Shepherd's Pies of Scotland
This location is closed
It's another realm, this pastry shop. Not because of the Scottish tourism brochures, the cans of "custard powder" on the shelves, or the array of single-serving pies, brown and cunning, under glass. Nor even the promise of haggis, made to order on 48 hours notice. Here's what's alien: The pies are two bucks. Meat pie, curry pie, quiche pie . . . two bucks, two bucks, two bucks. They're as big around as CDs, as deep as the long joint of my thumb. There is no catch. It's a waking dream, in which appetite is unchecked by money-worry.
I get five pies, a salmon cake, a Scotch egg, an assortment of sweets--a bulging bag of eatables. I grab a can of Irn Bru, Scotland's rusty-looking citrus soda, but leave it on the counter in a daze as I take back change from a $20. You can heat the food in the oven or microwave. It's not delicate. The Scotch egg ($2) is a fluffy boiled egg, thickly jacketed in peppery, evenly fatty sausage meat--"formidable," a witness puts it. The salmon cake ($1.25) is nicely peppery too. The pies! A standard meat pie, with ground beef and a whiff of spice, passes muster with a one-time Edinburgh resident. The tomato-cheese pie has fresh tomato and abundant cheese. I have a lamb shepherd's pie, topped with crisp-baked mashed potatoes, and a macaroni-and-cheese one. They make breakfast and lunch, and a down payment on dinner. Especially with a bonnet cookie, a perfect-sized morsel of soft cake with butter icing. For a quarter.