According to Jai Snowdon, you only eat shitty pies with ketchup. For those of you who have yet to try the remarkable flavor of Pie-Not, note: keep the tomato sauce as far away from these beauts as possible.
Jai, originally from Australia, and Ryan Lopiccolo, a California native, spent two years perfecting Pie-Not’s concept — from the restaurant’s hipster-cave design to the signature puff pastry lids — before opening their doors back in May. The Foodbeast team recently stopped by their spot in Costa Mesa, California to see what all the buzz surrounding these “mini meat pies” was about.
What we got was freshly baked, cozy pies with cheeky names like That’ll Do Pig, Sprung a Leek and The Drunken Cow. They were phenomenal and one pie alone will make for a hearty meal replacement. Naturally, we tried several, including a few desserts for good measure. Here are our favorites of the bunch below:
The Drunken Cow
The most en pointe of the line-up. The Drunken Cow comes packed with red wine and garlic braised chunks of steak and pearl onions. The meat is impeccable, carrying the right amount of tart from the vino while bringing the comforting taste of slow-cooked pot roast.
That’ll Do Pig
When we see anything “pork” on the menu, we have high expectations. Luckily, Pie-Not’s pork-friendly offering, That’ll Do Pig, filled them. A generous amount of bacon bits, cheddar, diced onions and ground beef filled the shortcrust pastry shell to the brim, satisfying our carnivorous craving for the day.
Sprung a Leek
For the those of you seeking a relatively light fare, Sprung a Leek makes a solid option. Of course, by “light” we mean loads of chicken breast decked out in a thick, white wine sauce with bits of leek greens sprinkled in.
Daisy & Babe Sag Roll
Think That’ll Do Pig with chopped carrots thrown in and a crispier, flakier shell. Definitely ain’t complaining.
An Australian staple, lamingtons bear a resemblance to Sno Balls found at every gas station in the US. However, that’s where the similarities end. Unlike the sickly sweet Hostess pastry, Pie-Not’s take on the lamington delivers a delicate butter sponge cake enveloped in chocolate icing, then dusted with a layer of dessicated coconut. Not too sweet, this treat offered a novelty texture paired with a delectable flavor.
Slice of Heaven
Get this. Whatever you do, make this a must-have-you on your visit. Even though I was several pies and a pastry deep at this point, I forced my stomach to stfu and stuffed my face with this, ahem, Slice of Heaven. The sweet shortbread crust layered with a glorious caramel filling came topped with a thick layer of chocolate and a touch of sea salt. The sea salt was the fine detail that brought this sumptuous dessert home.
We finished off the meal with ginger beer, which I should mention was surprisingly delicious. Unlike most ginger beer, Bundaberg’s was void of the artificial, saccharine taste that plagues most ginger beers.
By the end we were rather sorry to leave Pie-Not, as we already found ourselves reminiscing about our favorite pies before we managed to lift ourselves off our seats.
Affordable, a nice change from the usual over-priced, over-hyped spots of Orange County and a damn good meal, we’ll definitely be back to this home away from home.
270 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627