PIES is the word at Brewers Fayre for their Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 menu. The main draw from this new menu is the Brewers Fayre Pie Collection with six pies, plus two deserts, with an array of combinations and flours to try. Before we get to reviewing the food though, Brewers Fayre probably need to understand what a Pie is before they upset the Pie purists. To many, a Pie is only a Pie when the contents are completely covered in Pastry, which only one of these Pies does. A lot of the others come in a dish with either a Pastry or Potato topping which makes them hotpots not Pies and any upside Pies become Puddings. Semantics dealt with, this post, as with all all new menu reviews, will be updated with more that we try. Unless otherwise specified, all pictures were taken from the Weston-super-Mare restaurant.
The only Pie which is actually a Pie in this new collection is certainly an eyebrow raiser. It’s the Burger Pie which sees a Cheeseburger become encased in Pastry. The Beef Burger is moistened with Cheese Sauce along with Cheddar Cheese, Ketchup and Gherkins which all sits inside the Pastry that has Mustard Seeds sprinkled on top. The overwhelming flavour is the Burger with the taste of Ketchup and Gherkins virtually non-existent. The Mustard Seeds don’t really provide much heat which you would maybe expect them to. It’s a really out of the box idea and one that actually works quite nicely. It’s a very filling dish, that is completed with a side Salad, Chips and Coleslaw, and perhaps the best bit about it is the chunk of minced Beef that is in the Pie. Definitely don’t be put off by the unusual sounding of this Pie and you will be pleasantly surprised. Price: £11.29.
Something more familiar comes in the form of a Beef and Stout Pie. This is one of the ‘Pies’ that comes in a dish so it more of a hotpot and doesn’t even have a lid apart from a piece of Mature Cheddar Cheese Cobbler. It tastes very much like a Beef and Ale Pie with that sharp tang coming from the Russian Stout gravy. There’s plenty of Beef chunks in the dish and they are very tender, making them easier to chew and much more enjoyable. Outside of the dish comes a pile of Chips, which you can swap for diced Potato if you prefer for a heartier, stew-like, feel, and shredded as well as mixture of green vegetables. The Cobbler is also a nice touch. It’s probably the stodgiest part of the meal but soaks up any left over Gravy and creates a really nice tasting extra. Price: £10.99.
Another of the Hotpot variety is the Gammon and Golden Ale Pie. This again comes in a dish but is topped with sliced Potatoes which are similar to the Potato Dippers. This is also accompanied with the medley of Greens, but there’s nothing else accompanying the Pie which perhaps make you feel like there’s less value for money or something missing from the dish. There’s plenty of chunks of tender Gammon mixed with pieces of Carrot. They are smothered in a mature Cheddar, Parsley and Golden Sheep Ale Sauce which doesn’t have an alcoholic kick from the Ale and just tastes like a nice creamy Cheesy sauce, similar to one in a standard Chicken & Mushroom Pie. Price: £10.79.
For the vegetarians, there’s the Mushroom and Spinach. Even Brewers Fayre conceded that this is actually a Tart, albeit a Shortcrust Pastry one, as there’s no risen lid. There’s chunky Mushrooms and Chives moistened up by the familiar Cheddar Cheese Sauce. The Sauce is also a Spinach and Truffle Oil one which offers a more earthy flavour which nullifies any tang from the mature Cheddar. There’s also a Cheddar and Herb crumb to add more flavour and a crumbliness which easily breaks down in the mouth. With this Pie you get Mashed Potato, a jug gravy and that medley of Green Vegetables to complete a very nice Vegetarian dish. Price: £10.29.
Perhaps something you’d expect to see at McDonald’s or Burger King. You can now get a side order of Mozzarella Sticks at Brewers Fayre. These are always popular as everyone likes sticks of breaded Cheese that ooze with every bite you have. They don’t come with any sauce which may upset some people as McDonald’s tend to offer a Tomato Salsa or Sweet Chilli with theirs. You get five of these moreish sticks in a bowl and although they may be cheaper from one of the takeaway restaurants, you’ll certainly enjoy these next to your meal. Price: £2.99.
The two Pie themed Desserts are rather boozy and will definitely warm you up whilst the temperatures plummet. Again there’s some artistic license used here with their Chocolate & Imperial Stout Pudding. It’s not really anything like a Pie as it’s basically just a Chocolate Sponge-like Pudding. You can definitely taste the kick from the Stout which, when smothered in the rich Chocolate Sauce, actually makes it taste darker. The Dessert comes with Vanilla Ice Cream which is perhaps not what everyone wants at this time of year. Price: £4.99.
The other one is a Thatchers Cider Apple Pie. It perhaps doesn’t particularly sound that new but it is another Dessert that will certainly warm the heart. The Pie has Thatchers Gold used inside as well as Cinnamon which gives it even more warmth. Again the Pie is served with Vanilla Ice Cream which might have been better coming with Custard really. The Pastry was very crumbly but it did serve as a very nice Dessert, even with the very boozy kick. The only downside to these is probably the size as they are a little on the small side. Price: £4.99.