With the Pie App freshly installed and a national award-winning pie shop just a pastry’s throw away, it seemed logical to jump in the car and go check it out.
Polly’s Pies and Pastries has been a Southern Highlands’ institution for years, but my recollections of it were of an average local pie shop serving average, local pies. To say I was dubious that Polly’s could produce award-winning pies is an understatement, but in the name of research I was prepared to give them a go.
It has been about 10 years since I’d ventured through Polly’s doors and my first surprise was that the shop I remembered had expanded into the two smaller shops on either side of it. The middle shop is the original and it’s still the main pie and cake shop, and when I arrived business was good: it was Australia Day eve and people were stocking up! It also has a bar with high stools in the window; ideal for woofing down a quick pie and coffee when you’re in a hurry.
The smaller shop on the left is home to the coffee machine and has a modest array of foccacias, wraps and salads on offer. There’s also a small, casual lounge in the bay window, where you can peruse a magazine over coffee or chat with friends – if you get there first! The shop to the right is now a small dining room and it was also doing a brisk trade that Friday morning.
Great Pies, No Fuss...
The hand written chalk menu board on the back wall of the main shop is how I last remembered Polly’s. This visit, twenty one pies were on offer and in the top corner of the blackboard was chalked a simple tally reading ‘1 Gold, 19 Silver, 26 Bronze’.
The menu included the usual favourites like Plain, Mushroom and Potato pies, but also some more interesting varieties such as Hot Curry and even a Breakfast pie. Under the heading Polly’s Selection were pies like Chilli and Capsicum, Lamb and Chicken and Asparagus, but I opted for the awarded Beef and Guinness – and what a good choice it proved.
The Pie App told me it had just won a silver medal and it certainly lived up to it: Hand on heart I can honestly say it was the best pie I’ve had in years – and I’ve had quite a few!
Although it came from the pie warmer the pastry was dry and crisp; neither threatening to ooze apart in my hand nor crumble to pieces. Generously sized and deep, the pie shell simply proved to be a delicious carrier for the contents, not an enveloping blanket of stodge. Inside, chunks of tender beef and potato pieces swam lazily in a rich Guinness-infused gravy of pure delight and in less time than it took to write this sentence it was gone. Bugger.
Pies range from $3.70 for Plain to $4.50 for the Breakfast pie and those on the Polly’s Selection menu. All others are $3.90, but whatever the price they seem good value. And don’t forget the coffee: at $3.00 to $4.00 a cup it can get a bit pricey, but it’s strong and the cups are generous.
On a sunny day, Leighton Gardens – the main park in Moss Vale and only about 200 metres up the road from Polly’s – is a lovely place for a picnic (unless a freight train rumbles past). If you can wait, in October it’s a mass of Tulips (and usually deserted) as a support venue to the always-overcrowded Tulip Time main event in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens. You can also stay just down the road at the Moss Vale Village Caravan Park, which is neat and tidy, pet friendly and welcoming, and walk to Polly’s for the exercise.
So there you have it: Polly’s Pies is a worthy winner in the Great Australian Pie Competition – and as far back as 1996 – and the Pie App works and is worth downloading. How good is that? Anyone for an Around-Australia Great Pie Motorhome Safari?
Polly's Pies & Pastries
445 Argyle St, Moss Vale, NSW. 2577.
T: (02) 4868-1472
Find it HERE on Google Maps.
For the full article download Issue 18 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking on the link below.