Pie Minister

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 4 reviews

24 Stokes Croft,

0117 942 3300

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byBenjamin Norris28/10/2008
Quickly becoming a Bristol institution, these organic, locally sourced pies are eliminating the competition with a fun approach, strong ethics and, of course, great tasting food.

The Venue
The Pie Minister cafe sits on Stoke’s Croft; the bohemian, down-at-heel student quarter of Bristol.

Very little thought or effort has gone into the layout or look of the restaurant, as tables and counters clamour for space, the lighting is terrible and there is a slightly greasy-spoon vibe caused by the large blackboard menu, the takeaway cutlery and the old bottles of brown sauce and mustard that litter each table.

You are invited to take your food away, as many do, perhaps due to the (some might say calculated) dinginess of the dining room.

The People
Despite the presentation of the cafe, the atmosphere in a busy lunch-hour is light, joyous even, with a strong community feel.

The range of customers that Pie Minister attracts is huge; teenagers sit happily next to families and office staff share tables with the curious gastronomes and pie lovers who cannot resist such a varied and tempting menu.

The service is always impeccably friendly and every plate is delivered with a smile and a touch of pride. Even when rushed off their feet, the staff are happy to discuss ingredients, ethics, combinations or almost anything else with their customers who sit down to eat feeling highly valued and welcome.

There is a sense of fun to the whole operation and each pie has a humorous or pun-based name giving the customer some idea to its contents, and small touches such as this give an independent, grass-roots and local feel to the eating experience.

The Food
The pies themselves are very good indeed. The pastry is made to a closely guarded secret recipe, and is really quite fantastic; just flaky enough, just thick enough, by no means refined (in the very best way) and unmistakably homemade. It manages to be rustic and coarse, but not heavy or stodgy on your stomach – an impressive feat to achieve consistently.

Unlike many of their peers, Pie Minister pies are generously filled to bursting point with the finest local and seasonal produce, as well as some unexpected treats like the baby shallots, free-range chicken, smoky bacon and vermouth in the Chicken of Aragon pie, or the rich, creamy goats cheese and sweet potato in the Heidi Pie (both £3.65 by themselves or £5.95 with mash, minted mushy peas and red wine gravy).

The varied menu ensures there is something to satisfy every palate, and on observation it seems as though all sell equally well, although it can seem as though the extras (the aforementioned peas, mash and gravy) are slightly overpriced, especially if you do not want all three. However, the peas are sweet and minty, the gravy tangy, dark and complex and the potatoes smooth and buttery enough to demand inclusion on your plate.

The Drink
A decent range of teas and coffees are served, as well as organic soft drinks including a very refreshing elderflower pop (95p), and others. The restaurant is not licenced to serve alcohol.

The Last Word
Despite less than perfect first impressions, any hesitations on entering Pie Minister are quickly left at the door, as consistently immaculate, highly satisfying food is served to an ever-growing fan-base.
Pie Minister has been reviewed by 4 users

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Content updated: 11/06/2012 01:58

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