“ Address: The Bullring Shopping Centre / Birmingham / B5 4BE / England / Tel: 0121 643 0040 „
Urban Pie is a brand of restaurants, and they currently are placed in two locations. The first is in Leicester, and the second is in Birmingham, and this is the one which I will be reviewing. Urban Pie offer a range of gourmet pies, along with a further variety of foods to tingle your taste buds. I stumbled across Urban Pie by luck, and now I appear to have gone to pie heaven!
It all started when me and my boyfriend were feeling pretty hungry after doing a humongous shop in the Bullring, Birmingham. Feeling tired and hungry, we wanted somewhere to sit down and get a bite to eat, but within the city centre everywhere just always seems to be busy. We were walking down a street of a few cafes and restaurants when we saw Urban Pie tucked away, so we thought we would check it out. It is situated in the gap between the gap on the second floor of the Bullring, however it is accessible from outside too as you need to go outside to get into Urban Pie. It is tucked away and easy to miss, so you will have to look out for it!
The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that it had a lovely, homely feel to it which I enjoyed. However, my main issue with this restaurant is that there is just not enough seating. When placed in such a large city, you would think they would be able to cater for a number of people, but this really is a poky little place. Thankfully, as it is just for some quick grub, it does mean people don't tend to stick around too long so you do get a seat eventually. They are all high seats and tables, so it is quite a sociable and laid back environment, however it is all just a little claustrophobic. You end up sitting centimetres from the people beside you, behind you and in front of you which is a little frustrating. There are some tables outside the restaurant, but these always seem to be snapped up, particularly when there is good weather. Despite the seating arrangements, I was ready to try out Urban Pie and was hoping for the best.
The system in which you purchase your food is a little like school dinners. First up you grab a drink. Me and the boyfriend just opted for Coke and Sprite in a bottle as we didn't fancy anything too crazy. There are a variety of drinks available though so you will find something to your tastes. You then grab a tray and move along the queue. Firstly, you select your pie. The later on in the day you go, the less choice you get, so I would recommend getting there as early as possible if you want a tasty pie! All of the pies are gourmet, and they smell delicious once you get a look at them. I opted for steak and stilton, and the boyfriend opted for lamb, potato and fresh mint. Others available for you are:
* Angus Steak
* Steak and Mushroom
* Chicken and Asparagus
* Chicken and Mushroom
* Chicken and Gammon
* Lamb and Rosemary
* Cheddar and Onion
* Seasonal Veg
* Mushroom and Asparagus
In addition to these, they often have some specials on, and I saw a steak and ale pie when I was there which I fancied the look of, but instead went for the steak and stilton. It then gets popped into the oven for a couple of minutes and then you move down the queue to choose what sides you would like with your meal. I got all excited at the choice and wanted everything, but in the end we both opted for traditional mash, a yorkshire pudding and gravy. (Yes, you do have to pay for the gravy separately, which is a little strange)! The further sides which you can choose from include:
* Flavoured Mash
* Jacket Potato
* Potato Wedges
* Chilli con Carne
* Corn on the Cob
* Baked Beans
I should also note that they do have a small breakfast menu available if that takes your fancy. This includes some pastries, croissants and a small range of breakfast rolls for quite a reasonable price.
As far as pricing is concerned for the main food, it is a little steep but this is expected when purchasing gourmet foods. The pies are around £4.00 each depending on which you buy, and then most of the sides range from £1.00 to £2.00, but obviously it depends on your appetite and how many you would like. I think in total for our meal with drinks it was just short of £20.00, but I do think it is worth it for the good, hearty food and a new experience. A little strange that you have to pay 25p just to have gravy on your pie though!
You get your food on plate if you are eating in, and cutlery and napkins are provided for you. However, this food is available to take out as well and you get it in a handy little cardboard box which is quite convenient for those who are on the go and require a good meal. Never the less, we opted to sit in and brave the seating area. We had to wait a few minutes for some seats to clear, but the food was still piping hot and we were too hungry to care! The seats were a little uncomfortable, but as we were only planning on staying a short while, this was not too much of a big deal to us!
