Pie and Ale is the latest offering by the owners of Bakerie in the Northern Quarter.
A little hidden away at the back of The Hive Building just off Lever Street Pie and Ale essential does exactly what it says on the tin. As a lad raised on pie and mash I’ve been surprised it’s take this long to happen, but that might just me. First impressions are that the space looks great, good use of varied seating allowing booths for groups, or indeed something a little more cosy, with stools for your more casual pie eater and low chairs along the front for your pie eating window gazers.
As for pies themselves the varied pastry finishes and innovative fillings, which are ample but not over facing, make for good all round meal when combined with a side of mash, peas and decent gravy. Pieminister have been Manchester’s (all though not Manchester home grown) closest offering so far, selling at a few venues around town including most recently and notably The Whiskey Jar along with the Teacup take on pies which are lovely but a little more sausage roll-ish. However this has up until now been an item amongst others, it’s a part of, not a specialism and the current flow of things shows an ever growing desire for people to just do one thing and do it well (just look at the success of Almost Famous as a case and point.)
And so to the format, three flavours of freshly baked pie are on the menu each day – one meat, one veg and one guest special (a Breakfast Pie on a Saturday & a Sunday Roast Pie are I’m told coming soon) also the choice of homemade pork pies as bar snacks covers all bases for me. 6 guest ales are on offer aswell as a fully stocked fridge and short drink offering.
As you’d imagine and hope the pies themselves are pretty damn good, personally it’s all about the meat option but I’m informed the veg not only holds up but is a very good choice.
My only extra thought on Pie and Ale are that on both occasions I’ve been there has only been 2 pie choices as one was sold out, it kind of leaves me with a sense of having to order 1 of 2 things or don’t eat, which when you’ve booked a table for 2 at 7pm on a Saturday evening this can put a damper on it, especially if the person you’re with is vegetarian and the veg option is gone. I wonder if the concept will develop in time, my suggestion is having 3 “House Pies” on at all times and then maybe 2 guest pies, or some such arrangement, that way maybe all bases are covered.
A nice surprise was the coffee and cake, there’s alot to be said for ending on a high and in this instance both were great.
To summarise I’d say Pie and Ale is a great addition to the ever changing ever growing hustle and bustle of the Northern Quarter food scene.
Sunday – Thursday – 11am – 11pm / Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight
Pie & Ale
Northern Quarter Arcade
The Hive (off Lever Street)
Manchester M1 1FN