Express & Star

I enjoyed a bostin pie in one of the Black Country's best and most traditional restaurants

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


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 per cent, 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.

It was a nice way to start the meal, crumbly and flaky, and started the meal off on the right note, although the next stage would be trickier as I was met with a world of possibilities.

I'd come wanting a pie, as the name of the place suggests and offers, but you do find yourself looking further down at the grills, which include hunters chicken, gammon steak and a big sirloin steak, plus a massive mixed grill served on a shovel.

The Andy Murray Pie brings you a curry and fluffy naan bread

Other options include ribs, fish and chips, burgers of all types and even salads for those looking after their figures.

That said, I resisted those options and decided on a pie, of which the restaurant offers an amazing selection, all from the mind of Peter Towler.

There is the famous Desperate Dan's Cow Pie, a 4lb bowl of steak and kidney, vegetables, gravy and pastry and something you could win a certificate for completing.

You get a generous helping of the battered chips

Other more diverse options include the chicken and mushroom (Hen pecked pie), faggots and peas (Peaky Blinder), hand pulled pork (Peppa pig pie), brisket and onion (Tyson Fury) and minted lamb (Wham bam, thank you lamb), plus the newest options of chilli con carne or chicken and peppercorns (called the Gwyneth poultry pie).

I spent some time thinking about it and went for the Andy Murray pie, which is a curry with a naan bread on top and which comes in whatever heat scale you want, to which I asked for spicy (I like heat, but not to the detriment of flavour).

It arrived bubbling and with a wonderful aroma of spices and with lots of lovely pieces of chicken breast submerged in the orangey sauce and, on first bite, I found it to be the right level of spice, as well as getting very strong flavour.

The chips glisten with flavour

The sauce was thick and creamy, although I later regretted not putting a napkin on my left leg when I dropped some of it on there, and after I had finished off the soft and tasty chicken, I scooped up and mopped up the sauce with the help of the naan bread, as well as an order of bread and butter.

The battered chips, cooked to a recipe known only to the staff, owner and a cat, were also a triumph, not too stodgy and soft to eat and great for dipping in the sauce as well.

Open the top and find a pie with flavour, spice and a tangy sauce

Dessert brought a range of options, from sticky toffee pudding to apple and blackberry crumble, hot chocolate sponge and warm apple pie, plus a sharing option of all the desserts.

I went for the Biscoff cheesecake, a light cheesecake topped with Lotus Biscoff spread and crushed biscuit and complemented with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.

Rich, sweet and very indulgent, the cheesecake was turned up a notch

What can I say? It was wonderfully indulgent, creamy cheesecake mixing with the Biscoff flavour to provide a sweet taste that tingled the senses, while the biscuit and ice cream mixed together well.

The biscuit on top just adds to the overall experience

The service was great as well, with the waiting staff obviously employed because of their vibrant and friendly personalities, with everyone welcomed warmly and bantering back and forth through out my visit.

The cheesecake is covered in Lotus Biscoff and looks as indulgent as it tastes

It also didn't break the bank either, with a three-course meal and a bottle of beer only costing me £29.99.

It's a traditional place set in the heart of the region and proves itself as a place of pie, with a great selection cooked perfectly and a wonderful welcome from staff, so get yourself done and tuck into a pie soon. 9/10

Sample menu:


Cheese Nachos - £6.50

Black Pudding Potato Cake - £6.50

Cows in Quilts - £6.50

Main Course


Desperate Dan's Cow Pie - £13

Andy Murry Pie - £11.99

Tyson Fury Pie - £11.99

Wham Bam Thank You Lamb - £13.50


Hunters Chicken - £12.50

The Whole Hog - £12.50

Mick's Grill Navvy Delight - £16.50


Desperate Dan's Spare Ribs

Half Rack - £11.99

Full Rack - £17.99


Traditional Fish and Chips - £12.99


Big Boy (Beef) - £12.99

The Colonel (Chicken) - £12.99

Side Orders

Mushy Peas - £2

Bread and Butter - £2

Mashed Potato - £3


Biscoff Cheesecake - £6.50

Sticky Toffee Pud - £6.50

Desperate Dan's Dessert - £10.50

Mad O'Rourke's Pie Factory, Hurst Lane, Tipton, DY4 9AB

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.