The dedicated foodies here at currymashpie decided that regardless of our international backgrounds, plentiful world travels & delicate taste buds, if we were in fact going to become San Diego’s finest connoisseurs of the good ol’ fashioned Meat Pie, we must search out every possible public house in San Diego that did in fact serve such a treat.
Much to our disappointment, but not to our surprise – there are only 3 places in San Diego that you can currently purchase such a meal. 1) the Australian Pub in Pacific Beach, 2) Azucar Pastisserie in Ocean Beach & 3) Bare Back Bar & Grill…but only the downtown location, not the PB place (and bloody why not???).
Now, you may be wondering what is the big deal? many people claim that the Americanized ‘chicken pot pie’ is a close relative of the Australian (not New Zealander) Meat Pie but we beg to differ. The chicken pot pie is by no means the ‘one hander’ that Aussies are known for at the footy match. The chicken pot pie is a heavy crusted (never flakey) version that is often served much larger ranging from 5-6″ in size. They too are always far more filling. Does this make the Aussie meat pie unsatisfying in comparison you ask? Hell no. The Aussie meat pie is the perfect compliment sized just for your left hand, while your pint (or tinnie if you’re at a match) sits firmly in your right. I seem to be drifting off my point here – which is, while yes, you certainly can venture into many diners, bistro’s, mom & pop bakers & order yourself up a wonderful ’chicken pot pie’ – it’s just not comparable to the humble, quite often underestimated Australian Meat Pie.
That all being said, we set off on our way to try the first of the 3 nominated establishments, The Australian Pub.
Other than the ‘Kiwi’ chick working the bar trying ever so hard to pull of an Aussie accent, this place would give you absolutely no sense what so ever of a bar representing the Southern Cross Nation called Australia. OK, yes, I just stated that the ‘Kiwi’ chick was somewhat representing…let me clarify, she was doing her darn best to ‘pull off’ an Aussie accent, therefore fooling most customers, but being Aussie myself I could smell a rat, & took all of 3 seconds to call her out on it. Sorry dear, you just sound different.
The Australian Bar didn’t even have Meat Pies on the menu, but being sure that no Aussie bar would dare not, we asked & received the last 2 pies in the place, literally. They were dug up out of the freezer, baked up & served with a side of gravy. Gravy? really? just gravy with a pie? no mash, pies or chips? I swear, if the ‘Kiwi’ had not of placed some dead horse (red sauce for the brits & irish, ketchup for you Americans) on our table I would have called shenanigans!!!
While the upper crust was flakey & light, the lower crust was flimsy & held no possibility of being a structurally sound pie base if we were sitting a Swanie’s match at the SCG. The filling - bland. No two ways about it. Clearly a pie that had been cooked, frozen (for a loooong time), then reheated. Not fresh by any sense of the word. Overall, this pie was around the 5/10 mark.
Next weekend, pie adventures part 02 from Azucar Pastisserie!