On Monday, August 1st, 2016, our Junior Editor Sam Cutler ate a cornish pasty for the first time in his life. He has eaten either a pasty or a pie every day since. In this series, our intrepid American reviews every pie in Edinburgh he can get his hands on. It’s Pie Noon.
22nd August, Right Hand Pie
Today I’m trying a daring new pie from the ever helpful Fish & Chips shop. Due to my experiments yesterday with my Escape Attempt pie, the good people of the Fish & Chips shop decided it would be best to compliment that with a very creative pie that would make a lasting impression on me. This pie was a little on the chewy side, but the crust was absolutely fantastic. The meat wasn’t so much to my liking, it had a strangely familiar flavor that was oddly reminiscent of burger day in my high school cafeteria. However, I definitely agree with the Fish & Chips shop that this pie has made me lose all taste for Escape Attempt Pie. 3/5.
PS. I should apologize to my devoted readers for the late update on today’s Pie Noon. Typing has proven sort of difficult lately.
21st August, Escape Attempt Pie
In light of recent events, today’s Pie Noon will be somewhat different. Today, just for giggles, I will be attempting to teach myself how to escape from a locked room that I am confined in (for totally arbitrary reasons, as I am definitely not confined to a locked room). For this I’ll be using a thin piece of metal from a crappy folding chair, some rope that theoretically could have been used to bind me to said chair earlier, and sheer force of will. I’ll be experimenting with these objects on an old wooden door and a very small window high up on one wall of what I can only describe as a very smelly fish & chips scented basement. Wish me luck!
20th August, Fish & Chips shop revisited
After last night’s very pleasant visit with the Fish & Chips shop, I need to SEND a message to all my readers, hoping to HELP set the record strait. In the past I think I’VE wronged the Fish & Chips shop, who have BEEN nothing but kind about their bad review. KIDNAPPED is the only word I can think of to CALL what I did to their reputation. PIEMAKER couldn’t possibly live up to them, so I’M happy to tell everyone that, despite the past, BEING very good sports, the Fish & Chips shop haven’t HELD anything against me. I have nothing AGAINST the Fish & Chips shop, and in MY professional opinion, I think everyone WILL love them. 5/5
19th August, An Unexpected Call
Dear Readers, some of you may remember that earlier this month I reviewed a pie from a random Fish & Chips shop in Leith, calling it one of the worst pies I’d ever had and claiming it made me fear that I might just up and die. Earlier today, I received a call from the Fish & Chips shop asking to argue their case for their pies, and said they’d like to sit down with me and give me a pie unlike any I’d ever tasted before. Not being one to turn down an offer of pie, and a charitable enough sort to allow folks a second chance, I accepted their invitation. Tonight, I shall go to the Fish & Chips shop to allow them the chance to redeem themselves. Results to come tomorrow.
18th August, Steak & Scotch pie
Well, it’s finally happened guys. The Piemaker has let me down. With a name like Steak and Scotch pie (two of my favorite things), you’d think there would be no way this pie could disappoint, and yet here we are. The crust, per usual, is very good, Piemaker’s typical crispy buttery goodness, but the meat is mealy and flavorless, and the gravy is hardly existent. Maybe my standards have just been raised too high by my previous experiences with Piemaker, but this one was a bummer. 2/5.
17th August, Pizza Roll
Okay, so, I’m not sure I can classify this one as a pie, but at the same don’t, I totally don’t care. It’s a crispy crust full of cheese and tomato sauce, practically a slice folded over on itself. My love of pie is rivaled by one thing and on thing only: My love of pizza. Putting the two together is like the result of some incredible mad science and I’m all about it. Like a good slice, the crust of this pie is thin and crispy, and it’s flowing with tomato sauce. It’s no Dollar Pizza, but it’ll do. 3/5
16th August, Big Steak Bake
A Glorious reunion with Piemaker
Oh Piemaker. It’s good to see you again. I know it’s been a while, and yes, there have been other bakeries, and you’ve had other customers, but you know I’ll always be back. Especially when I walk out with a gigantic pie the size of my face full of tasty, chewy steak and gravy. I missed you, Piemaker, with your flaky, fluffy phyllo dough crust, and your thick, rich sauce. I’ll never leave you again, Piemaker. Never. 4/5
15th August, Greggs Steak Bake
As some of you might know, the pies I have reviewed thus far have all been from Piemaker, a little shop on Southbridge in the heart of Old Town (except for one pie that shall remain nameless and shunned). However, I found myself once again out of Old Town come pie noon time, and not wanting to repeat my experience with The-Pie-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, I stopped into a branch of Greggs, the pies and sandwich shop chain, to get myself a steak bake. I was prepared to be disappointed again, so I was quite surprised to bite into a flaky delicate crust stuffed with tasty steak and flavorful gravy. The gravy was a bit on the salty side and the few pieces of steak were a little too small, but overall this pie was very satisfying. That being said, Greggs can still never come close to the glory that is Piemaker. All hail Piemaker, the one true bakery. 3/5
14th August, Haggis Pie
Before my travels abroad, my father told me, “Beware the Haggis, son. They’ll tell you haggis is good, but don’t you listen to them. Don’t let them trick you boy!” However, I’m happy to report my experience with haggis has proven much more positive than my old man’s. This pie take the traditional Scottish delicacy, spiced to perfection, tops it with paprika-coated mashed potatoes, and wraps it all up in a crispy, crunchy, golden crust. And after only one bite, my jeans magically transformed into a kilt and I know how to play bagpipes. 4 out of 5, highly recommend.
