway?”

Ginsters chicken pie review

Chicken (Ginsters)


See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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