Have you heard of Pieminster? If not, where have you been? This brand of what are essentially ‘pie and mash’ shops with a large sprinkling of cool urban styling, is something of an institution in it’s homeland of Bristol.
Pieminister has restaurants and cafes in several locations around the UK but nothing in the Midlands. However, I’m happy to report that the rumours that they are coming to Nottingham are all true. Set to open early next year, this is music to my hungry ears! My other half is Bristolian, now living in Nottingham (another excellent export) and on our last trip down there, we made a lunch stop at the original Stokes Croft restaurant.
Stokes Croft as an area of Bristol has undergone somewhat of a renaissance from what I gather. Once downtrodden and best avoided, these days it’s still a bit rough around the edges but full of artists, bars and independent shops. It’s also home to The Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft, a group of artists and activist who work to rise the profile of the community in this area. They are also the clever folk behind some gorgeous pottery. Take a peek here.
Although no longer on the menu, we used our (Dave’s) insider knowledge to order The Mothership. This is all out the best you can get and works out cheaper than buying the elements separately. It includes your choice of pie plus mash, gravy and a few extra bits – crispy fried onions, cheese and minted mushy peas. Don’t be scared to ask for this, they will do it for you! I had the moo & blue – British beef steak & Long Clawson Stilton and Dave had the moodog – British beef steak, smoked bacon & BrewDog 5am red ale pie. The secret is that they use two types of pastry – one for the sides and one for the top. My guess is a suet pie and shortcrust lid.
The portions were huge and the pies totally delicious. I love the combination of steak and stilton and anything with Long Clawson (local to us here in the Midlands) in it is a winner for me. There was plenty of meat in the pie and they were generous with the cheese too. The mash was proper – like you’d make at home on a good day.
We were with a big group of friends and between us, I think we covered most of the pies on the menu. By the end we hadn’t all managed to clear our plates but this was absolutely due to inability to finish such huge quantities because every thing we ate was completely delicious!
Here’s some advice – this place isn’t huge, probably only seating around 50 so make sure you get there early if you want a table – or be prepared to wait! Also, wear baggy clothes and consider skipping breakfast. Order at the bar and await the fine pie feast ahead of you. I cannot wait for the Nottingham branch to open. Hurry up guys!
24 Stokes Croft,