Last updated : 13 December 2004 By Pars Mad

Jimmy Calderwood regrets having that third pie

By David Cooney and Colin Stevenson

With the nights ‘fair drawin’ in’ and the temperatures rapidly beginning to plummet, the time seems about right to supply any would-be supporters courageous enough to brave the artic conditions in the upcoming winter months with a guide to what and what not to eat when travelling around the country in support of your team, because, lets face it, those piping hot pies are a god send on the freezing cold afternoons when your team’s just went a goal down!

So pull up a chair, sit back and sink your teeth into the only Scottish ‘fitba’ food review worth reading this winter. Bon Appetite…

/CALEY – I’m not saying its cold up in Aberdeen but when you arrive in the city you can be sure to bump into a wee Brass Monkey crying his eyes out! Lets face it, it’s so cold up in the Granite City that you’d eat one of those huge low flying sh*tehawks if they’d just been roasted for a few minutes in a microwave! You see though that’s the problem. All of the Pittodrie food tastes like its been cooked at full blast in a microwave for about half an hour! Not a bad thing really considering the lack of any credible heat up in Aberdeen, but it would be nice to actually be able to taste something more than overcooked pastry for a change! You’d think that after sucking Caley dry of every single penny, they’d be able to spend a bit of cash on improving their catering. And who could forget the time when Pittodrie ran out of any hot food during the historic Semi Final replay? It doesn’t get any worse than that! OVERALL – 5/10 DC

– Being as inexperienced as I am in the pie-eating world I feel it somewhat strange for me to do a pie review, especially on weegie pies. I mean, the last time I had a pie in Glasgow she swore she was 16! On a serious note however, the catering at Celtic Park offers a decent variety. However, the food is extremely over-priced. Buying a pie and Bovril won’t give you much change out of a fiver. Having said that, the food is decent at Celtic Park – especially in the first-half. But come the second half, when your team’s getting a severe humping, the pies are nothing better than cold, hard and stale! At £1.50 a packet of Munchies and £2 odd for a wee cup of juice, be sure to go to Celtic Park well fed or make sure your lottery numbers are ready to come up! OVERALL – 7/10 CS

– The catering at Dens Park is nothing short of awful! The steak pies taste as though they contain ten grammes of salt, and there’s definitely something worrying about those burgers they sell! The pies are reasonably priced, however considering that ‘pehs’ are to Dundee what red lights are to Amsterdam it’s safe to say that you’ll be left severely disappointed. In fact, you’d be better off throwing the ‘pehs’ at the numpties in the yellow jackets! Although having said that, many of the stewards do look like they’ve had a few pies in their time. The juice served at Dens is awful, flatter than a brunette’s chest. The Bovril isn’t any better, it’s almost like drinking boiling hot water. So whatever you do, don’t spend money at the Dens Park catering stalls. Save your money for the Dundee lap dancing bars instead – it’ll cost you less, there’s more variety, and there’s ultimately more satisfaction on the hole! OVERALL – 3/10 CS

UTD – Presumably you’ve heard the phrase “It’s all gravy”? Well there’s certainly no way you could attribute that to the Pies at Tannadice. Munching into a Tannadice steak pie you suddenly realize that there’s not one drop of gravy in sight. What’s all that about?! I don’t know about you but when I eat a steak pie I expect a deluge of piping hot gravy to come streaming out. But no! All you get is a rubbery excuse for a pie (any Chinese folk out there, make sure you don’t confuse the word ‘rubbery’ for ‘lovely’!) Just as bad is the ‘beef burgers’ which were on offer, and by beef burgers I mean half-cooked microwave jobs which you can usually purchase at your local Shell garage or Morning Noon and Night shop…hang on a minute…! OVERALL – 3/10 DC

– They say that home is where the heart is. Well it’s certainly not where decent food is anyway! The world renowned East End Park Steak Bridie used to be something to be proud of. Now they are simply no more than overcooked, over-expensive pap - £1.80 for a bridie?! Get a grip! More importantly we seemed to have been lumbered with the same mince (no pun intended) for the past four thousand years. No sorry, I’m forgetting the rather daring inclusion to the East End Park menu of the deep fried pizza only a few years ago. Would it be so crazy to possibly add a burger or two to the menu, maybe even a hot dog? Why is it that each scotch pie you buy from East End these days seems to be accompanied by half a litre of grease?! And another thing…does anyone else notice a distinct taste of washing-up liquid in the East End ‘Cola’? Just me?...oh well! OVERALL – 4/10 DC

