A pie and a pint. I get that. In fact, I want that. But, a pie in a cocktail bar that’s come dressed up as an American BBQ restaurant? Surely, something’s amiss here.
While their look might not scream ‘pies are us’, Pieminister has been around since 2003, and founder Jon and business partner Tristan definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to pies. Their pies have won tons of awards. They have pie pubs up and down, mostly down, the country and are a staple at festivals. And, honestly, the pies being served here in Leeds are good, although there is some room for improvement.
They don’t boast about it, but Pieminister pies are made with 100% free range meat and eggs, and there’s a great selection of pies to choose from. They include the classics you’d expect and some more unusual options, like their open pies covered with béchamel sauce and tempting seasonal pies, like the Beer & Deer: British venison, smoked bacon, kidney bean, and chilli with BrewDog Dead Pony ale. They come served in an enamel dish, and a British venison, dry cured bacon, red wine and green lentil pie (the Deer Stalker) is filled generously with tender, well-seasoned meat in a rich, sticky gravy and is ample with a side, or two, and the superfood slaw, a zingy seed-fuelled side, is a surprisingly good match for a rich pie like this. Or, if you prefer, you can opt for staple sides like mash or skin on chips.
On this occasion, the pie is flavoursome but the pastry is wan and less crisp than I’d have hoped, which isn’t surprising since it arrived at our table in five minutes flat. On the plus side, anything that comes with extra gravy, unprovoked, scores highly for a northerner like me and Pieminister serve enough gravy for you to practically swim home through.
To drink, unless you really feel the need to sample a cocktail with your pie, then there’s a range of craft ales from the likes of BrewDog. And if you get a taste for BrewDog’s beers, you can always head around the corner afterwards for another half and a game of shuffleboard. Finally, for dessert, there’s ice-cream pies (of course) and because portion control is good, you should have enough room for one. Result.
While Pieminister might have tried to stick their fingers in one too many pies on this occasion, what really matters is that the food served is tasty, it’s reasonably priced, and the staff are incredibly friendly without the faintest whiff of obsequiousness.
15-17 Duncan Street, Leeds, LS1 6DQ
(0113 859 1681)
Pies, sides and drinks for two, around £30.