Cardiff- 8th March, 2014

Cardiff- 8 March 2014 Cardiff- 8 March 2014 (inside Pie)
Ground: Cardiff, Cardiff City Stadium
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: Cardiff 3-1 Fulham
Pie: Clark’s Pie (Beef)
Comments: Cardiff’s new/plush/generic/soulless stadium may be nothing special , but the pies certainly are- a local delicacy in a premiership ground! Almost unheard of!

The intriguing option sat invitingly on the menu, labelled only as Clark’s Pie there was one way to find out what in Wale’s green earth it was. Unaware of who Clark was, or what he was doing making pies, I went to the most reliable source of knowledge since Socrates died to discover its origins.

It turns out that these novel pastry’s came to fruition way back in 1909 with “the exact recipe of the pie filling a closely guarded secret containing beef, vegetables and gravy. Unusually for a pie, the pastry is thick enough not to require a foil tray. Each pie has the word “CLARPIE” stamped into the pastry”- Wikipedia

It sounds a lot like a standard beef pie, but ohhh no, its far more than that.

My slice of Clarky was like a bread roll from a distance and with a similar sturdiness close up, inside the oblong shape a hearty beef filling resided like a molten meaty flow of gravy lava. The most noticeable novelty with the pie was the pastry, different from anything I’d ever tasted in a football pie, almost like sourdough, but not really like that at all. The nearest comparison could be to that rogue bread roll variety you get in restaurants sometimes, in fact maybe I’m specifically thinking of Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits. Yes, that’s exactly it, for those yet to frequent the seafood chain just head over to America and visit one. Easy.

A lovely new pie experience on what will likely be my last season in the premiership for awhile thanks to Fulham’s completely shambolic  showing on the day. What a mess this season has been for the Cottagers, just awful from Sunderland away on the opening day until now. Let’s hope we’re put out of misery soon, like Michael Owen should have been in 2006, and we can all look forward to a host of new pies in the Championship. I hear Brighton has some special pies….
Rating: 8.5/10

(More on Clark’s Pies here and here)

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Manchester United- 9th February, 2014

United-9 Feb 2014 United-9 Feb 2014 (Inside Pie)
Ground: Manchester United, Old Trafford
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: United 2-2 Fulham
Pie:Chicken Balti
Comments: By all accounts this season has an unmitigated been a disaster; a deadly combination of tedious pie choices and the fact Fulham can’t string 2 passes together before conceding another goal the the Fulham under 6s would be ashamed to have let in, not to mention the fact Aldershot are teetering on the brink of relegation (again).

Where do you turn to in these moments of despair more distressing than Scott Parker attempting a pirouette on the edge of your box? The Theatre of Dreams! Hope and belief can be found to vanquish the rotting smell of another bland bit of pastry and turgid football in United’s sacred home! Lol jks they sell Hollands pies.

Looking at the photos you’ll see the pastry paradox that faced me that faithful Sunday afternoon; a top that resembled a zombie’s scrotum, in colour and texture, along with a filling so bloody succulent, thick and orange it could be mistaken for Mick Hucknell’s flowing locks in the stand.

Once the surface had been flung at an unsuspecting Asian tourist, the pie was a joyous omen to Fulham’s lucky last gasp equaliser. Great stuff inside the yummy little Balti was offset by the inexcusably shite pastry on top, I doubt even 83 crosses from Evra alone would have broken its cement like crust.
Rating: 7/10

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Sheffield United- 26th January, 2014

Sheffield United-26 Jan 2014

Sheffield United-26 Jan 2014 (Stadium)

Ground: Sheffield United, Bramall Lane
Competition: FA Cup 4th Round 2013/14
Result: Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham
Pie: Chicken Balti
Price: £3.50
Comments: It’s the FA Cup, that glorious grail of maddening belief. As Fulham languish down the wrong end of the table in hapless form, the dream of our first cup glory in 134 long years grows and glistens in equal measure to the fear of relegation.

After milking the most of a drab two legged affair with Norwich, the prospect of Sheffield United away seemed like a Champions League awayday in Munich. Our expectations are low indeed, further sunk by the realisation that another ruddy bloody  Pukka pie was coming my way in the deluge of torrential rain outside the ground. The pie was solid as anything that’s ever graced my lips from Pukka, the game on the other hand was a diabolical contest reminiscent of a malcoordinated game of dodgeball.

