Good people, I have risked high cholesterol, obesity and heart break to taste ten pies from around Harare. Here I bring you my best and worst rated pies. At each place I ordered a steak pie and judged the pie as it came. I give no apologies for places that were happy to serve me yesterday’s pie!
1st Pencol Bakery, Ballantyne Park. 9/10
The small bakery basically set the benchmark against which I ultimately had to judge all the other pies. Their pie is big and filling, with a good quantity of soft steak chunks, a delicious gravy and a good tasty pastry. At $2.50 it’s expensive but hands down this is the best steak pie on the list.
2nd (tied) Vali’s Bakery, Kensington. 8/10
Vali’s Bakery has a good attempt and this is a great pie but it is basically beaten in every category by the number one pie because they are both $2.50 and this pie is smaller with less filling and the gravy is not quite as good.
2nd (tied) TM, Newlands. 8/10
I gave this pie joint second because it is actually big, tasty and ticks all the boxes that a good steak pie should but costs only $1.30. In truth it might be just behind Vali’s version on meat content but this is only their medium pie and you can upscale to $1.80 for a large. *BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
Braeside Spar. 7/10
The Braeside Spar bakery was the only pie with its own unique gravy taste. This set it aside from the others on the list. The meat content is not bad but the pastry was a bit too flakey for my liking, which let the pie down.
Montague Spar. 6.5/10
This pie also has a good gravy taste but the pie I was served was very flakey indeed and I think I ended up with more pastry on my lap than in my stomach. At $1.60 it’s not bad but it needs a lot more work to have a shout at the top 3.
Athienitis Spar. 5.5/10
Athienitis Spar boasts several in store accolades for their bakery and whilst some of their cakes and buns look very appetizing, their steak pie was disappointing. They are stingy with the meat, the gravy was a bit boring and the pastry was super flakey.
OK, Fife Ave. 5/10
I expected the cheaper pies to be a bit sad but this pie literally seemed to have just one chunk of meat, a spoon of gravy and more than half of the pie was just dry pastry. Might do in an emergency situation but far from satisfactory.
Bon Marché, Belgravia. 4.5/10
They actually do excellent $1.50 burgers in this Bon Marché but the steak pie was dry, lacking on the meat front and just seemed like it was on sale for the sake of having pies on sale. Yes this is a cheap pie but you’ll see why if you try it.
Bakers Inn, Food Court. 4/10
Obviously we know that Baker’s Inn is a cheap option. The pie is only $1 but it’s basically a gravy pie with a decent taste but dry and with very little actual steak content if any. Maybe they should stick to the chicken rolls for $2.
Easily the worst of the lot. Maybe I’d expected too much buying a pie in a bulk megastore but at $1.50 I didn’t imagine it would be this bad. The whole pie was dry and didn’t taste of much and in truth I ate less than half of it. Avoid.