After seeing Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern eating Aussie meat pies, I have wanted to try it badly. With a trip to Australia far in the future, I thought I would never get to try one until now. PIE-NOT specializes in a range of gourmet Australian meat and vegetarian pies and pastries, bringing this delicious street food to the US. Jai Snowdon, originally from the Gold Coast of Australia, and Ryan Lopiccolo, of Newport Beach, CA, spent two years perfecting the recipes and the concept with the help of Chef Samantha Boxer, who hails from Melbourne, Australia. Doors opened in May 2013 to sell-out days during the soft opening and have been busy ever since. Since then, they have upped their production to keep up with the demand. All leftover food is donated to a local shelter and every morning, they start all over again with fresh ingredients making every pie from scratch. They picked the perfect location on the blossoming 17th Street Promenade which has become Costa Mesa’s restaurant row. The service is super-friendly and if you ever have questions, they are happy to help you. The menu can be daunting at first, but they have an item on the menu to cure your hunger pain.
Sprung a Leek is premium chunky chicken breast in a white wine cream sauce with tender green leeks in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. The crust was golden brown perfection. The puff pastry lid was like a buttered croissant. The chicken was moist and white wine sauce was packed with flavor unlike the typical American pot pie. The leek added a refreshing flavor component. It’s definitely a meal in itself. Thumbs up, way up!
Dog’s Eye is the standard Aussie meat pie with premium ground beef with finely diced onions in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. If you grew up in the 1980s and remember what a Manwich or Sloppy Joe is, you’ll love this pie. This is definitely a comfort food for me as it took me back in time to when my mom used to make that for dinner after a long day at school. I love this version, as it not messy like its American counterpart. Thumbs up, way up!
That’ll Do Pig is premium ground beef with finely diced onions, extra sharp cheese and back bacon in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. It’s like a bacon cheeseburger in a pie. It was a little too tomato-y for me, but had a good flavor. Thumbs up!
Mary’s is rosemary and roasted garlic with premium ground lamb, diced onions, and back bacon in a shortcrust pastry shell with a puff pastry lid. Wow! The fantastic rosemary flavor and scent paired perfectly with the lamb. This is my favorite pie! Thumbs up, way up!
Sag Roll is the standard Aussie sausage roll with premium ground beef and pork with finely grated onions and carrots rolled into a puff pastry. After having the pies, this one was a bit lackluster in flavor, but decided to do like the Aussies do and slap on the ketchup. It actually brought out the flavor a bit more.
Slice of Heaven is rich homemade caramel filling layered on a sweet shortbread crust and finished with a thick milk chocolate topper and sea salt. This really is a slice of heaven! It’s like a chocolate macaroon in cookie form. Love it! Thumbs up, way up!
What a Lemon is crushed tea biscuit slice with fresh lemon rind and desiccated coconut finished with a freshly squeezed lemon juice icing. It tasted like an essence of lemon from the rind, not too sweet and not too sour, just right. Thumbs up, way up!
The Lamington is butter sponge cake cubed and rolled in chocolate icing and dusted with desiccated coconut. This also reminded me of childhood. If you remember Raspberry Zingers, you’ll love this. It doesn’t have the raspberry flavor, but the texture and coconut flavor will remind you of the American snack. The Lamington has a little more finesse making it dessert like. Thumbs up, way up!
Map a’ Tassie is a light puff pastry triangle stuffed with a rough cut seasonal fruit filling and dusted with icing sugar. It was just like an apple turnover, but the crust is amazingly flaky and light. Thumbs up!
Digger is an egg-less biscuit mix of rolled oats and desiccated coconut with golden syrup. This is a classic Aussie ANZAC biscuit from WWI. Soldiers carried these since they had a long shelf life and packed the carbohydrate punch they needed during war. It tastes very healthy with oat-y goodness. The cookie had a chewy texture. I would definitely pick up some before a long hike. Thumbs up!
Find out what all of the Aussie street food hype is all about. Take a walkabout to PIE-NOT, mate!
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars