Express & Star

Food review: I had a bostin pie in one of the Black Country's best restaurants - I can't fault it

One thing people across the Black Country and, indeed, across the whole country enjoy is a pie.

Last updated

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

Figures have shown that Brits will eat at least 2.2 pies every month, with more than £1 billion worth of pies consumed in the UK every year.

There are many places that claim to make great pies, many places that claim to have the biggest range or most unique, but there is one place, sitting right in the heart of the Black Country, that sets its stall out as a market leader.

Mad O'Rourkes Pie Factory in Tipton has been producing top quality and unique pies since 1987, set up on the site of the former Five Ways Inn on the corner of Hurst Lane and Sedgley Road West by Colm O'Rourke, who ran it alongside his wife Sheena.

If you want pies, you're in the right place

After a one-year spell of being owned by Ushers of Trowbridge, the restaurant and pub was bought in 2000 by Peter Towler, who built the business back up and became the genius mastermind behind some of the more unique pies.

The image of Mad O'Rourke makes you want to sit down and enjoy your meal that much more

The pub has survived and thrived since then, becoming a place for a good meal and a decent pint, as well as being a living tribute to the Black Country and the traditions of the area.

Entering the restaurant from the car park, you're instantly met with visual references to what makes this place its money, cow pies and ales, all laid out in bright and vivid colour.

The kitchen hums with activity and wonderful smells

A step inside brings you a mixture of smells and sensations, with the kitchen to the left full of people working hard and crafting the food, while the bar is in front of you with a wide selection of drinks.

These range from traditional local beers from Lump Hammer, available in ruby mild, gold and bitter, as well as more traditional lagers like Carling, San Miguel and Birra Moretti, plus a wide selection of ciders, spirits and bottles of wine.

The restaurant was busy and full of interesting items

Being as I was driving, I stuck to a bottle of Becks Blue 0%, one of two non-alcoholic drinks that aren't soft drinks, and was led to my table by a friendly and attentive member of staff.

Even on a rainy Thursday evening, the place was packed, with very few seats left unfilled, and the atmosphere was a merry and pleasant one, full of laughter and people enjoying their food.

Mad O'Rourkes Pie Factory is proud to say it sources all its ingredients locally

All around the restaurant area, there are objects which pay tribute to the region, from ladles, jugs and containers hanging from the ceiling to tiled walls and ornamental pigs on the wall and stain glassed windows.

It doesn't look big, but the Black Pudding Potato Cake is very tasty and filling

Being as I was in a restaurant, it seemed a good idea to get eating, so I took a look at the menu for starters, of which there are a good number of options, from ones that are lighter bites to bigger and bolder options.

There was the Cheese Nachos, a mix of fresh peppers, guacamole and jalapenos all covered in cheese and nachos, while Cows in Quilts offered pork brisket, pigs in blankets and Yorkshire Pudding and the Cluckin' Chicken Wings came in flavours ranging from mild to very hot.

I decided to stay local, however, and ordered the Black Pudding Potato Cake, headlined as the legendary appetizer and consisting of homemade black pudding mixed with potatoes and topped with an egg.

You can see the contrasts between the potato cake and the fried egg

While not too big, it was a filling way to start the meal, with the well-cooked potato mixing well with the tangy black pudding and, while a bit stodgy, it tasted nice, with the egg adding something to mix with the flavours.