13th August, Steak Pie from the Fish & Chips shop
Or: Considering Brand Loyalty
At Pie Noon today I found myself in Leith, a thirty minute walk away from my beloved Piemaker in Old Town. Not wanting to face another pie-less day, I decided to stop into a nearby shop that had pies in their display case. Looking back now, I recant my assertion that any pie is better than no pie. The crust was bitter and crumbly, the filling made up of second-grade meat and a flavorless gravy. This is the first pie I’ve come across that I was utterly unable to finish. After making my way halfway through I elected to lie on the floor and draw up a Will in my head, fairly certain I wouldn’t make it through the night. 1/5
12th August, Steak and Ale Pie
I’m gonna be honest, I’m pretty disappointed about today’s pie. I had been really excited about a steak and ale pie, with nice chunks of steak, mushrooms, and a stout ale gravy, but in the end I found it falling short. The crust was bland and hopelessly chewy, to the point that I found myself exerting all my energy on fighting my way through the topping to get to the filling, and once I finally got there I was dismayed to see just a couple little cubes of meat and hardly a single mushroom. Though the stout gravy is exceptionally tasty, it can’t make up for the the frustrating crust and lack of substance to the pie. 2/5
11th August, 404 Not Found
Oh… Uh… Well, this is awkward. I didn’t eat a pie today. I’m sorry if you’re disappointed. To be perfectly honest I’m rather disappointed myself. I’m sorry to have let you all down, I know you rely on my pie updates, almost as much as I rely on pie. As the great poet T.S. Eliot once said, “A Day without Pie just f***ing sucks.” I’m pretty sure that was T.S. Eliot. Anyway, more pie tomorrow.
10th August, Fiery Cheese Dog
A filling of creamy cheddar cheese and spicy Jalepeños, the insides of this pie are well worth the price alone, but the absolute best bit of this unconventional pie is the crispy potato crust it comes in. The cheese and peppers are wrapped up in what is basically a big hash-brown and deep fried to crispy perfection. Greasy, spicy and filling, this is both a great snack and the perfect hangover food. 4/5
9th August, Macaroni and Cheese Pie
Macaroni and Cheese Pie. I’m just gonna give that a second to sink in. Macaroni. And Cheese. Pie. It’s pie. Full of macaroni and cheese. Mac and Cheese Pie!! MAC AND CHEESE IN A PIE. CHEESY MAC AND CHEESE AND PIE ALL IN ONE THING THAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH. MAC AND CHEESE PIE. 7 OUT OF 5.
8th August, Maggie’s Bride
An extremely flaky, buttery crust, beef, onion and mash filling leaves plenty to be desired. A lackluster flavor that overall disappoints and leaves you wanting more, not to mention that the pie is about five times as much crust as it is substance. Definitely a bargain, but nowhere near as satisfying as the pies that have come before. 3/5.
7th August, Classic Cornish Pasty
Back to Piemaker’s again for the Cornish Pasty, this pie is turnips, taters, peas and carrots with tender shredded beef in a thick, generously spiced gravy, all wrapped up in a convenient handheld crust. Crispy on the outside, and entire meal on the inside. It’s no small wonder why this is THE classic pasty.
6th August, Traditional Cottage Pie
The star of Piemaker’s Traditional Cottage Pie is definitely the topping of creamy, delicious mash. The consistency and flavor are absolutely perfect, and it maintains the balance of being rich without being cloying. Where it falls short, however, is with the minced beef and onion filling. What should be the pie’s main ingredient is nothing more than an aftertaste, making for a pie that comes across more like a bowl of mashed potatoes. However, they’re really really good mashed potatoes. 3 stars out of 5.