Pub grubbing

Here in the land of the free and home of the brave, eating in a pub usually entails greasy potato skins, goopy chicken wings, baskets of tater tots, or the odd pretzel dog (Rusty Knot, I’m looking at you).  But across the Atlantic, over in England, I love that eating in a pub can be so much more civilized.

What I eat at bars in the States would make my mother burst into tears (especially if she knew how much I’d drank to arrive at the point of eating in a bar) but what I’ve eaten at pubs in London would make her beam with pride at my ability to recognize a balanced meal and vegetables that haven’t been deep fried.

savory pie at the Tea Clipper

Lunch at The Tea Clipper would make my mother proud

Take the lunch I had at  The Tea Clipper in Knightsbridge, for example. Pretty standard pub, with sticky tables, semi-surly bartender and lots of beer to be had, yet lunch was a perfectly respectable, and quite tasty, savory pie of the day with a generous serving of steamed carrots and greenbeans and a not-too buttery mound of mashed potatoes. Underneath the flaky, golden pastry crust of the pie, was a hearty beef stew of sorts, filled with chunks of juicy, soft meat and mushrooms, all perfect for wolfing down with forkfuls of mashed potatoes.

I am not, even for a second, hating on the greasy, fatty, guilt-inducing pub grub of American bars. I’m just saying that it’s nice to be able to have the option to have a more responsible, sensible, yet still delicious meal in a bar… even if it’s just serving as a foundation for lots of drinking and debauchery later on.

Aussie style pies

Tuck Shop's traditional meat pie

I usually like my pies to be of the sweet variety: pumpkin, coconut cream, Key lime, Crack. But a recent savory pie experience at Tuck Shop‘s Chelsea Market location has broadened my gluttonous horizons.

Flaneur and I went to Chelsea Market for lunch on a lazy Saturday afternoon, with no particular destination in mind, (always a safe idea when heading to the foodie goldmine that is Chelsea Market) and it was actually the beau’s idea to stop at Tuck Shop.

Guiness steak and mushroom pie

He went with the traditional meat pie with ground beef and I went with the Guinness steak and mushroom pie, and even though I’ll be honest and admit I had no idea what Guinness steak meant and mostly chose it because of the Guinness I am familiar with, those pies were pretty good. The flaky, golden crust on both pies had a rich buttery flavor and was both crispy and thin on top, thick and doughy around the bottom. The filling in both pies was hearty and creamy, thick and satisfying without being too salty.

They were simple but delicious, no frills but absolutely finger licking. And best of all, because they’re savory, it means you can have the sweet kind afterward. And anytime you get to eat double pie, it’s a good thing. Double win.