After many a burnt tongue, gravy slop and pastry flaked lip (painting an attractive picture so far, no?) we've arrived at our countdown for the best pies in Auckland. You know, I really thought we'd reached the peak of controversy when it came to the Top 10 Breakfast spots, but as it turns out, people laying claim for where the best pies are found really took it up a notch.
There have been a few things we've learnt these past couple of weeks when we set out to clock the pies of Auckland:
1) The experience of eating a pie is entirely circumstantial. Pies get progressively tastier each hour past midnight, until about 6.30am. At this stage they immediately become a no-go zone.
2) The price of a pie, which incidentally was the catalyst for this blog post, can have an impact on how much you enjoy it. Personally I'm a little resentful to fork out anything over $5.
3) You can't share a pie. They are rarely able to be cut and taking a bite of someone else's will result in gravy spillage.
4) Eating a pie while driving is dangerous.
5) That burnt tongue feeling takes about two days to fully go away.
Our list was compiled based on a balance of taste, originality and price. We took to the polls and then we took to the plates. So here it is, ladies and fellas, the Concrete Playground pies for your faces countdown. Enjoy.
55 Richardson Road, Owairaka, Auckland
Before we get started, Muzza's gets a point for a cool name. You try saying it, it's fun. Apparently, according to urbandictionary.com (rarely wrong, always entertaining), a 'muzza' is the "greatest thespian of the 21st century usually embodied in a sexy redhead" (uh, wah??). It goes on to say "if you find a muzza, expect to be amazed." So aside from the iffy intro to what a muzza actually is, there is some correlation between the definition and the pies, because trust us, these pies are blow your face off delicious. Taking out the number one spot is Muzza's chicken and apricot pie. Light, fresh, warm, tasty to boot, not skint on the stuffing, it's a certifiable top spot stealer. Go there now. The building is also pretty retro too and when you're talking pies, it just adds to the rad factor.
Photo from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/velton/5250735790/
250 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland
A close contender, coming in second place with their gourmet chicken and mushroom pie is the famous Ponsonby Road Food Room. The sandwich board out on the street trumpeting'Best Pies in Town' is no false advertising. These guys have pies down pat. I used to work up to road from The Food Room and there was a many a lunch-time-pie-craving (yes, girls can get this too) that was satisfied by a dash down to The Food Room's glowing cabinet of pastry delights. Although I'm definitely a huge fan, I'm not gonna claim to be the official Auckland expert, this guy for one, might possibly be the biggest advocate for The Food Room around. Either way, get a pie from here at some point. They're top dog.
Photo from: http://blog.coffeesupreme.com/2010/05/04/the-food-room/
507 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland
Ah, Kingsland's famous Fridge. The catalyst, in fact, for this countdown. You may remember a few weeks back my initial whinge about receiving very little change from a 10er for a pie? The Fridge was the culprit. But to be fair, the level of 'nom' associated with these pies is pretty equal to their cost. So it's a fair trade. These pies might have even ranked a little higher in the countdown if it weren't for the fact that they are, by all accounts, the most expensive pies we came across on our search. Taking out the number three spot is The Fridge's Steak and Mozerella. You're doing no wrong with that combo, my fridgey friend, no wrong at all.
Photo from: unkreative.blogspot.com
A relatively new face on the pie scene, is Ka Pie. They're so new that they don't even have a shop yet. But get this, Ka Pie delivers. That's right, shut the gate and let the hangovers roll on. This. Is. Genius. Obviously, if you're gonna place an order, there are minimums, but based on our experience it's worth throwing a pie party just for the tasty pleasure. Ka Pie scores the number 4 spot on our countdown based on their Sunday Roast pie - lamb, rosemary and kumara. Later in the year Ka Pie will be fully operational in a commericial sense. It'll be worth the wait for sure.
43 Eversleigh Road, Belmont, Auckland
The general consensus before we even got onto the tasting side of things with this countdown, was that Little and Friday was bound to feature. I think my friend Maddie, who was happily tasked with the tasting test, really put it the best when she said "I have often wondered who decided that mince should be subjected to the title of cheap and nasty or quick and boring when so many good foods utilise it. Little and Friday have provided me with undeniable ammunition to my argument that mince can be a delicacy." I've known Mads for over 10 years and when it comes to critiquing food she knows her stuff. So coming in with its extraordinarily humble Mince and Cheese, is Newmarket's Little and Friday. A reliably delicious gem among the seemingly drab back streets. Perfecto.
Photo from: http://mallikagoel.com/blog/
And it didn't seem right to include a petrol station on the countdown, however, as perhaps a surprise entry from left field, the butter chicken pies at BP really deserved the mention. We're not even sure who the manufacturer is, but it was unanimously decided that facing the harsh lights after a night out is well worth it for one of these puppies.
Now before you go wolf down, please let it be noted that Concrete Playground does not endorse, promote or encourage excessive eating of pies. We will not claim responsibility for any cardiac arrests, raised levels of blood pressure or tightening of pants that may occur as a result of this post.
Also, if anyone knows where we can get a box set of the below game, or better yet has one we can borrow, please get in touch, we'd love to chat. Click, click, click..WHOOPS! Classic.
March 5, 2012 by Fritha Hookway