The most important thing to me was how tasty the food was. I have to admit that I was overwhelmed with it. All of the food was piping hot and tasted delicious. I had the steak and stilton pie, and although an individual sized pie, it is just the right size. It looks about the right size for me, but my boyfriend was hoping for a slightly bigger pie. Needless to say, he was full from his after we had finished, and this is because you get a generous helping of fillings inside the pie unlike many others which seem to just be full of gravy! The filling of the pie was absolutely delicious and so fresh. I would go back every day if I could because they are just so tasty! All of the flavours look wonderful, and there is even a good variety available for vegetarians. The pies are definitely gourmet, and have a lovely, homely taste to them which is nice when you are used to living in a bustling city centre as it is somewhere I like to go and hide away! The sides were also very tasty and we ate every bit of ours, leaving absolutely nothing spared! As far as taste goes, Urban Pie get full marks and the price really does reflect in the quality of the food.
The staff that work there are all very friendly and helpful in helping you choose your pie, and as soon as you have finished your meal they come and clear away your plates and ensure you enjoyed the meal which makes the experience even nicer. My favourite thing about this restaurant has to be that it is not a formal, sit down area, yet it is not McDonalds-esque. It is good, proper food yet in a laid back environment and I really praise Urban Pie for offering this.
Therefore, if you are after some hearty, traditional food, make your way to Urban Pie at the Bullring in Birmingham as it is absolutely delicious. Try not to let the poor seating put you off it, as the pies really make up for it! Such yummy food and I will be more than happy to return again in the future. I hope this review helps and thanks for reading.
Urban Pie is situated in the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham City Centre. It is home to a great alternative food choice to the many baguette, sandwich and pizza restaurants in the area.
As the name suggests, Urban Pie offers a wide variety of "gourmet pies" for £3.95. They include:
Steak & Kidney
Steak & Stilton
Minced Beef & New Potatoes
Thai Green Chicken
Chicken & Gammon
Chicken & Asparagus
Chicken & Mushroom
Sunday Dinner Pie
Lamb & Rosemary
Lamb, Potato & Fresh Mint
Wild Mushroom & Asparagus
Mature Cheddar & Red Onion
A number of "Junior Pies" are also available for £2.95 including:
Minced Beef & New Potatoes
Chicken & Ham
An absolute must with any pie is the Handmade Mash (£1.75) and lashings of gravy (20p). You can also have a side of Garden or Mushy Peas, Baked Beans or Sweetcorn (all 95p) and Mash Toppings such as cheddar cheese or crispy onions (50p).
Sweet Pies are also available for those less inclined to the savoury such as Apple, Cinnamon or Cherry Pie (£2.65). The store also hosts a variety of cold and hot drinks both alcoholic and soft.
Urban Pie provides a changing menu of "seasonal pies" in order to try and tempt you away from your favourite and pies can be taken home either cooked or uncooked if you ask.
Opening Hours are:
Monday - Saturday: 10.00am - 8.00pm Sunday: 10.00am - 6.00pm
I find the best time to go is after 5pm where all pies are half price. Obviously, the selection is a little more limited following the lunchtime rush,but there are still some bargain pies to be found!
My only real issue with Urban Pie is that the seating area inside is tiny and you have to be quite at ease with other people invading your personal space at busy times. There is further seating outside, which soon fills up on sunny days.
This place does get really busy which is perhaps a sign of just how good the food is here. There really is something for everyone and the pies are made with the finest ingredients. Each pie comes in a special card box which opens up innovatively in to a little plate and is fully recyclable.
I'm a big fan of Urban Pie and its in a great location if you like people watching whilst enjoying some delicious food. Just make sure you get there early to secure a good seat!