My Wild Life
League of Pies Football Food Review
The League of Pies
The League of Pies is dedicated to the fayre on offer at football grounds visited in the 2015/16 season.
The league table is a ranking of all foods, pies, burgers, chips, Parmo, beers, drinks etc and value plus quality of service experienced at football matches this season. The analysis is limited to grounds that I attend only. One principle no score for Leeds United...not a penny spent more than needed for that rip of stadium.
Sausage and Chips
Parmo and Chips
1/4 Pounder Burger
Hot dog and Chips
Burton Albion are a relatively new league club but lead the way in food and offerings. Other clubs cannot use the size of the this club as an excuse for their offerings, its all relative. Away fans food was served from one hatch with three ladies serving and preparing food with a smile on their faces. The chips were cooked to order. Beer was available from the food bar. The food was not expensive, hot, tasty and plentiful. Various deals were available which offered a good selection of eats.
Beer was served in the food bar and was available in draught. My pint of bitter was spot on, well served and well kept. The pint of Guinness my son had was quote "the best pint of Guinness he's ever had". Now he can make that comment with some authority as he has sampled Guinness from its source in Dublin recently.
Note: I sampled the Burton fayre in 2010 and it was just as good then.
All in all a worthy candidate for the Premierchip League Title. 9/10.
Parmo and Chips
I have to state early on that the Middlesbrough score reflects the fact that each season ticket holder gets a FREE drink (Beer, wine or soft drink) for each league game. If the based on food alone a bottom 3 place would be fitting.
The Parmo (a heart attack waiting to happen) is a local speciality, chicken or other..rolled, breaded, and topped off with lashings of cheese to top it off. Put it in a bun and serve it on match days and there you go, Parmo in a bun. The quality of the Parmo is variable. Chips...well not sure they are chips are dreadful. More like re-fried crisps. Not many chips and poor quality.
Service is also very variable. You would think that there would be some expectation that the Riverside would want to eat. Not sure why you sometimes have to wait 20 minutes to get what you want. Also not very pleasing to watch one of the servers test if the Parmo is hot enough by placing their bare hands across it. Its not always like this but as a season ticket holder I get to review more than once. The food is expensive!
Beer, larger, cider I pints are available on handing over a voucher each league game. Quality is variable but the drinks are at the right temp. Service is very good.
As you would expect for a newish ground there are plenty of places to place you food and drinks.
Parmo's are ok, Chips are a big let down and the free beer gives a score of 7/10.
Preston North End FC.
This match was a Sunday 12:15 kick off but traditional Sunday roast wasn't on the menu. Arriving early, breakfast was the order of the morning and there was a good number of breakfast vans around the ground.
I'm not sure if the grub served had any link to PNE but as it was consumed on PNE's land...it's getting a ranking. A bacon sandwich, reasonable price, reasonable quality was sampled. It was hot, the bread was fresh and there was plenty of sauces, mustard's and waste bins available.
Once inside the ground beer, a pint, in a plastic pot, cold and drinkable was purchased. Service was good, quick and uncomplicated. Hot pies, hot dogs crisps etc were available.
A worthy 7/10.
Oldham Athletic FC.
This season Oldham Athletic have given the away fans the stand that for years has been the home fans kop. I wonder if that has anything to do with the catering facilities and quality of food on offer.? This was a bit of a throwback to years gone by. A well worn but interesting sign points you to the direction of the fayre. "Pies...This Way" is brilliant and informative.
Picture a lock up garage with roller shutter doors, divided down the centre by handrails. There seems to be a system, ignored by everyone because of queueing instinct and the lack of co-ordination of those serving the food. The catering staff were under pressure due to the volume of Boro fans waiting for beer and food.
There was a number of standard choices for food...pies (as per the sign) , burgers, cheeseburgers, 1/4 pounder cheeseburgers........beer, crisps, chocolate bars. All unreasonably priced but similar to most football grounds.
Queue to the right if you want food. Queue from the left if you want just beer.....now there's a system doomed to fail, remembering the scale of this operation. Once you order your food and beer, you pay for it, get your food but move on to get your drink. Now the drink servers are busy with people coming from the left (drinks only) and then trying to work out who's ordered what from the food and drinkers coming from the right. A bit of honesty was required at this point as you could have said you'd paid for drinks when you hadn't.
