January 10, 2008

The Tuck Shop

I’m about to admit a sad fact. One that I plan on changing soon in the coming year, one of my 100 million resolutions.

I have never been out of the country.

Luckily, however, I’m not a total ingrate – I live in New York City, culture capital of the world. And recently, Laurel found this delectable little food I had never before heard of – meat pies.

Unless you know what these tasty pies are, you’re probably gagging right now. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love meat (not in one of those fuck PETA type of ways, just in one of those it tastes good so I’m going to eat it type of ways) and I LOVE pie. Love it (probably why I love “Pushing Daisies” so much). But the thought of those two things together grossed me out. That is, until we traveled down to the Tuck Shop – The Great Aussie Bite – on First Street, and I had my first meat pie experience.

The shop is small, but inviting. There were two Australian girls sitting down with a glass of wine talking in the corner, and with the addition of another table and some counter space, that was about all the seating in the place. Behind the counter is a heating rack filled with meat pies (and that day's special - a sheperd's pie!) and also a vast selection of purely Australian food, like Tim Tams and Vegemite (which, for the sake of being lazy and not googling it, I have no idea what those are). Additionally, and of course, most excitedly, they play a game on Tuesdays where you flip for your food. I suppose if you get heads they pay for it, and if you get tails, well, you do. We didn't partake, my one regret.

The menu has more than meat pies - it includes rolls, sangers (sandwiches) and much more! I decided on the traditional pie, as I have never had a meat pie before and figured I should go balls out. From the first bite, I was so happy we chose the place. The pie was tender and full of flavor, and didn't taste anything like apples, cherries, or lemon meringue or even chicken pot pie for that matter. We also both ordered scalloped potatoes too, which I loooove. Here's the tricky thing about those potatoes - unfortunately, the guy only made one batch (it was his first day - so cute). We finished them immediately, and while we waited for the second batch, we made each other stop eating so we could enjoy them with our meals, which meant one thing: staring at something that tastes delicious for far too long. No problem, the finished product was well worth the wait. - Jennifer

I took an interest in Tuck Shop as I was fortunate enough to take a short trip to Australia during high school, and fell in love with meat pies while there. I know when I first read meat pie on a menu, I thought of something like a steak and kidney pie--you know, something with organs in it. Stuff I don't want to eat. But good for me, it was something much more delicious. Among other things, I have missed meat pies ever since I left Australia, so I was eager to eat them again.

Tuck Shop is small and cozy with good service. No tips required, but there is a jar at the counter. It is a fun place to hang out in with a friend or two (it is small), and no doubt would be good after-drinking food--luckily, they're open late. It's a bargain, as the pies are $5 and pretty satisfying. The sides are also very reasonably priced. I had a Chook Pie, which is a chicken pie with a little ham and leeks in a light white gravy. It was a little like a chicken pot pie, and pretty delicious, with a nice flaky crust.

Whether you're an Aussie, love Aussie food, or are just curious, you should try it. But don't try the Vegemite. Just trust me. -Laurel

Address: 68 East 1st Street (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave)

Website: http://www.thetuckshopnyc.com

Payment: credit, cash

Take Out: yes, + frozen meat pies available

Open Late: open til midnight mon-wed, 2am thurs, and 5am fri-sat

yes, limited area

Large Group Friendly:

Bar/Happy Hour:
bar - YES! happy hour - not that we could tell

1 comment:

Jason Karl said...

Vegimite is AWFUL!!!!! It tastes like rotten yeast.

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