Here's Why You Need To Check Out The Black Lion On Chapel Street
Lord of the Pies?
With an award-winning brand founded back in 2003, and a family history of making pies dating back to the Victorian times, Pieminister certainly know what they’re doing and they’ve even supplied pies to the Queen for a Christmas party, does this make them Lord of the Pies? The Bristol based company ventured up North opening a pie café in the Northern Quarter in 2013 and have since teamed up with a growing number of traditional pubs to serve their pies. The recently refurbished Black Lion in Salford being one of these ‘Pie Pubs’.
This quaint pub located a stone’s throw from Deansgate, just over the bridge into Salford on Blackfriars Road crossing Chapel Street, is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quality pie with a pint. They even have Sam Adams Boston larger and Blue Moon ale on draft.
Take your pie and eat it
The menu would be very straightforward - take your pie and eat it, if not for the fact that there are so many to bloody choose from! There’s the Moo, Moodog, Moo & Blue, Matador, Deer Stalker, Free Ranger, Chilli Con Carnage… the list goes on. Fear not, there’s also a good variety for veggies including the Heidi (goats’ cheese, spinach and sweet potato), Wild Shroom (Self-explanatory) and the Saag Pie-neer (Pea, paneer, spinach, potato, chilli and mango).
Once you’ve made the nail pie-ting decision, next comes the choice of meal combination with a handy variety of options to cater for your appetite:
Pie & Gravy - £6.50
Pie, Mash & Gravy - £8.00
Pie, Mash, Peas & Gravy - £9.00
The Mothership: all of the above topped with cheddar and crispy shallots - £10.00
As I had already tasted the Moodog pie on a previous outing I continued exploring the menu and picked the Moo & Blue (British beef steak & long Clawson Stilton) - Mothership of course…
Leading the life of Piley
It really is a treat for the taste buds with the stilton, not overpoweringly strong but making its presence known, ideally complementing the chunky beef steak filling, all enclosed by light pastry. The pie comes sat on a layer of creamy mash, topped with a dense mound of mushy peas, pieces of cheddar and crispy shallots, drowned in a rich beef gravy. I was leading the life of Piley but at a fraction of the price, I mean what can you get for a tenner these days? It really was a belter of a meal, full of flavour and quality ingredients. In fact Pieminister prides itself as being the only nationwide pie company that uses 100% free range meat and egg.
The experience was hindered by the portion of mash under the pie being slightly on the small side and the mushy peas being far from hot, yet they were still too tasty to be left untouched! Unfortunately the Black Lion struggled to cater for a large crowd, despite pre-ordering the meals, it would appear the kitchen could only cope with 4 meals at a time and some people had finished eating before some had even been served.
Overall experience rating: 3.14159 out of 5.
Pie puns aside, these minor criticisms cannot be held against the Pieminister pies. The pioneering (couldn’t resist) company has taken the footy match favourite and the OAPs’ staple dietary requirement and brought it back to the mainstream with exciting flavours and quality ingredients, reinventing the traditional British pie in a twenty-first century form.
If you’re heading to any music festivals next year make sure you look out for the Pieminister van which attends over 30 festivals in the Summer months. If you’re not however, fear not they will still of course be available at Pieminister locations as per usual.
The Pieminister café is located at 53 Church Street in the Northern Quarter, open 11am – 10pm Monday to Saturday (last food orders at 9pm) and 12 noon – 5pm on Sundays.
As well as the Black Lion in Salford, Pieminister pies can also be found at the Town Hall Tavern on Tib Street joined to Cross Street in the city centre, the Tavern on the Green in Altrincham and the Carters Arms in Wilmslow.
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