Oh, Blogland. I have so many tidbits to share with you!
But, one at a time, dear readers, and where better to begin than with the story of meat. In a pie. And potatoes. And peas. And gravy.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels is a Sydney institution that we could not let College Friend depart without experiencing.
Harry’s is a food stand that resides right next to the Naval base at Cowper Wharf in the Woolloomooloo (yes, that’s really the name – try saying it a few times. It’s really fun.) neighborhood, not far from where we live. It’s been in this spot since 1945, and is famous enough to be included in the New South Wales National Trust Register. Pictures of celebrity customers hang all over the cart, and include meat-pie-loving personalities that range from Colonel Sanders to Blink 182. There are a few newer locations around town, but as my Varsity-loving Atlanta friends will attest, there’s nothing like going to the original.
Harry’s claim to fame is the bizarre recipe known as Tiger Pie. I’ve shown pictures to friends, some of who began to drool longingly, while others experienced an involuntary gag reflex. A meat pie, which is pretty standard Australian fare of the British pub food variety, provides the base. Heaped on top are layers of mashed potatoes, mashed peas, and a scoop of gravy.
College Friend had the classic variety. Since I’d been once before, I decided to go crazy and try the Bacon and Cheese flavor, which I liked better than the regular mince pie. It’s a monster of a meal, complete with no nutritional value that I can find. College Friend and I both devoured ours, sitting on railroad ties overlooking the wharf and Naval base (there are no tables, and everyone who “dines in” grabs a seat on one of these perches). Clutzy diners are libel to lose all or part of their meals to members of the aggressive flock of seagulls who stalk menacingly nearby, occasionally letting out a shrieking squawk to remind you that they are present, and hungry, and favorable towards meat pies.
In fact, I did lose a significant portion of my meal to one greedy bird when College Friend and I returned to Harry’s a few days later to sample the Hot Dog de Wheels, a dog served “tiger” style with mashed potatoes, mashed peas, along with onions, chili con carne and cheese sauce.
We were reserved enough to split one, and, as I said, I did lose about half my portion of dog to the birds; regardless, I certainly did not go hungry, what with a bun full of the Top Four Comfort Foods remaining.
Harry’s is definitely a treat to be reserved for visitor’s and maybe once a year indulgence, should I want to live into the next decade without cardiac failure; but, if you come visit, I promise to take you there as often as you’d like.