Pieminster - Leeds, West Yorkshire

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I'm a northerner so naturally I like a good pie. Pieminister are a pie company I have seen around for so long and have so many good pies and when they started doing gluten free I was a very happy bunny however the pies only became available in Sainsburys and Waitrose which means me going out of my way to get one as they aren't that local to me, plus they were being sold for £5 each and you could guarantee when I wanted a pie the weren't on offer. So basically, I am trying to say, I've not had one.

When I found out the Pieminister restaurants, or some of them at least, were also going to be doing the gluten free pies, I was even happier, all I needed now was an opportunity to actually go to one of the restaurants as the nearest is a 45 drive away.

Pieminister pie, mash and gravy
Pieminister pie, mash and gravy
A year after all this, I finally got the opportunity while visiting Leeds for the weekend, one of the first of the restaurants that starting offering the Pieminister gluten free menu.

We went really early on, it was about 11.30am, we were hungry so couldn't wait any longer for lunch, we weren't the only ones in there at that time either but it was still very quiet. I asked for the gluten free menu when I entered and was given a nice little sheet, much smaller than the normal menu but still a nice variety of three different pies, skillet dishes, some sides and even gluten free beer.

Being a pie fan it was hard to choose which to have, options were steak and ale, chicken, ham and leek or goats cheese, sweet potato and spinach, all of which I love, it took me a while but decided on good old steak and ale. They also had skillet options if you don't want pie, these are pastry free options and were limited to roast veg and quinoa hot pot (which is also a vegan option) or hake, salmon, pollock and prawns with a cheese mash top. All options sounded absolutely gorgeous.

Pies on their own were £6.50 or you could have a pie with a side for £8.50. Sides were either, mash, cheesy mash, slaw, beans, cheese or pigs in blankets. No chips on this menu, they are on the normal menu though so I assume they are either coated in flour or they share a fryer with something else, whichever way they are not gluten free as the guy who served us pointed out if it's not on the gluten free menu then it's not gluten free.

I opted to have my pie with cheesy mash, I'm not the biggest mash fan but pie should always go with chips or mash.

When I ordered I made sure to state that I was ordering from the gluten free menu and was told mine would be prepared separately. It's always best to say you are ordering from the gluten free menu even if they can see you reading it, just to make doubly sure.

Cut open Pieminister pie, mash and gravy
Cut open Pieminister pie, mash and gravy
When the food arrived I was greeted with a stunning looking pie on a circle of mash with a boat of gravy, he didn't say gluten free when it arrived so I asked and he clarified, you can never be too careful.

The pastry on the pie was so crispy, like proper shortcrust pastry, it really was hard to tell it was gluten free, pretty much impossible, some of the best pastry I have had and I can honestly say the best pie I have had. It was crammed with chunks of meat, gravy and carrot, absolutely stuffed to the hilt, not half heartedly filled like some pies on the market.

The mash wasn't particularly cheesy but was lovely and creamy, there wasn't a great lot of it but with the size of the pie I didn't feel I needed anymore, there was plenty as there was.

The dish as a whole was amazing and for £8.50 I think it was well worth it, when you consider buying just the pie from a supermarket is £5 and here you are getting a side, gravy and it being cooked for you, as far as restaurant meals go, personally I don't think it was too badly priced, they could easily charge more if they wanted too.

Overall I will definitely be back whether to this branch or another, the pie was perfect, the staff were lovely and the prices weren't that bad and I will certainly be getting a Pieminister pie from Sainsburys next time I want a pie, for sure they are the best on the market. The only thing I would like to see is some option for desserts as there is none and maybe another pie or two wouldn't go amiss!

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