– In truth the food at Tynecastle is fairly tasty but you can’t help thinking that with the amount of grease surfacing on their pies, they must have been given a quick run through Pressley or Hartley’s hair at some point! With a range of delicacies to choose from – including a fifty-foot hot dog – it’s fair to say that there is a certain amount of choice at the Tynecastle food stalls. Although whether or not you can get to them before Phil Stamp or not remains to be seen! Just a quick tip for the Hearts catering staff though…if you actually cook the hot dogs for a minute or two then they might actually have a bit of heat about them. However, it has to be said that anyone that fancies a decent bite to eat at Tynecastle should take a trip to the nearby chippie. Very decent chips and you can be sure that none of the proceeds will go towards Robinson or whoever’s pocket! OVERALL – 6/10 DC

– When you’re sitting at a match only a few days before Christmas you can usually be sure that the temperatures won’t exactly be in double figures! But when you consider the fact that Easter Road, at times, is colder even than Pittodrie then you begin to appreciate just how important your half-time grub really is. Just as well then that the Easter Road catering happens to be one of the best on the go! With a host of food to choose from, e.g. pies, burgers, chips, you’ll never be stuck for choice and, just to add a nice touch to proceedings, there’s also a TV next to the catering stand. Great food and a TV at a fitba match…what more can a bloke ask for! And despite being just five or ten minutes from the land that cheap prices forgot (i.e. Princes Street) it’s a refreshing change to find that some things in Edinburgh don’t cost an arm and a leg! OVERALL – 9/10 DC

– What can you say! There’s been so much written about the famous ‘Killie pies’, Christ…even that tuechter Julian (or “Yoolian” as it’s pronounced) from Scotsport dedicated a feature on the pies. However, you really have to sample one for yourself just to work out what all the fuss is about. Whatever the cost of a Killie pie, one thing's for sure…they are not nearly expensive enough! Whether it’s the crusty pastry or the succulent meat, there’s something for everybody to love about the Killie pie – which is more than can be said for Scotsport! After travelling the length of the country to get to Ayrshire, you can be sure that even if your team gets a good doing there’s always the comfort of a Killie Pie! OVERALL – 9/10 DC

– It’s good to know that they don’t case every single thing with concrete in Scotland’s Concrete Jungle. Whereas other team’s pies taste like they’ve been covered in pastry-like concrete, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Livi actually stick to tradition. In fact, it’s with some confidence that I say that the Almondvale steak pie is second only to the famous Killie pie in terms of taste. The pastry was easy to eat, the steak was delicious and, most important of all, there was gravy! What more could anyone want from a half-time pie?! (Well apart from seeing your team actually attempt to win the match, any Pars fan which had the misfortune to witness the recent Almondvale debacle will understand what I’m talking about!) However, there’s only one thing that lets down the Livi pie…do they really have to weld the tin foil on to the pie?! It takes about half an hour to get into the bloody thing!! OVERALL – 8/10 DC

– Be wary when munching into a Fir Park pie. I mean, all ten tonne worth of sand which covered the pitch last season must have gone somewhere. One instantly noticeable advantage to the catering at Fir Park these days is the fact that you are guaranteed that there’s no chance that they’ll run out of supplies. Just think of the words ‘Tam Cowan’ and ‘diet’ and you’ll soon figure out why! The variety of food on offer at Fir Park ensures that you’ll always be able to find something to suit your needs. With pies and hot dogs – which I can ensure you are not the only dogs in Motherwell – aplenty, there is certainly is no lack of choice. Although, just why you need to walk up about four thousand flights of stairs to get to the catering stall in the first place is beyond me. OVERALL – 7/10 DC

– If you actually manage to get past all the tinky beggars hanging about outside Ibrox with your cash intact then be prepared, just like the other side of weegieland, to fork out big time if you want something to eat. To be fair, you do have a wide range of foods to choose from; be it pies, drinks or bluenose burgers – bluenose?...I thought the only noses at Ibrox involve the brown ones displayed by certain referees. In truth though, the burgers are fairly tasty…aye, once you’ve scraped off thirty pounds worth of onions and other guff that is. One advantage if you decide to eat at Ibrox nowadays has to be the fact that, now away fans are located in the stadium corner, any food you eat isn’t likely to be covered in grog, fresh from the mouth of a weegie from above. However, if you are somewhat of a traditionalist and prefer a good old pie instead of all this modern fast food, just hope and pray that the Ibrox caterers have decided to cook their pies nowadays! OVERALL – 6/10 DC