If ever you find yourself, like I did, on Birmingham Moor Street station with an hour to kill, go take a walk. Cross the road directly opposite the station and then follow the walkway across the street up towards the rather swish pedestrianised area where all the big brand name shops are located. There you will find not only an impressive-looking church but also a range of eateries.
Virtually directly across the street from a Café Rouge is an amazing place called Urban Pie. What a place! It sells a range of deep-filled, hand-made pies and it sells them with accompaniments like mushy peas and mashed potato. Fantastic! It's licensed too, meaning you can wash the lot down with a bottle of Stella or Peroni.
There are no plates, everything's disposable, the vibe is good, the name is amazing and the pies, well, they're the tops. I went for a minced beef and new potatoes pie and had mushy peas, mash and gravy and a bottle of Stella, although, to be honest, I didn't really need the Stella. I'd been drinking real ale at a club in Halesowen during the afternoon so lager was a bit superfluous.
But let's talk about Urban Pie. There's an outside seating area, it's licensed, it sells pies (all for £3.95), there are junior pies for £2.95 (ideal if you've got kids or people who are not big eaters), there are sweet pies (try apple and cinnamon or cherry and apple for just £2.65), there's wine, beer, soft drinks, milkshakes – Urban Pie has it all!
Back to those classic pies: there's steak & kidney, steak & mushroom, steak & Stilton, chicken and gammon, chicken and asparagus, chicken balti (well, this is Birmingham!), and a Halal chicken and mushroom pie. Hold on, there's more. How about Thai green chicken, lamb and rosemary, lamb, potato and fresh mint, wild mushroom and asparagus, mature Cheddar and red onion, seasonal vegetable, a breakfast pie or even a Sunday dinner pie.
"At Urban Pie our passion is to create gourmet, handmade pies, deep filled with the finest ingredients."What a statement!
They bake throughout the day, there are no additives, the recipes are simple and the pies can be eaten in or taken out.
Judging by the menu I have there are two Urban Pies in existence: one in Birmingham (0121-643 0040) and one at Highcross in Leicester, call 0116 262 2572. And if you're out there wondering what to do with your life, how about being an Urban Pie franchisee? Interested? Then call on 0870 334 4910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You might like to take a look at the company's website, which is www.urbanpie.co.uk