Thursday, March 31, 2016

* Eating 52 Countries In 52 Weeks - Week 29 - AUSTRALIA

Sunday night and I'm craving fish and chips. We look up several British restaurants from out 52 countries list but they are all closed early on Sundays. Our last resort is an Australian restaurant in Costa Mesa. We pull into the parking lot and see that Pie-Not is an Aussie Style Bakery so no fish & chips here. BUT the way the store is laid out is so inviting, we just get pulled in and find ourselves peering into the glass case where savory pies of all kinds are on display. All of a sudden we are really into Australian food. Within minutes and with some help from the pretty lady behind the counter, we pick four different pies and two soft drinks and are seated at a table outside enjoying the warm November evening.

According to the lady that helped us pick pies, Dog's Eye is the most popular Australian pie in the store. It is a meat pie filled with premium angus ground beef with finely diced onions and tomato sauce in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. And it came right out of the oven to our table!

Next is Drunken Cow! This also is a meat pie filled with red wine and roasted garlic braised premium chunky sirloin steak and pearl onions in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. We are starting to love this unexpected turn in our adventure not only because of the creative names of the pies but because how incredibly delicious they are.

Drover is next in line for the pie try-outs. This pie gets its name from the word Aussies use in place of "shepherd" and borrows its filling from the Dog's Eye with added petite peas & diced carrots in a shortcrust pastry shell with a garlic mashed potato topper. This one is a true winner all-in-one pie with unequal parts of meats, carbs, and vegetables.

Last but not least was a vegan pasty aptly called Ghandi. Admittedly, a pasty is not a pie but a close relative since this also was pastry wrapped around a filling of sweet indian spiced chickpeas, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, and butternut squash.

Of course all those pies and pasty needed to be washed down with some very Australian beverages of Ginger Beer and Lime Lemon & Bitters of Bundaberg brand.

We picked up The Lamington as our dessert to-go since we were too full to continue eating. The Lamington is a very traditional and unique Aussie dessert that is simply a vanilla butter sponge cake rolled in chocolate and desiccated coconut. 

It's perfectly ok to use your hands when eating Aussie pies just don't burn your fingers since these pies are super freshly made and are hot. 

Bon Appetite, Mate!

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