Niall is the Irish co-owner of the Australian Tuck Shop, a down-under meat pie establishment with Lincoln, an Aussie of few words and many pastries. Iâ€™d taken a culinary tour of the East Village this summer and stopped in at the Tuck Shop after reading some reviews. We had heard the call of the drunken masses that have been converted to this cuisine and decide to check it out. It was a good decision.
The one thing I’d heard from the Yelp discussion was to try the ginger beer. When I got there today, Niall had already set Jessica up with an orange soda (above) since they were out of the ginger kind. There were some other sodas in development, and I requested Niall make a lime soda. He put it on the docket, so we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, you will be satisfied with the house-made soda selection; one glass is essential to each visit to the Tuck Shop.
He started us with the sausage roll (pic), which was just as vicious and nasty for you as youâ€™d expect it to be. Oils from the sausage permeated the flaky pastry. Chopped carrots and onions didnâ€™t really give you any solace that health would follow if your diet consisted solely of these bad boys, but for $3, you absolutely can’t go wrong at 3AM. The sausage was moist and juicy, and we made short work of the entire roll before our main course came out.
We tried a Floater (left) and a Thai chicken pie (pic). The Floater is the regular beef meat pie in split pea soup, a quite hearty meal in itself. The meat pie is an easy item to grab and go, and there was a local indian guy with an Australian accent who came in while we were dining. There’s nothing better than an actual Australian coming into your store when the food writers are there to confirm the authenticity of your food. You can see we put a healthy bit of sriracha on the meat pie. I didn’t do this last time (because Niall wasn’t there to walk me through how to eat these things); it was good this summer, but it was much better today. The heat and oil of the sauce worked well together.
iall advised the sweet chili sauce would accentuate the Thai Chicken Pie, and while the pairing was effective, neither Jessica nor I liked it quite as much as the original (The Floater). The sweet chili sauce is like a spicy duck sauce; it brought out the lime and the onions in the pie and matched the savoriness if the chicken.
When we were finished with the meat pies and the sausage roll, Niall asked us if we wanted anything else. After doing a lot better on the entrÃ©es than I thought I would, I let him know that weâ€™d be happy to have anything he thought we should absolutely try, but begged him not to be offended if we only had a few bites. He agreed and brought us his vanilla slice (below).
Jessica disagreed; â€œItâ€™s more of a custard sandwich.â€
â€œWell, itâ€™s a vanilla custard,â€ Niall retorted.
â€œJust like crÃ¨me brulee.â€ I added.
â€œBut crÃ¨me brulee has a caramelized sugar crust. Itâ€™s a custard sandwich.â€
She had us there. The fondant atop the slice wasnâ€™t quite blowtorched to crispness, but it added that fondant-y, fine-grainy consistency to each bite that I quite enjoyed. Jessica liked the dish, but not Niallâ€™s nickname for it. I think Jessica might have scared Niall away from calling it the crÃ¨me brulee sandwich in perpetuity, so this may be the last you ever hear of it (the nickname, not the slice.
It wonâ€™t be the last you hear from the Tuck Shop. With a new location on St. Markâ€™s that just opened this summer, the street is bullish on meat pies. Get yourself a floater and a ginger beer or lime soda (currently in development).
The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Tuck Shop for providing this meal.
68 E 1st St
New York, NY 10003