Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Slice of the Week

Pies often combine some of our favorite ingredients and other foodstuffs into a manageable, wedge-shaped, crusty-flakey kind of concoction. You like apples? Then stuff them between two layers, add some cinnamon, warm it up, and presto! You've got yummier apples. Same goes for berries! And pumpkins! And macaroni!


And then sometimes, in the least likely of situations, a pie will come out of nowhere to combine every favorite ingredient and meet every emotional need you never thought you had. Hungry? Had a bad day and need happy-good-feelings-comfort-food but you're 500 miles from your mother's kitchen? Need a piece of pie?

Let me introduce you to the wonders of Tuck Shop, serving what they call The Great Aussie Bite. Now granted, I'm from Chicago, not Australia, so maybe that mention of my mother's kitchen doesn't really make a lot of sense. But regardless of my origins, comfort food is comfort food. And at said Tuck Shop, I was able to order something I had heard about and long been meaning to try, the mother-of-all-comfort foods - a macaroni. and. cheese. pie.

Macaroni and Cheese Pie at Tuck Shop

Literally, macaroni and cheese baked into a pie crust and covered with more cheese. Not for the faint of heart. Or those on a diet (but I didn't get into the pie blogging business to discuss weight-loss pies). Oh, and there's also corn baked into the pie, which was a lovely surprise, or at least that's what I'm conditioned to think due to a childhood spent with a father whose cooking apex culminated with [Insert Meat Here] Surprise (secret ingredient: corn). Laura behind the counter was serving some fresh-made Thai Basil Lime Soda (and when I say fresh-made, I really mean fresh-made - she was juicing more limes in between making the drinks), which added a refreshing levity to the bulky weight of the pie (note: these pies are small in size but they are a full meal. Come hungry).

Oh, a little back story on the shop itself - while devouring my pie, I learned that a "tuck box" is an Australian lunch pail. Keeping with the down-under theme, they serve other Aussie fare (meat pies, lamington sponge cake, Coopers beer, etc.), but it's not an extensive menu. There are actually three different Tuck Shop locations in NYC, I visited the one at St. Mark's Place, and it lived up to it's lunch pail allusion. It's very small (2 tables and a counter with high stools), and I can't begin to imagine what kind of traffic they get on weekends and evenings (the entire St. Mark's/NYU/East Village area can be a little slice of hell when millions of skinny-jeaned college students descend in droves to the nearest bar that serves $1 PBR cans - but I'm closer to 30 than 20 these days, so maybe I'm just getting old). But I digress. I happened upon the shop in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, and it had seats to spare. The feel of lunch-counter rapidity mixed with the comforting warm pie made for a cozy quick bite.

Tuck Shop, St. Mark's Place

No comments:

Post a Comment