Oddly, this is a post I’ve been meaning to make for a while, but now it fits with Matthew in New Zealand. A few months ago I went allllll the way across the Bay to Alameda — not to see the “nuclear wessels,” as some out there might think — but to go to a pub called The New Zealander.

A Kiwi friend of mine has been missing the food of her country of late, so another friend dug up this pub as a place to sup on authentic New Zealand meat pies. It’s also a place to get something called an “Aucklander 3 AM White Lady Special,” which is drunk food at its best. It’s a huge burger topped with — let’s see if I can remember — fried egg, pineapple, garlic, cheese, tomato, onion, and possibly ham. Since I wasn’t stumbling up to a food van after a night of drinking, I didn’t order that. However, when one of my companions did, I suddenly realized that maybe my one sip of stout was more powerful than I thought. That burger looked damn good. Then again, even without alcoholic aids, I happen to like peanut butter and jelly on toast topped with bacon, so, you know, maybe I’m not the best judge of normal food.

I settled for a steak and cheese pie. Well, at least for starters.

It was everything a meaty pie should be: a crispy pie crust bottom with pouffy, flaky puff pastry top and sides, stuffed with meltingly tender steak. Even though the gravy inside was rich and delicious, I still went wild for Watties, the Kiwi answer to ketchup. Its clove-y sweet goodness made a perfect pair with everything I ate, including their special rosemary roasted potatoes that I simply couldn’t resist.

After the meat pie and the potatoes and the two pints of stout you’d think I’d be pretty well full, huh? But see, then you’d be wrong.

My Kiwi friend loved the pies so much, she dared me to order a second one with her. Now, what I mean here is not that we ordered a pie to split between us. No, no, dear eater, we EACH ordered a second pie. She opted for chicken and I went for the lamb curry. I’ve never made a better decision in my life.

It was so good, I had to bring a THIRD pie home for my hardworking husband, who was stuck grading midterms all afternoon. I selected the lamb curry for him, and our waitress brought me the frozen parcel with written instructions on how to cook it. A few hours later, my husband agreed with me: Damn. That’s good pie.

Check them out:

The New Zealander
1200 Webster St. (at Central Ave.)
Alameda, CA

And if you’re a displaced Kiwi or just like the accents, the American New Zealand club meets there weekly.

Glutton Pie 17 March,2005Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Anonymous

    NZ seems to be the hippest trend– Copia is doing a NZ wine tasting. Here’s the info:

    Saturday, April 16
    1:00 – 4:00 pm
    Walk-around winetasting
    $35 (includes day pass)/$25 member
    Sample hundreds of wines from the far-off shores of New Zealand, where vintners work in some of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. Key Kiwi producers will guide us as we taste from Gisborne to Marlborough and beyond. Cheese and bread samples will also be served.

    Participants include: Akarva, Allan Scott Wines & Estates, Alpha Domus, Amisfield, Babich Wines, Brancott Vineyards, Craggy Range Winery, Crossroads Winery, Drylands, Felton Road, Goldwater, Isabel Estate, Kaituna Valley, Kathy Lynskey Wines, Kumeu River, Lake Chalice, Lawson’s, Lindauer, Matariki, Matua Valley, Monkey Bay, Nautilus Estate, Nobilo, Palliser Estate, Rimu Grove, Sacred Hill, Seifried Estate, Spy Valley, Stoneleigh, Te Awa Winery, Te Kairanga, Villa Maria Estate, Wairau River Wines Ltd, Wither Hills Winery and more to come!

  • Matthew

    Up with pies! When I’m on my way home from the winery at 1 or 2 in the morning I find that nothing fortifies me quite as well as a pie (ok, a pie or two). I’ve had steak&cheese, steak, bacon&cheese, steak&kidney, oyster&kidney, chicken&apricot… oh, just writing this now makes me want to go get one. Great to know that I’ll be able to find them when I get home!

  • Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

    Ooh, oyster and kidney and chicken and apricot? We might have to beg the New Zealander for those!


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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