Events — 15 November 2012 and Contest Winners Sample Seasonal Pies at Murray Hill’s Pie Face

Australian cuisine doesn’t mince words, it minces meat. The traditional “Pie,” be it be filled with steak, chicken, sweets or even Indian inspired recipes, has been all the rage as an ideal comfort food on the continent situated on the opposite side of the world from us here in good old NYC. But no longer do we have to pine for these hand held savory or sweet pastry creations thanks to one Aussie mainstay. It’s “Pie Face USA,” an extremely popular export to us Yankees, serving up a vast selection of innovative and delicious pies perfect for late night eats or holidays. And speaking of holidays, with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching the crew teamed up with the brand new Murray Hill outpost of Pie Face to feed some lucky readers a turkey day pie creation while trying out new seasonal selections from their overstuffed menu. But if you weren’t chosen as one of our lucky readers, don’t fret. All of the affordable and delicious pie creations can be yours right now.

With over seventy locations in Australia, Pie Face’s integration into the states currently resides in two New York locations, with a target of six additional stores being opened by the middle of next year. The small but charming shop at 34th Street and Third Avenue is open 24 hours, leaving plenty of time for overnight baking with Pie Face serving a multitude of different options for each meal of the day. As we approached the corner shop with its warm glowing sign, we easily shook off the mid-November chill knowing hot pies were ahead. Our contest winners arrived early, as any hungry group should, scoping out some pies behind the encased glass counter. After a hearty hello, it was time for some hearty pies. The Murray Hill Pie Face team was extremely accommodating and friendly, guiding us at every step of the way providing us with anything we needed. Since our outlet teamed with these folks to enlighten you about their turkey day creations, it only made sense that the first pie we tried was the “Thanksgiving Stack” (Stack $8.60, Turkey Pie itself $6.40). First off, the pie is a beautiful sight to gaze upon for any fan of everything Thanksgiving. The truckload of ingredients combines the holiday’s most cherished elements- delicious white and dark meat turkey, peas, and stuffing, and ‘stacked’ to an overload with mashed sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce piled high on top. Step aside “Leftovers Sandwich” because this pie has taken your place. Each evenly distributed bite brought forth a pitch perfect combination of each memorable ingredient, like the perfect collaboration of flavors sitting on your plate during the holiday dinner. Our readers savored each bite, not letting a drop go to waste. Huge “Pie Face” smiles donned each of their faces.

Unless you had a bottomless stomach capacity, it would be challenging albeit fun to try another pie that size. Therefore we were provided with a various selection of their highly popular “Mini Pie” varieties. While the size may be dimuntive, there’s truly nothing mini about the flavor here. The hungry and happy readers were handed samples of their: ‘Chunky Steak,’ ‘Chicken and Mushroom,’ ‘Tandoori Vegetable,’ ‘Pulled Pork BBQ,’ and ‘Mexican’ inspired pies. Each of these pies has the trademark “Pie Face” design on it- one that serves a cool purpose as each design defines what’s in the pie represented by how the mouth is shaped. As we devoured each tasty morsel, we reflected upon our favorites.  But since everyone was chowing down, we seriously didn’t get a response until all the plates were cleared. It became clear that the ‘Chunky Steak’ and ‘Mexican’ themed baked creations stood out as the taster’s choice of our lucky contest winners.  But the ”Tandoori Vegetable” is also worthy of praise as it brilliantly mimicked the flavors one would get from a solid Indian restaurant’s finest dish.

While the tasting began at dinner time, it certainly didn’t preclude us from sampling some of the sweeter pies.  Seasonally, the pecan and pumpkin varieties were standouts as sweet but hearty mouthfuls.  The perfectly prepared pies somehow managed to avoid being served with the typically bone dry pie crust, only allowing each handheld sample to be polished off that much faster.  The standout however was the heaping slice of the family sized “Apple Pie” that we chose to taste last.  The generous portion aside, the not overly sweet delicacy was stuffed with fresh apples with the similarly aforementioned moist crust, yielding perhaps the finest dish of the entire tasting- depending if you prefer your pies sweet or savory. 

After sampling much of Pie Face’s expansive menu, it’s no surprise that they are aiming for a rapid Manhattan expansion.  Be it breakfast or a late night snack, the menu mixes and matches ingredients to serve patrons substantial meals at a fraction of the cost that you would find anywhere in Manhattan.  Although the thought of a savory meat pie might be a novel concept for us New Yorkers, Pie Face has made it clear that the Aussies might be on to something.  So whether you’re considering bringing a family sized dessert to the table for Thanksgiving or whether you’re stumbling out of a Murray Hill bar trying to figure out how to get home, drop into the corner store at 34th and Third, puruse the dozens of different options, and show ‘em your Pie Face.

- The Crew

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