We were the oldest staggers in Manchester and we had just been comprehensively defeated by an Egyptian-themed escape room. What solace could one find in these rugby-less times except to drink ale and eat pie?
The location had been shown purely for its profusion of big screen to watch the Scots take on the Welsh. Well, that was not to be so instead we had to look at each other. An even more fearsome prospect than scrumming down against the Taffs’ front row.
Consolation was provided by an excellent selection of ales served by cheerful Mancunian staff. I took a Slap in the Face (smooth and creamy-headed) while I perused the card. Yes, it’s pie and extras. I had pie. Chicken Tikka Masala pie.
‘Who on earth would have a Chicken Tikka Masala pie?!’ queried one of my fellow diners. Yes, the southerner … confirming his wilful deviation from the northern norms of brown meat and gravy. I had thought of taking the lentil vegan option but in the company of twelve men of a certain age even I knew it wasn’t worth the risk.
The pie was good – crispy crust, plenty of chicken, heat a notch above mild but not overhot. Alas, the gravy was a bit lacking and I was too lazy to ask for more. So I had to moisten it with another pint. How awful.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).