Saturday 23 May 2015

Wembley Pie - Live Blogging

Following the popularity of last week's Pieday Friday Wembley special we've decided to go all out with a live blogging of our trip to Wembley to rate the Wembley pie!

We're going to Wembley! Source: WWFCOfficial Twitter

Important info:

For all you pie fans heading to Wembley Stadium do note that there is more than one type of pie for sale, depending on the part of the Stadium you go to. In the Club Wembley (Level 2) area the pies on offer are Tom's Pies, however the normal levels (1 and 5) sell Edward Moon Proper Pies made by Oliver James Foods. Our review is from Level 1, hence is for the Edward Moon Proper Pies. We have reviewed Tom's Pies elsewhere, these are more of a premium pie, so perhaps chose where to sit based on the type of pie they serve!

Wembley Pie Review - Edward Moon Proper Pies (by Oliver James) Beef and Spitfire Ale Pie Review

With most eyes on the Wembley pitch for a dramatic 120+ minutes of drama in the League Two play-off final, we have to admit we were almost as excited to be rating the Wembley pies! We had heard they were sold by Tom's Pies but were surprised to see they were quite a different size and design to Tom's pies we had rated before. This, we later found out, was because they were not the Tom's pies we had heard about, which are only available on Level 2 of the stadium!

The pies on Level 1 are in fact made by Oliver James foods and Pierateer Rob went for a Beef and Spitfire Ale pie, which at £5 was quite pricey for a slightly small pie but was a bit cheaper than I had feared from some of the reports of Wembley food price inflation! However with average football prices up and down the land being £3.00 it was a significant mark up.

What was clear though was that this was a far better quality of pie than at a number of grounds we've pie rated. I guess I'd rather pay a little more if the pie was better...

First impressions weren't great though, to be honest. The pie was very pale in colour - almost to the point of wondering if it was cooked properly. But it was. And the pastry, while pale, didn't taste too bad despite not being crisp at all. I'd certainly suggest cooking it a bit more. However it was piping hot through.

Speaking of the hot filling, it certainly stung the fingers with its heat when the content unfortunately started leaking out of the other side of the pie from the side I was eating. The condition therefore could of been better and I was very grateful of the cardboard tray the pie was served in, otherwise I would have been covered in hot gravy!

While there wasn't quite enough meat for my liking, the beef I did have was nice and tender. The gravy filling was bulked out a bit with onion but on the whole was reasonably decent in capacity. However the smaller size of the pie meant the filling:pastry ratio was not ideal.

In my mind, I would have this pie again at that price for a football game (which is more than I can say for some football pies I've rated!) but would never expect to pay that much in a shop for a smaller pie like that. Hopefully it would be a bit more crisp and golden too if I cooked it!

Beef and Spitfire Ale Pie (Edward Moon Proper Pies at Wembley Stadium)
Score: 4.5/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 5, Consistency 5.5, Condition 3.5, Chewiness 6, Cheapness 3, Content 5.5, Total: 4.5/7]

Pie line up - Chicken Balti on LHS, two Beef and Ale on RHS

Wembley Pie Review - Edward Moon Proper Pies (by Oliver James) - Buttered Chicken Balti Pie Review

Pierateer SJL went for the Buttered Chicken Balti pie. Here are his thoughts:

This pie was buttered by name and also buttered by nature, with a very strong buttery taste to the filling in addition to the buttery taste of the pastry. It wasn't at all hot in terms of chili but it was well seasoned with other spices to make the filling thoroughly enjoyable. However, what let this pie down as a doughy pastry which didn't seem quite cooked. I ended up with epic heartburn through the match. See below for the score breakdown.

Condition - 3.8 out of 7 - The pies on sale at Wembley are fairly boring to look at and look a bit mass produced. They lack the distinctive look of the Tom's pies available in the club Wembley seats. Some of the flaky pastry lid was starting to flake off.
Colour - 4.5 out of 7 - The lid had a nice golden brown but the shortcrust sides were too pale.
Cheapness - 3.0 out of 7 - This pie was quite small so £5 was pretty bad value, even for a football pie. I don't think there is any excuse for a Wembley pie costing more than any other football pie.
Capacity - 4.8 out of 7 - Despite being small this pie was well filled with a thick content and was actually quite satisfying.
Chewiness - 5.5 out of 7 - The shredded chicken in the filling was not at all chewy. There was a good texture to the pie but perhaps some slightly bigger chunks of chicken would have been good.
Content - 5.7 out of 7 - One of the best Chicken Baltis I have found inside a pie. The filling was really well seasoned and had a nice tomato taste. I really like butter so the buttery taste went down well with me, but I can imagine some might find it a little too sickly. I would have liked a bit of chili with this pie, in addition to the other spices.
Consistency - 5.0 out of 7 - They got the thickness of the sauce about right here, this was one you could just about pick up and eat with your hands, although the pastry did start to crumble. Undercooked pastry on the sides and base let the pie down a little. Overall a decent score for a football pie (which can sometimes be a rip off) so it puts Wembley Stadium in the top half of our football pie league.

