Some foods are synonymous with areas in the north of England. After a night out in Middlesbrough, chicken parmo—breaded chicken covered in Béchamel sauce and melted Cheddar—is obligatory. If you're watching a game at Preston FC, butter pie is the go-to half-time snack. And it wouldn't be a visit to Eccles without having a flaky, sugary Eccles cake.
Now, there could be another starchy, greasy dish to enter the Northern foods hall of fame: the "Pie Face" sandwich.
Last week, The New Cake and Sandwich Shop in Hyde, Greater Manchester unveiled its latest weekly special and it might well be the most Northern sandwich in existence. The monster dish features a homemade steak pie on a bed of chunky chips with mushy peas, and is served in a bread muffin with gravy on the side. It costs just £3.
Since the cafe posted about their sandwich on Facebook, the creation has gone viral. Some commenters have called it "English cuisine at its finest," while others pointed out that the sandwich is more of a bap than a muffin, and questioned why the pie is upside down. Baps aside, the creation has been a hit with the people of Hyde too. Due to popular demand, the cafe decided to offer the Pie Face to customers for a second week.
According the Manchester Evening News, the sandwich was inspired by another Northern Frankenfood. Samantha Mitchell, the cafe's co-owner, told the local news site: "Since last year myself and my husband Garry Mitchell decided to do a weekly and an alternative (sometimes weird) sandwich calling it 'sandwich of the week.' I do prefer the bizarre sandwiches and I'd heard of the Wigan kebab [a pie in a barm] but decided to give it a twist a bit more, so I decided [to put it] with the chips and mushy peas."
Mitchell continued: "Customers' reactions have been fantastic. Obviously it's not everyone's choice ... it's great to know we're doing something right ."
We'll take two. With extra gravy.