There is a popular football terrace chant which, diplomatically refashioned, goes something like this:
Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the pies? You plus-sized person born out of wedlock
You plus-sized person born out of wedlock You ate all the pies!
Piebury Corner, Holloway Road
It is because of establishments like Piebury Corner that such spiteful ditties exist. It started as a stall near the Emirates Stadium, where among the countless exhortations to pig it up theirs proved most deadly. Having earned cult status among Arsenal supporters and sports hacks alike they now occupy a shop on Holloway Road, cheerfully helping my body mass to rocket.
The clever beggars. What better way to pay tribute to Arsenal legends past and present than to immortalise them in pie form?
These are a far cry from the pallid examples you've seen dying a slow, public death in heated cabinets. Emphatically a pie deli, they've put a current, loveable spin on classic carbs with their handmade beauties. Equally endearing are the flimsy links between the pies' contents and their namesakes.Thierry Henry oozes venison avec vin rouge.Tony Adams, crammed with steak and ale (he was a notorious alcoholic), is man enough to see you through to bedtime. My favourite, he's also their bestseller. The Ian Wright - lamb, veg and a hint of mint, is a bronze winner in the football pie category of the British Pie Awards 2013.
Reg Lewis: look me in the pie and tell me you don't want me.
Meat-shunning punters will love the vegetarian gravy with their Viera'getarian (cheese, potato, onion and garlic) or Reg (because it rhymes with veg) Lewis. The latter is a root vegetable and goat's cheese number whose buttery plushness could seduce the hardened carnivore. Fluffy mash or the roast spuds are a must, and green bean, parmesan and balsamic salad adds a saintly choice. Drench the lot in red wine gravy, a reduction homemade fresh each day. A robust support act, it is a fine snack paired simply with roasties.
Dennis Bergkamp. Chicken (he famously did not fly), ham and leek.
Fully licensed, Piebury Corner makes it simple to give your pie a fitting liquid send-off. There's a thoughtfully sourced selection including the renowned Harveys ales, and a range of Great British beers with slap and tickle names like Passion Wagon and Pleasure Beach. Descriptive shelf labels are a great aid to the indecisive drinker. Real beer bellies will also drool at the news of a cask outside on match days.
Beyond pie and mash, Piebury Corner also showcases products from around the UK. Glamorous sundries like farm cheeses, fruity condiments and tubs of flavoured Cornish sea salt will perk up your everyday dishes. There are 'guest' pies from other producers, and sweet pies. Gourmet scotch eggs include the exotic likes of chorizo, all day breakfast and black pudding.
Flavoured Cornish sea salt. One of many little extras you might go home with.
The place has bags of atmosphere, amplified by its compactness and the lively music. Vintage-themed Highbury memorabilia and fresh flowers in beer bottles make a winsome mix with the staff camaraderie and omnipresent pie puns.
Match days here offer an arresting display of roadside dining styles. Impassioned pre-match analysis at tables made from antique turnstiles. Standing room only sausage rolls. The hasty murder of take-away pies in transit.
Bodyswerve Piebury Corner when Arsenal are playing unless you have paid to support or heckle them. Otherwise, this inspired fusion of football and food is for everyone.
And just for the record, I was born out of wedlock and I did eat all the pies.