Meat pies have been around since long before sweet pies and pizza pies dominated menus throughout the US. Moving to Birmingham, AL from Wales, I’ve had my eyes open for these savory treats that are still hugely popular in the UK. To give you some tidbits on this scrumptious comfort food, I’ve put together this quick guide to some of my favorites meat pies in Birmingham – but first, a brief history of meat pies!
Savory meat based pies go back as far as ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman culture. Did you know the pastry was never intended to be eaten? That’s right. A basic pastry crust contained the meat and sauces together during cooking and then helped preserve them in times before refrigeration.
5 spots to enjoy a meat pie in Birmingham
1) Homewood Gourmet
Chris and Laura Zapalowski, co-owners and chefs of Homewood Gourmet, have Chicken Pot Pie as a lunch special every Monday. As well as being a popular cafe, they also do catering of boxed lunches, platters and dinner parties.
Chris explained what goes into making a chicken pot pie,
“We sweat down onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms and then we’ll add some chicken stock, thyme and a little bay-leaf, before bringing to a simmer and the sauce will thicken. We’ll then add chicken and seasoning before topping with puff pastry”.
Description: Chicken Pot Pie (Monday only)
Address: 1919 28th Avenue South, Ste 113, Homewood, AL 35209
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10.30-7PM, Sat: 10.30-5PM, Sun: Closed
2) Little London Kitchen
Haven’t heard about Little London Kitchen yet? Look out for this food truck/trailer service accompanied by ‘The Duchess’, a 1968 red London double-decker bus!
There’s three savory pie options – including a veggie/curry based pie. Co-owner Bea Morissette told me,
“We have three options. The beef pie is brisket stewed with pureed carrot, onion, celery, garlic and rosemary in beef stock gravy. Our creamy chicken pie contains carrots, garden peas, celery, red onion and thyme, and our veggie offering features creamy Masaman coconut curried carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, carrots and potatoes.”
As a Brit abroad, I loved them!
Description: Three pie options: Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable
Price: $15 including British chips (steak fries) and a side
Address: Food Truck (check out their Facebook page for locations)
Website: Little London Kitchen on Facebook
Hours: Check schedule on social media for lunchtime and dinner locations/hours
3) Johnny’s Restaurant
A classic “Meat & Three” restaurant with comfort classics and Greek specialties. You just know it’s going to be good when the line for a table comes out of the door and down the steps onto the sidewalk!
Chef Tim Hontzas runs Johnny’s according to his papou’s (greek for grandfather) philosophy, “We prepare food for the body, but Good Food to feed the Soul.”
Try their chicken pot pie with vegetables and remember to ask for the homemade cornbread to go with it. It’s delicious!
Description: Creamy chicken pot pie with puff pastry, served with choice of vegetables and corn-bread or yeast roll.
Price: $6.99 meat only, $9.99 meat+1, $10.99 meat +2, $11.99 meat +3
Address: 2902 18th St S Ste 200, Homewood, AL 35209
Hours: Sun-Fri: 11-2.30PM, Sat: Closed
4) Metro Diner
The chicken pot pie at Metro Diner in Inverness Plaza is loaded with with baked chicken, lima beans, corn, carrots, peas and green beans. Topped with a homemade biscuit crust and served with a die. I recommend the homemade chips to dip into the chicken gravy! Mmm!
This is exactly the same type of pie I used to have at my grandparent’s home in rural Wales, and always provides a little taste of home. If you ever visit the UK – this type of pie is a staple pub type meal.
Description: Chicken pot pie
Price: Regular:$9.49 Jumbo: $10.99
Address: 180 Inverness Plaza, Birmingham, AL 35242
Website: Metro Diner
Hours: Mon-Sat: 7-9.30PM, Sun: 7-8PM
5) Iron City Grill
Okay – so it’s not a traditional pastry based pie, but the Cottage Pie at Iron City Grill is fantastic.
This take on the traditional cottage pie features slow-braised short ribs, roasted carrots, peas, house-made demi glace, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar.
Cottage Pie is called that because it was first made by poorer people in Britain who traditionally lived in small cottages and started using potatoes as an everyday food in the 1800’s. If it is made with beef, it is a cottage pie, if it is made with lamb, it is known as a shepherds pie.
Description: Cottage Pie
Address: 513 22nd Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233
Hours: Mon:11-2PM, Tue-Thu: 11-9PM, Fri: 11-10PM, Sat: 5-10PM, Sun: Closed (but open on Iron City show nights)
Where did we miss? Let’s see those pies! Tag @bhamnow on Instagram and show us your favorite places around town for meat pies!