24 December 2014

Best of Canberra Taste Off - Meat Pies

| Sophia Carlini
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There was quite a lot of debate when the call went out for Canberra’s best pies last week, with over 10 different bakeries and cafes being nominated.

Based on most popular I found myself out at the Spence Friendly Grocer. I didn’t even know that it existed, let alone has a café inside. I was told by many to go to Spence to seek out Hayden’s pies, which is actually a pie shop in Ulladulla.

Spence has a variety of interesting flavours, from chicken korma to a traditional meat pie. My favourite is steak and mushroom, so I just couldn’t go past it. I sat down, drowned my pie in tomato sauce and bit into it. But where was the mushrooms and the chunky steak pieces?! I think the lady may have accidently given me a traditional meat pie … but that’s ok, because it was delicious, especially for a plain mince pie. One of my worst fears of eating a pie is getting a huge chunk of gristle or fat when you’re mid chew … it totally turns me off. I have to say, Hayden’s pie wasn’t fatty or gristly at all. I am definitely impressed.


Note: If you are keen to try one of the gourmet flavours, you will have to get in early. They are pretty popular.

On Saturday mornings my boyfriend and I frequent the Epic Farmers Markets, so when the Gum Tree Pie stall was nominated as a favourite, I have to say, I wasn’t surprised. Normally we buy uncooked pies to take home (yes, that is an option) but decided to buy the ready to eat pies on this occasion. We got a chicken and vegetable pie and steak and mushroom (I had to, I felt like I missed out a little with the first pie experience). Again, we sat down, I drowned my pie in sauce (it’s the best way), and actually, this time, I ate it with a fork … it was piping hot as it had literally just come out of the oven. Both pies were chunky, salty, full of flavour, and oh! The pastry! Delicious!

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Gum Tree pies are the winner for me … my steak and mushroom pie had whole button mushrooms in it … I am salivating just reminiscing about it. I also love the fact that you can buy cooked pies to eat on the spot and pies to take home and cook yourself. Gum Tree Pies are at the Epic Farmers Markets every Saturday morning. http://www.gumtreepies.com.au.



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Red Hill Butcher. Best pies – especially pepper steak. Full stop.

That Spence Grocer is pretty good they carry Pialligo Bacon and meat from the Lost River Produce butcher in Dickson even though there is also a good butcher next door to them as well, not sure why they didnt do a deal with Andys and stock his meat. And they have a cafe and they leave water outside for dogs to drink. Not a bad effort really and its good to see its small things like that that help the business along big time.

You put Tomato sauce on a chicken and veggie pie! Please try them without sauce they are the bomb

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