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Pasties & Pies

Jul 28, 2014

IMG_3113It’s a bit out of the way and one must appreciate that running into patience-depriving traffic is a given for 23 hours out of every 24, but if you ever find yourself in Long Beach and are pining for a pàsty or pie, we’d suggest Pásty Bakery on Pine Avenue just north of Broadway.

We had delivered our Hometown Pasadena teen consultant safely to Pier 3 to catch the Catalina Express to Avalon for a weekend with a friend, and since it was the ungodly hour of 4:45 p.m. on a Friday, we chose to mosey the streets a wee bit before facing the 710 North without an ounce of liquid courage in our veins.

And as it was approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit and we were feeling like we might lose the plot, we Googled for the nearest Starbucks in search of a grande iced latte. Right across was a sign for savoury meat and veggie pies. Feeling peckish, we proceeded into the overly quiet courtyard and stepped into a very small and very empty shop. A woman was sitting at a table crammed in front of the counter, and between the open door and a completely empty beverage display refrigerator. She quickly rose and asked what we’d like, which left us a bit stumped as we didn’t see any food. But she proceeded to open a heated warming cabinet that had chicken, lamb, and vegetarian pasties, as well as Shepherds pie (lamb) and Cottage Pie (beef).

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Her accent was quite a ways from Mother England, so we asked about her home of origin. “El Salvador,” she replied. It turns out she met her husband here in the States and he is Welsh. Just then, her daughter walked in who appeared to be a young teenager, all ready taller than her mum, and all dad in her looks: brilliant red hair, white/pink skin dotted with freckles, long-limbed and lanky, and utterly adorable.

We opted for the Cottage pie. Even an hour and fifteen minutes later when we finally arrived safely in our lovely corner of the world, the pie was warm and we dug right in. Fabulous. Lovely potato mash on top with a sprinkling of cheese and a filling of ground beef, green beans, and carrots with…rosemary? We think so.

Now we realize that cheese sprinkled on top is a “USA obsession to add cheese to anything that moves”—Thank you, Neil, “a Brit” who submitted his recipe for Sheperds Pie on Cooks.com. Yes, we couldn’t agree more (as in, more cheese please). Our Cottage Pie touch of cheesiness was particularly delicious. And from what we’ve read at BBC Good Food, Cottage Pie is considered authentic with 200g of strong cheddar. Happiness was ours.

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Pástry Bakery, 245 Pine Ave., Long Beach 90802. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Pasty-Bakery.

Photo courtesy of Pásty Bakery

Photo courtesy of Pásty Bakery

 

We enjoyed as well this lovely bike parked right outside…

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…and these succulents growing in the wall of a nearby restaurant…

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Long Beach Restaurant

Once the plants have grown, this wall will look fabulous…

Succulent wall

 

Then we had no choice but to face this…

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…when we would have preferred being on this (preferably with a pastie and pie)…

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