The food itself was served in those radioactive silver packets....and the quality was, well garbage. I wonder how many seasons these1/4 Pounders had been in the freezer as they had obviously lost a lot of volume due to atomic particle half life. They were more like 1/4 Ounce Burgers. Cold, soggy burgers wrapped in dry tasteless cardboard buns. The beer was chilled but that's about all I could say about it. Nowhere suitable to eat or drink whatever you buy. You have to precariously balance your beer on a hand rail.
The catering staff did their best but everything else about this operation is well below par. No excuses....refer to Burton Albion!
Nottingham Forest FC.
Where to start? Picture a number of serving hatches with food offerings placed above them.
There was three of us the game, one being a Notts! fan enjoying the company of the Teesside following.
Two of wanted Burger and Beer and one just wanted a beer. "This counter only serves beer....the next one does meal deals"
Off to the next hatch we went: Two Meal deals (Burgers, one with a IPA, the other with a Carlsberg) and a Bulmers please. Sorry we only serve meal deals here...if you want just a Bulmers you have to go to the other hatch. I told the server that was pathetic we'd just come from the other hatch.....this is barmy. She looked at me, took pity on me and said ok...she'd get the Bulmers (even though she wasn't allowed!). She opened the adjoining door, took a Bulmers, putting money into that till, closed the door and gave us the Bulmers, A Carlsberg and and IPA. THEN she told us the Burgers weren't ready go to the hatch 20 yards away??? She saw the look on my face and said "Oh I'll get them for you"
10 minutes later she came back empty handed.......and asked if we'd had our burgers yet? Now as she was supposed to be fetching them I thought this was a stupid question. Away she went again to get them. Five minutes later she brought them....they were resting on a paper sheet lining here hand.....secured by a thumb in the top of each burger! Unbelievable. Then she said we should have had crisps with the meal deal........had we had them? She served us so you would have thought she would know.
No....right I'll go and get you some.
The service was a complete joke, organisation was farcical, quality was terrible, price was sky high,
beer was very warm. Overall value ZERO.
After consuming the terrible offerings there did not seem to be any waste bins. A steward pointed to the black bag on the floor, kit form bins.
Score 3/10 for the comedy factor. Value 0.
Pity the bloke who just wanted some milk for his tea.......another long story!
Sheffield Wednesday FC.
Supposedly a big club......like the food offerings maybe 30 years ago. Wednesday are living in the past.
On entering the food area, signage posted on walls pointed that "Apologetically that only Hot Pies would be available today". Got a Balti pie as the other weren't ready......it was hotter than the sun, probably radioactive still, tasted dreadful and the small bottle of beer for £3.20 had never seen a fridge or any cooling medium.
No excuses Wednesday...you have weeks to prepare for a match, treat supporters with respect, you are ripping off football supporters with this offering.
Score 3/10 as the serving staff were quick and at least there were some bins about. Otherwise expensive shameful offering.
Due to the late arrival at the ground, traffic congestion and poor Police planning I did not get the opportunity to sample food or drink inside the ground. What a great idea to have Man United,, Man City and Bob Dylan playing all on the same night. Probably the same person decided to close 2 lanes of the M62 after the game that meant Boro fans were still sat near Leeds at 2am in the morning.
Anyway, food. I could see the price list and it was £7 for three items, a beer, a pie and crisps. Thats about standard and to be honest far less than I expected for Man U. Queues were long but I suppose 10,000 Boro fans was a bit of a strain on the caterers. Us northern boys like a beer.
The lad sat next to me managed to get a hot dog, it was a good size and he thought it was very tasty. After the game the food bars were closed so no chance to eat inside the ground. There was plenty of stalls outside the ground offering all kinds of fayre. We decided to go with the shortest queue as my 2 lads were starving, not eating since lunch time. The burgers were...burgers. Nothing special and what you would call a Friday night pinter burger. A complete disaster for my lad as there was no Tomato sauce to be found.
