Australia has always been a travel destination that Allen and I hope to visit one day. Besides its multitude of cultures, the beautiful islands, the great reef and magnificent landscapes, it is also a foodie heaven! Lucky for us, PIE-NOT brings the taste and culture of Australia to us right in the heart of Orange County.
Located in probably one of the busiest and most popular strip mall next door to Sidecar Doughnuts, the alluring aroma of freshly baked pies will make you stop if not making you hungry. In less than 2 months, PIE-NOT has won over many customers’ hearts through its pies.
PIE-NOT was 2 years in the making by co-founders, Jai Snowdon and Ryan Lopiccolo. Headed by Executive Chef, Samantha Boxer, a native of Australia born in Melbourne, who developed the 24-item menu that features gourmet pies, pastries and desserts. It also serves up organic Australian coffee from Bun Coffee.
I was so thrilled when Suki of EatSukiEat invited me to join her on this tasting last Saturday! We met up with Ryan who patiently introduced us to each of the pies on display. Everything sounded and looked amazing! We couldn’t wait to dig our forks in! Once I cut into the first pie, I understood what Ryan said about Australian pie was meant to be eaten with both hands. The crust is pastry-like and doesn’t crumble like an American pie.
Blooming Hot (above left – coarse ground tr-colored peppercorn braised premium chunky beef). I like spicy food, so naturally I picked this one. It has a nice heat with great peppercorn flavor but not overly spicy that you’ll need to drink a pitcher of water.
Dog’s Eye (above right – standard Aussie meat pie, premium ground beef with finely diced onions). Most people are probably familiar with it as the Sheppard’s Pie. I cannot believe I have been missing it. I am embarrassed to say the only savory pie I’ve had was Chicken Pot Pie. //_^ Don’t let the size fool you. It is a hearty meaty meal.
Suki picked the Vege Patch (above left – medley of garden fresh vegetables with herbes de provence). Ryan explained that it was like Ratatouille. I had my reservation because the Ratatouille I had before didn’t impress me. But this made a big impression on us. Suki liked it so much she almost finished the whole pie. If you like veggies, don’t miss this.
Rocking Chook (above right – premium chunky chicken breast with apricots, pine nuts, sultanas, saffron & fresh herbs). Chook is Aussie way of saying Chicken (yes, I looked it up). This pie is a bit sweet instead of savory.
Broc Top (above left – free range egg quiche with mesh broccoli & cauliflower tops & cheyenne goat cheese). I am not a fan of quiche. After trying this, I realized it was because I never had fresh good quiche! I enjoyed this so much I had to secretly apologize in my head when Suki wanted this (and I didn’t). 🙂
The Drunken Cow (above right – red wine & roasted garlic braised premium chunky beef & pearl onions). Do you like Beef Stew like I do? Then you must try this. This tastes like Beef Stew pie and was my favorite, packed with flavor and meat!
Ghandi (above right – sweet indian spiced chickpeas with potato, cauliflower, carrot & butternut squash). I probably didn’t do its justice because I was too full to take a bite. You will have to try it yourself and let me know how you like it.
We also got to try 2 desserts; What a Lemon (above top left – crushed tea biscuit slice with fresh lemon rind & desiccated coconut finished with a freshly squeezed lemon juice icing) and The Lamington (above bottom left – the traditional & unique Aussie dessert, butter sponge cake cubed and rolled in chocolate icing & dusted with desiccated coconut). Both are delicious!
PIE-NOT also serves premium, crafted beverages from BunAberg. They are perfect pairing to the pies. The bakery is open Tuesday – Sunday 7:00 am – 8:00pm, close on Mondays. Whether you’re hungry for breakfast, lunch or dinner or just a quick snack, PIE-NOT is always ready to serve you.
Special thanks to Ryan and Chef Samantha for the hospitality. Thank you, Suki, for inviting me to this tasting with her. Are you salivating over these delicious pies? PIE-NOT has also graciously offered 5 of my lucky readers to win A Pie & A Cup of Bun Coffee (bag of coffee not included). Entry period ends on July 24, 2013. Good luck and good pie eat!
270 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627