Chicken Balti Pie (Edward Moon Proper Pies at Wembley Stadium)
Score: 4.61/7

I was glad that my Dad and Grandad got into the pie reviewing spirit, both having the Beef and Ale pie. However, their choice only made me more pleased with mine as both considered the pie pretty average. My Grandad wasn't impressed by the lack of meat content in his pie although Dad said there were a couple of chunks in his. Despite the result there was plenty of excitement and a good atmosphere. My love of the Chairboys has only increased after the amount of passion the team have displayed this season.

Live Blogging

20.30 - The tension is almost unbearable but the penalties are complete, with a 7-6 win on pens for Southend United. Southend edge it again, after their pie beat Wycombe's earlier in the season! Roll on more football pie reviews next season!!!

20.10 - After a dramatic period of extra time, Wycombe taking the lead followed by a Southend equaliser with almost the last kick of the game, it's gone to pens!

19.30 - It's going to extra time after a 0-0 draw, but sadly the pie kiosk has closed! No more Wembley pies. Sad times!

18.25 - Tried to get a half time chicken balti pie for my dad but there were only vege pies left at half time. Poor pie provision there. Glad I got my pie pre-match!

17.00 - How did it rate then? Well unfortunately it was quite pale and fell apart upon biting into the pie. It had some nice chunks of meat and a good gravy to complement it but certainly have had better beef and ale pies. Considering it was £5 for quite a small pie, I'd buy it again but only at a football ground!

16.48 - Food manager confirms they are Tom's pies - though not the type we have seen before in restaurants/shops. [NOTE: This was later confirmed by the caters @DelawareNorthUK as not correct, as the Tom's pies are only sold on Level 2 of the stadium. The Level 1 pies are made by Oliver James foods.]

16.45 - Beef and Spitfire Ale pie picked up for £5.00 - which isn't as expensive as I feared with some of the horror stories about food pricing at Wembley! Thst said it wasn't a big pie so £5 is still more than I'd want to pay for a pie that size.

16.30 - One hour until kick off! We're in the stadium and it's time to join the pie queue!!!

15.25 - Now approaching Wembley Stadium! Can't smell the pies yet though...

14.55 - Here we go then! After a cheeky bacon bap to keep us going until pie o'clock, we're on the train to Wembley Stadium!

12.45 - Almost at Wycombe now and the excitement is building! What will the pies be like on offer at Wembley? How will they rate?

12.15 - Well on our way to Wycombe now, where we are just over 5 hours away from kick off and even less time away from our pre-match pie!

11.45 - Pierateer Sam has been doing some pre-match pie research and thinks there may be a few different pies on offer. We will see!

11.15 - Sam and Rob have got on the train from Birmingham to Wycombe, ready for a pre-Wembley lunch with fellow Blues fans!

Build Up

There's always been a strong link between football and pie. We've highlighted it many a time, including in our "Pies and Football - a match made in heaven" article. We've even created the PIEremiership, to record the half time pies we've eaten at football grounds across the country and you may have spotted our "Best Pie in London Restaurants" article rates football-related pie shop Piebury Corner as our number 1!

We've rated over 500 pies, including a number of football pies
But we have still not been able to rate a pie at the home of football, Wembley Stadium... until now!

With tickets purchased and trains booked, Pierateer Rob and Pierateer Sam are heading to Wembley, with a pre-match pie for this 5:30pm kick off very much on the agenda! Will the pie hit the back of the net? Will it live up to the hype as the pie of choice at the home of football? Will it be well priced or an absolute rip-off, as we have heard it might be? You'll find out RIGHT HERE!

While we wait to find out which pies are sold at Wembley, here are how the pies rate at the respective two clubs home grounds (click on the pie for the full review):

InfoWycombe Wanderers PieScorevsScoreSouthend United Pie
Steak and Potato
Chicken Balti
Phat Pasty Co
Pukka Pies
Adam's Park
Roots Hall

Pierateers filming with BBC Sport
And speaking of rip off pies, you may well have seen that Pierateer Rob was called upon by BBC One hit show "Rip Off Britain" to give his expert pie opinion recently on football pies. You can find out more about what he said by visiting our Rip Off Britain: Football Pies article.

And if you want to find out more about the match winning pies they sell at Morecambe FC, currently top of our PIEremiership, you can see both Head Chef Graham and ourselves in a video on the BBC Sport website talking football pies!

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