Friday, September 14, 2012

Across the water for Australian meat pie

Last week I was feeling a little down. Mostly, I think, it was because we'd just come back from a lovely Labor Day weekend in Montreal (more on that later) and I had post-vacation malaise, with nothing much to look forward to except more hospital visits.

By Friday, I'd decided moping around wasn't helping in the least, and what I needed was an Adventure.

So I decided to head across the water for Australian food.

I've been thinking about a visit to KO Pies pretty much since The Boy and I went to the tiny restaurant in Southie ... wow, almost two years ago?? But somehow my meat-pastry cravings have never quite aligned with being able to get out there.

(You'd think it was a thousand miles away, rather than a fistful of Red Line stops.)

When KO opened its second location, I was delighted to see they were doing well enough for expansion. But Eastie? In the shipyard? Were they trying to make it harder for me?? (Because of course it's all about me.)

And then my friend Eric pointed out that the City Water Taxi not only served the shipyard, but also had a discount deal with KO Pies; if you told the boat captain where you were headed, you got $7 off the fare.

And so, with the promise of delicious pie and a cheap boat ride, the Adventure came together.

First stop: Down to the Intercontinental Hotel near South Station, to request a pick-up. I used my phone, but you can also go all CB-radio with the walkie-talkie attached to the sign.

Boston Water Taxi station at Intercontinental Hotel

After a few minutes, a boat skimmed into view, and I was off across the water.

The trip to the shipyard is short — not exactly a leisurely ocean cruise. But I'm a sucker for being out on the water, so it was worth it for a few minutes of salty sea breeze.

Because I'd explained to Rob, my taxi captain, where I was going, we had a nice chat about the awesomeness that is a KO Pie. So as I was disembarking, I asked (half-joking) if I could bring him anything back.

"Actually, that would be great," he said. "I haven't been able to get off the boat all morning, so I could really do with something to eat."

I took his order and he gave me some cash and directions to the restaurant, which turned out to be just around the corner, surrounded by warehouses and industrial buildings.

The place is about the same size as the Southie location: A tiny bar, a couple of tables and a strip of counter space. There's also pub-style seating outdoors. There's not much of a view, but that's okay. Because pie.

KO Pies, East Boston

I looked over the menu, trying to tell myself that maybe I wanted a nice healthy chickpea salad or a grilled whitefish sandwich, but it was hopeless. I was here for pie. And pie I was going to get.

And also, beer. Because Australia.

The KO beef pie takes me right back to being a kid; the flaky pastry and sweet, peppery ground beef filling are what Proust would have warbled on about if he grew up in the Northeast of England.

Meat pie, KO Pies, East Boston

I know, it doesn't look totally appetizing. And the fact that you have to eat it with your hands means you're not gonna impress anyone. Luckily, paper napkins are abundant. (Pro-tip: order a salad, which comes with a fork, and you can get around the no-utensils loophole.)

But on a sunny Friday lunchtime, when you're not in a hurry, and you want a change of scenery, it's perfect.

Wait — not in a hurry? I had to get a pie to Captain Rob before he crashed into Old Ironsides!

I went back inside the restaurant, ordered a curried veggie pie and an ANZAC cookie, went back down to the dock and called for my captain.

Minutes later, we were out on the water again, Captain Rob apologizing for shoveling the pie into his face while I breathed in sea air and dreamed about taking off across the ocean on a boat provisioned with fragrant meat pastries.

I'm not going to wait another two years before my next KO Pie fix. Might even try a Lamington next time.

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Anonymous Andrea Wood said...

Well it certainly sounds like a true taste of Australia... the pie of course but coupled with the possibility of beer, ANZAC cookie and Lamingtons OMG!!! a "True Blue" fix. BUT did you have it with "dead horse"? Andrea x

1:45 AM  

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