The only plus beyond the comedy of Rodders falling over missing the ball and Senderos generally was the fact the ground had a Pukka Pie stand, now that is something to write home about. Awful draw, surely we’ll turn them over at home and march on to Wembley?
Rating: 6.5/10

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Arsenal- 18th January, 2014

Arsenal- 18 Jan 2014
Ground: Arsenal, The Emirates
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: Arsenal 2-0 Fulham
Pie:Peppered Steak
Price: £3 or was it £3.50…
Comments: I remember a few years ago when Arsenal,in keeping with their ticket prices, had those Wembley style of pies that came in a fancy box and were outrageously overpriced mediocrity, however it looks like cost cutting has come into effect with the bank busting deal for bug eyed lightweight Ozil meaning that the club has been reduced to serving bog standard Holland’s pies.

The tested offering was another well trodden peppered steak, very peppery, not so steaky. All panache and no substance, in tune with Arsenal’s football ethos at least, although the bullet proof pastry would withstand a crunching challenge from Flamini. As for treacle, or was it fecal, dried on brown stuff living on the pie’s crust, who knows what it was, I’m still pondering it.

Incredibly mediocre for a club like Arsenal, I wonder if they are serving these disappointing pies up in the bourgeoisie filled club level? I like to think they’re chomping down on prawn pies with their silverware (the only silverware they’ve seen in 10 years!).
Rating: 5/10 (Excuse my cheap jokes Arsenal fans)

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Fulham- 11th January, 2014

Fulham- 11 Jan 2014 (Cottage)
Ground: Fulham, Craven Cottage
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: Fulham 1- 4 Sunderland
Pie: (Craven) Cottage Pie
Price: £3.50
Comments: Now this is what a football pie should be like, tasty, different and with a pun in its name. The thinking man’s half time refresher.

Firstly, its a cottage pie (and a good one at that), quite a rarity in the Balti/Steak dominated footballing pyramid. Points for novelty.
Secondly, its everything you crave in a cottage pie, a creamy, fluffy, top with a meaty centre at its core and reassuringly tough pastry.
Thirdly the presentation is top notch. There’s a nice little faux napkin and box combination to stop you spilling the foamy topping down your lap when Senderos’ incomprehensibly woeful pass goes straight to the opposing strikers’ right foot causes your limbs to malfunction.
Lastly the reasonable price and pun filled name, Craven Cottage Pie=Genius, are the Community Shield-esq sweeteners to top it all off.

However, not even this delicious specimen of a pie could mask the horrors of Fulham’s performance against Sunderland, truly truly abysmal.
Rating: 9/10 (Fulham’s performance: -9/10)

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The Duke’s Head Pub (Fulham)- 11th January, 2014

Fulham- 11 Jan 2014
Ground/Pub: Duke’s Head  (Fulham)
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: Fulham 1- 4 Sunderland
Pie:Peppered Steak
Price: £5.50
Comments: Thinking outside the 18 yard box, and faced with repetitive pie reviews, I have taken the radical action of reviewing a pie not from a football ground! Unbelievable Jeff!

The first novelty inclusion is the pub the Duke’s Head in Putney, just across the river from Fulham’s cozy little ground of dashed hopes, and its mini pie from their special match day takeaway menu. Much like Fernando Torres this peppered steak pie is marred by its ludicrously inflated price tag, coming in at a transfer record busting £5.50 prevents this small and mighty bundle of pastry from ever making the grade. Obviously home made and delightfully tasty, proper, steak bits make this pie a tier above its generic Pukka/Hollands brand competitors, but the unnecessarily high price of such a small, and cold, snack fail to match the expected quality. A shame, but what did I expect when a pint is over £4 in there, who said football isn’t a working class sport any more?
Rating: 5/10

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Norwich- 26th December, 2013

Norwich- Dec 26th 2013
Ground: Norwich, Carrow Road
Competition: Barclay’s Premiership 2013/14
Result: Norwich 1-2 Fulham
Pie:Peppered Steak
Price: £3
Comments: It’s another trip to Norwich and another pie that would be better used as a missile than a snack. This pie had outdone itself; the top was like a tectonic plate, so incredibly hard and dry it resembled Ray Wilkins glistening head. After getting big Phil Senderos over to stamp through the titanium roof I could finally enjoy a sparse selection of reasonably tasty, but very peppery steak bits. How the fuck Delia Smith can allow these pie travesties out is beyond me, with any luck the Norwich fans will utilise them as their intended projectile use for attacking the ailing Chris Hughton
It’s the FA Cup tomorrow and another bloody trip to Norwich, pies are off the list this time round.
Rating: 2/10