All in all, the best I could score was a 6.
Just one Kiosk to serve 2,400 Boro fans! Very pricey.£4.30 for a tin of Guiness or 32.30 for a cup of tea. Shameful. I had a pint of larger and that was it. I don't like getting ripped off. It was a pint and it was cold but that about all I can say about overall value.
My lad went to get a hot drik at half time but came back after 20 mins empty handed. Too many people in the queue and by the time he'd have got served the second half would have been over and he'd have missed it. (in hindsight, that would have been a blessing).
Sorry Hull City, nice ground but you are still a small club, thinking small. 6 points.
Whoever designed this ground was obviously not familiar with British weather. The catering kiosks were located outside of the stand, hence if/when it rained, patrons would get soaked to the skin. It did rain, and rain and pour down and of course it's an offence to take alchol into the stand at football matches (if a rugby match had been on it would have been ok!).
The first picture shows the torrential rain at Huddersfield that day. The second picture shows the absence of anyone standing around eating or drinking. There was over 3,000 Middlesbrough fans at Huddersfield that day. What appauling lack of thought given to football fans at some grounds. Still revenue would have taken a massive hit.
The offering at Huddersfield was just average but unfortunately I couldn't drink what I wanted because of the contempt shown towards football fans. Hot dog...well if thats what a lukewarm plastic sausage in a stale bun is then it must have been a hotdog. £5 for hot drink and a hotdog. Overall a dismal 2/10 to the offering at Huddersfield.
It was a long trip down to Bristol City but its a ground I've always wanted to visit. Lots of work going on, new stands and a new main stand under construction. Lets hope whoevers in charge plan things out in favour of paying spectators. Over 2,000 Boro fans made the long trip to Ashton Gate. The away fans now located where the home fans used to sit as they have been migrated to the new stand behind the goal.
Picture 3 is the view from my seat. This was an hour or so before ko. Which clever person thought this through before erecting that barrier? Again..total contempt towards paying guests.
Food......right because we arrived early we got served easily. Picture 1 shows the serving hatch which was going to cater for some 2000+ hungry and thirsty Boro fans. A couple of ladies were in the hatch making food to order. I don't know how they coped when the supporters buses came in. We plumped for the 1/2 Pounder Burger and lordy it lived up to its name. It was hot, substantial and tasty. The beer was rather good too. The price was in line with other grounds and I didn't feel ripped off.
I could easily give this offering a few points less than I have but can see that ground improvements are in progress. Bristol City score a good 7/10 for their offerings.
Well where to start. Pic 2...the wrapper from the Hot Dog. If Blackburn think thatthis is the best Hot Dog in the world then they must live on a completely different planet, universe, galaxy to the rest of mankind. It was like a warm plasticine "thing" placed into a week old bagette. Absolutely dreadful and expensive. The queues at the food counters were long and half time drinks were aborted as it meant you would miss the second half....maybe that would have been a bonus in hindsight! Its not often I throw food away but on this occasion I hid it under a seat...not even fit for a pig. Three years ago at the same ground I had the best Hot Dog and Chips money could buy.....what on earth is going on at Blackburn......oh yes...ripping off footy fans.
The chips had a slight temperature hence massive 2/10 to Blackburn.
I didn't take the opportunity of eating at the ground but can give Rotherhams efforts a score based on the chomping of the chap next to me. His chicken Batli pie was piping hot, and very tasty (he said) and gave out a scent so strong that my dog Jack could have smelt it 28 miles away.
Unfortunately the service was a bit of a let down. This is a new ground but again the thought of serving people has been over looked. We would have liked to have had a drink but the queues made this impossible. Overall the food was reasonable but becuase we arrived at Rotherham in very good time and the lads were hungry after a good day at work a well know Fast Food Sandwich supplier was used. Lord I hate those places....too many choices, bread filling, toasted, not toasted...oh lord...it was garbage but I can't score it as it wasnothing to do with Rotherham United.
Rotherham United get a score of 5/10. They can't cater for 2,600 Boro fans. Just think how much revenue these clubs could make if they thought things through a little.
Copyright © All Rights Reserved