Try this Aussie meat pie with attitude

Australian Bakery Cafe offers a variety of savory hand pies and pastys. Pictured, from left: Steak and Kidney pie, Vegetable Pasty, Ned Kelly and the Outback Pepperjack Chicken Pie. / Ligaya Figueras

Dish of the Week: Ned Kelly Pie at Australian Bakery Cafe

Australians have always impressed me with their spiritedness.

Take, for example, my former next door neighbor, Sal. She’s a rugby-playing Aussie who I recruited for my soccer team. When she showed up for a game, boy, did she show spunk – chanting and hollering for us to “go get ‘em!” When she took that energy to the field, she seemed destined for a red card in a hot second.

Among Australian actors and actresses, Olivia Newton-John is still the one that I want. In grade school, my best friend and her sisters and I all fought over who got to play the part of Sandy when we reenacted songs from “Grease” in their basement.

And what do you know of Australia’s nineteenth-century bad boy Ned Kelly? Bushranger, gang leader and outlaw, he was finally captured after a shootout with police during which he wore a suit of bulletproof armor that he made himself. He was convicted, sentenced to death by hanging and his last words were purportedly, “Such is life.”

Ned Kelly was a character, and at Australian Bakery Cafe, they pay homage to the legendary figure in one of their meat pies. Unlike the shop’s original steak and gravy hand pies that are fully encased in a flaky crust, the Ned Kelly specialty pie doesn’t get a pastry top. Rather, the warm filling of minced sirloin steak and gravy is exposed then loaded with a cracked egg, bacon and melted cheddar cheese that combine for one stellar savory pie.

Australian Bakery Cafe offers numerous variations on the traditional beef pie using the likes of kidney, chicken, lamb, mushrooms and more. But like a true Aussie, the Ned Kelly is one of a kind.

Australian Bakery Cafe, 48 South Park Square, Marietta, 678-797-6222 and 101 Colony Park Drive, Cumming, 678-679-7137, australianbakerycafe.com.

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