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pie

    Round ups

    Festive Food (I forgot to tell you about)

    So yeah, sorry this is late and you won’t actually get to try and of these dishes because it’s January and everyone is regrowing their livers with a green juice “detox” or whatever BS people do in the New Year New Me cause.  But the point was really an aide memoire that there are places in Birmingham doing interesting things, and we should remember to check them out – because restaurants are for all months of the year, not just for December.

    Pigs in Blankets Eggy Crumpets from Wayland’s Yard

    Isn’t Wayland’s Yard great?  The first time we went in to this little cafe hiding on Bull St I thought it looked a bit like a Melbourne coffee shop, which is a compliment because Australians really know how to treat their coffee well and Melbourne has the best cafes in the world. So yes, the coffee in Wayland’s is good, but thankfully so is the food.  I say food, I always have the eggy crumpets, but if they’ half as good as that, you’ll be fine.  For Christmas this year, they had the above version, pigs in blankets eggy crumpets and It Was Good.  To be fair, you can order your eggy crumpets with chorizo and bacon all year round, so you can sort of get the same hit. And I highly recommend it.

    Wayland’s Yard, 42 Bull Street, Birmingham B4 6AF

    The Meat Shack’s Santa Shack

    Usually I’m a classicist when it comes to burgers and I think it’s hard to beat a bacon cheeseburger, but there are a few places I’m willing to deviate from my normal and The Meat Shack on Thorpe St is one of those.  And over December, they were selling the Santa Shack, a burger which tasted liked Christmas between a bun.  I know because I had it more than once.  A beef patty, braised red cabbage, camembert, candy bacon crumb, chipotle – cranberry, ketchup, deep fried greens and mustard mayo with parsnip crisps on the side, it was filling and hearty without putting you into a Christmas-style food coma, and that was just spot on.  Sadly it was only a December delicacy, but I’m hoping if we campaign enough, they might bring it back again for a special.  Christmas in July anyone?

    The Meat Shack, 17 Thorp St, Birmingham B5 4AT

    Deep & Crisp & Vegan pie from Pieminister

    When vegan-food explorer extraordinaire Tasha from NutellaTasha invites you to lunch, it would be rude to say no.  And it would be rude not to go native and order vegan too, so that’s what I did.  The Deep & Crisp & Vegan pie from Pieminister has one of the best pun-tastic names from the festive season, and it was delicious.  A creamy vegan turkey pie with celeriac, smoked garlic & sherry, on a bed of mashed potato and topped with stuffing balls and cranberry sauce. YUM.

    Pieminister, 16 Waterloo St, Birmingham B2 5UG

    Mama Creaven’s roast pheasant

    Christmas even dinner is when my mum gets to have some fun, and so this year because she wasn’t cooking Christmas dinner, we had roast pheasant with bacon, onions and a red wine jus.  There was also vegetables, and the biggest surprise of all, potatoes. Whilst my mum’s idea of carbs is usually stealing mine when we go out for dinner, this delicious sauce warranted leaving nothing behind and spuds were just the ticket.  Sorry, you can’t book into my mum’s house for dinner, it’s hard enough for me to get an invite, but this was one of my favourite festive meals, so it deserved a mention.  If you want to know the recipe let me know and I’ll ask my mum.

    Nice try, I’m not telling you where my mum lives.

    Disclaimer: I call my mum mum, or Bernie if she’s not replying. We’re from Birmingham, I’ve never called her mom and I’m not about to start now. Also, I didn’t pay for dinner at my mum’s because that would be weird. I did pay for the burger and the crumpets and I was Tasha’s guest for pie but I don’t really think they cared who I was.

    Restaurant reviews, Reviews

    Pie at The Botanist Birmingham

    botanist_pieOkay so I don’t really pay much attention to whatever national food stuff week it is because frankly it would be exhausting.  But there are a few exceptions.  And when National Pie Week rolls round and one of the Pierateers asks if I want to go and eat pie the answer is pretty obvious.  I mean pie, it’s pretty great isn’t it?

    I headed off to The Botanist on Temple Street with Rob from the brilliantly named pie review blog Pierate – yes there’s plenty of pies, puns and pirate related shenanigans.  The Pierateers take their pie rating pretty seriously, rating pie on everything from colour to content.  Rob had a ‘Pierateer in Training‘ pack for me and as much fun as we had chatting all things pie food and blog related, I think it’s safe to say I would probably make me a pretty rubbish Pierateer!

    That said, we both tried the Botanist’s chicken and chorizo pie, which came with gravy and a choice of either chips or mash.  The gravy was a bit of an odd choice, as the pie had a white sauce and they didn’t seem to go – and the pie didn’t really need it either.  It was a good all round pie, I thought, the meat in my pie had been cut into bite-sized pieces, although I think some bigger chunks would’ve been preferable, and I liked the pastry to filling ratio which doesn’t always happen.

    I’m keeping my final score to myself, because a girl’s gotta have some secrets (actually I’m just pretty indecisive at scoring anything, which is why I don’t do ratings on the blog).  But it was a lot of fun pretending to be a Pierateer for a lunchtime.  And thank you to The Botanist for helping us to celebrate National Pie Week!

    http://thebotanist.uk.com/menus/birmingham

    Disclosure: I totally wasn’t expecting it, but the Botanist gave us complimentary meals in celebration of National Pie Week, although I figure that was more to do with my dining companion being a Pierateer and it pretty much being like their version of Christmas.