365Bristol Lunch Hour: PieministerPosted on: 12 Oct 2018
Lunchtime. It’s surely the best part of the working day. It marks the end of the slow, coffee-fuelled morning and the beginning of those final hours in the afternoon before we get to leave work. If your workspace is centrally located like ours, it’s good to go for a lunchtime ramble now and again in search of a great spot to sit down and munch until your heart’s content. Dining out for lunch is a good chance to catch up with a friend, loved one or spend the hour alone to treat yourself once in a while! Alternatively, if you’re an employer, the lunch hour is the perfect time to take the employees out to a well-deserved meal as a thank you for their hard work.
With Bristol being the foodie hotspot that it is, there's a seemingly endless amount of fantastic restaurants in and around the city centre. You can find food from all over the globe from a wide range of eateries here, and with so many flavours to be sampled, we have made it our mission to test, try and time as many as we can. This time around we headed to Broad Quay to try out Pieminister's cheap, quick and cheerful lunchtime offering.
The Great British pie. Everybody's got their favourite, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone in the UK who can honestly say that they don't like them. Having come on leaps and bounds from the standard steak or chicken pies of old, you can now find a huge array of crust-topped offerings, from wild venison to paneer cheese. Pieminister, founded in Bristol in 2003 and now covering most of the UK and present on your local supermarket shelves, is arguably the number one high street purveyor of pies right now, so we simply had to check out their Lunchtime Offers menu as part of this series.
Located on Broad Quay, the city centre branch is one of three locations in Bristol, with the other two sat in Stokes Croft and on nearby Corn Street. The Broad Quay restaurant is in a perfect spot for any and all of you based in the city centre to grab a bite to eat for lunch, sat directly across the street from the Hippodrome and just around the corner from the city's downtown office district. It has to be said that as well as being in a prime location for your lunch break, the service at Pieminister is impressively quick. The restaurant itself is a pretty nice place to be, but if you're in a real rush you can be in and out of there in 30-40 minutes.
The broad menu caters for a wide range of tastes, but we went for the Heidi - a vegetarian offering with goat's cheese, sweet potato, red onion and spinach - and the Free Ranger, filled with free-range chicken, Wiltshire cured ham, leeks and thyme in a creamy sauce. I was massively impressed by the Heidi pie, with the sharpness of the tangy goat's cheese and the strong flavour of red onion a good contrast to the creamy-tasting sweet potato. The Free Ranger, on the other hand, was a delicious hark back to the sort of pie that your mum would cook you as a kid: heartwarming, tasty and filling.
Both pies were cooked to perfection and rested on a bed of creamy mashed potato, served with peas and gravy. I was impressed with the minted mushy peas I opted for, which added an interesting element to the overall dish. If you've got time for a side (which I would say that you do considering how quick the service is here), go for the fried cauliflower. The taste and texture were very similar to that of Southern fried chicken, and the sharp curry dipping sauce on the side was a fantastic accompaniment.
Overall, Pieminister pretty much covered all the bases when it comes to eating out on a lunch hour. The food is spot on, the staff are friendly, the service is quick and you don't have to break the bank for a good meal - a pie and one side (with gravy) will only set you back £6.95. When you're spending £3/4/5 a day on meal deal food from Tesco, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't spend that little bit extra for a genuinely enjoyable meal instead of one on the go. Meals don't come much more satisfying than a hearty, well-made Great British pie, and at Pieminister you're getting the best of the bunch.
You can find Pieminister at 7 Broad Quay, Bristol BS1 4DA, The Corn Exchange, Corn St, Bristol BS1 1JQ and 24 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3PR, serving their lunchtime menu from 11.30am-4pm.
Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt recently completed a degree in Journalism at UWE. He is keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends live music and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.