Mad O'Rourkes Pie Factory
30th August 2010
I'm amazed that I have never featured this local landmark before. Many of our trips conclude with a night at the Black Country Museum and on most occasions that involves a walk into Tipton to pay homage to Mad O'Rourkes pie factory - a tongue in cheek "traditional" black country boozer.
I am not going to go into the pub's history - if you want that there is plenty elsewhere on the internet. This post is about the pub as an eating destination.
It says a lot that we return to it each time we stop in Tipton. The food is good, the beer is excellent and the atmosphere is a bit surreal.
The key question is "Why the Pie factory?". The place is famed for it's signature 4lb Desperate Dan Cow Pie - a huge culinary monstrosity into which the entire meal is packed beneath two pastry horns. It take a big appetite to finish one and, perhaps to my shame, I have never attempted the feat myself. Jeff, on the other hand, has seen some of my boaty friends demolish one and was determined to achieve this calorific Everest himself. He struggled through the meaty foothills, up via the treacherous vegetable stage and then on up the thick crust to reach the summit with a glint in his eye and a pain in his belly. Perhaps what is even more amazing is that he managed to down a chocolate pudding at the end.
Jeff eyes up the 4lb Desperate Dan Cow Pie
Belle and myself have more sense than to indulge in mad pie eating contests so settled for more traditional fare, such a mixed grill served on a shovel! All this food needs to be eased down with some lubrication, and at Mad O'Rourkes Lumphammer is the recommended tipple.
And the Captain shovels in a huge mixed grill
The inside of the pub is something like Disney meets the Black Country. All the essential ingredients of a spit and sawdust pub are there, but exaggerated. It may not be authentic but it's certainly fun.
Whilst waiting for our food and finally concluded the epic six handed rummy competition which Belle won by a whisker, I came second and Jeff a close third. This all goes to show that in spite of it appearing to be a game of great skill it is 95% luck.