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A visit down under in Marietta Square

01-AussieI recently paid a visit to the original 10 year old Australian Bakery and Cafe in Marietta Square, which heavily lays on the Australian shtick — inclusive with stuffed koala bears and other Australian-ish souvenirs for sale.

I used to have a thing for the curry chicken and variety of steak pies from the second location in East Atlanta Village. The meat pies are pre-made and are quickly reheated right after ordering, but due to lukewarm results I always ask to heat them longer. They are not a bad snack to get in a pinch, but the fillings tend to be more dry and gummy than I prefer.

aussie piesOn my lunch visit, my dining companion and I sampled a curry lamb pie, Burgundy beef pie and the bakery’s sausage rolls. Unfortunately these snacks tasted lackluster and stale. I also felt the Burgundy beef pie was too literal, as in all I can taste was bad vinegary red wine. As for the sausage rolls, they were bland and mealy and met a swift fate in the trash can.

This Aussie operation mass produces and ships its pies all over the country, but I’m wondering if quality is sacrificed as a result. Have you had a better experience? Are there items that stand out more than others?

48 South Park Square, Marietta. 678-797-6222.

- by Gene Lee, Food and More blog

24 comments Add your comment

Becky

June 14th, 2011
11:20 am

I’ve only been there once and the kids had a pastry..I don’t remember what it was that they had, but it was real dried out and not tasty..As for the place itself, thought it was kinda quirky and the kids enjoyed looking around it..

Wouldn't eat there

June 14th, 2011
11:40 am

I have tried it several times since it has been open, mostly pastries, and they have all been bad – stale tasting or greasy or limp or just off tasting (like the butter went bad). Just not very good. The store itself smells bad, and the people behind the counter, while not nasty, aren’t particularly welcoming either. Not recommended.

George

June 14th, 2011
11:44 am

Gene I think you’re being pretty harsh here. You seriously didn’t like anything about this place? It’s not fine dining, but the Australian Bakery is really good eats. I live on the other side of town and hardly ever make it to the Marietta Square, but when I do, I make it a point to stop by and indulge in one of their tasty meat pies. In my opinion they’re delicious and are reminiscent of the ones I used to buy from food carts in Sydney. Perhaps you’re just not a fan of Australian cuisine or “shtick,” as it seems like nothing in the establishment – from the food to the decor to the koalas – pleased you. The bakery has been a hit for something like 10 years and has two locations, so they must be doing something right… Maybe it’s just not for you?

Carla Roqs

June 14th, 2011
12:14 pm

george, can you tell me what happened to the quaint bldg that housed a seafood place on the square yearrrrrrrrrrs ago? it had the cutest train set that ran across the top of the wall, all around the restaurant.

renee

June 14th, 2011
12:34 pm

carla it went out of buissness and gene i agree with goerge i like their food its just not the place for you i have been going there for yrs and never had any problems at all

Gene Lee

June 14th, 2011
12:49 pm

@George – I didn’t say I didn’t like anything at all about the place. I was simply commenting about the native decor. The square is pretty and the long production table where you can view the food being made is a cool thing.

I’ve had many meat pies including in pubs in England that have fared better with me. Sorry, I’m just not in agreement. But I asked if there are items that stand out more than others here so please share if you have any recommendations.

Carla Roqs

June 14th, 2011
2:39 pm

thanks renee, just wondering if the actual building is still there and housing another venue– it seemed to be solidly built.

Carla Roqs

June 14th, 2011
2:41 pm

wow, george….just wow. gene didnt like it, okay? ummmmm, on an entirely different note- gene are you new? or sitting in while jon is on his honeymoon?//

Ganners

June 14th, 2011
2:46 pm

I live by the square and have always found the AB to be a miss. I want to like it….but I am always cranky I paid for a crumby snack. The filled bred items do not taste fresh and are not warmed enough. Remember how La Madeline used to do it keeping things warm on a flat top? It may do them well to try something like that. You have to chomp the bread them chew it like gum to eat. They must survive on selling across the country. The pull tab ginger beer is nice….but you can get that at Whole Foods or Harry’s.

There was a train that ran around the top of Sarah Jean’s Ice Cream.

The seafood place was Captain Billy’s. I miss them so. There was another place called Jimmy the Greeks that was pretty good. If you are thinking back even further it could be Brickworks. I’m 33 so I may not remember or know about eateries on the square in the 80s.

Today I enjoy Simpatico. I love the ever changing menu. Pretty good wine list too. I also like Sugar Cakes. I was shocked to get such awesome french fare in Sugar Cakes. In terms of quick meal/snack AB pales in comparison to Sugar Cakes.

I also adore Thaicoon. The pad kei mou is my favorite thing for take out when it is a rainy movie night.

Ganners

June 14th, 2011
2:48 pm

Carla, Captain Billy’s used to be where the Scarlet: Gone with the Wind Museum is. Right by the tracks.

Lorenzo

June 14th, 2011
2:49 pm

“On my lunch visit, my dining companion and I sampled a curry lamb pie, Burgundy beef pie and the bakery’s sausage rolls. Unfortunately these snacks tasted lackluster and stale.”

From what I can recall of the ones I ate in Australia, sounds like they are quite authentic.

Ganners

June 14th, 2011
2:51 pm

And I forgot to add Cafe le Crepe….wow! The food is fantastic. The wait to get your tasty dinner can be wicked. Take people you like–there will be time for ample conversation before your dinner arrives. The wait is worth it!

Gene Lee

June 14th, 2011
2:55 pm

@Carla – I started the same time as Jon and Jenny. Ouchie. :)

CD

June 14th, 2011
2:56 pm

I have had sandwiches there that were pretty good, but the sausage rolls I have had (twice) have been bland. And the ANZAC cookies were not great. I hope they can improve. I traveled around Australia and miss it and would love to be able to get good tasting memories at the
Australian Bakery and Cafe. I agree, the staff was not the nicest…..

Matt

June 14th, 2011
3:48 pm

If you’re looking for meat pies near Marietta Square, oops! You went to the wrong place, but the right place is right around the corner. Kiosco, the Colombian restaurant on Powder Springs Street, serves up some of the best empanadas in the metro area – a crust that’s crispy on the outside and just slightly chewy inside, and deliciously savory beef or chicken filling that’s always piping hot. Served with tangy aji hot sauce. And the deserts are TO DIE FOR. Sorry you missed out, Gene.

donkey200

June 14th, 2011
4:05 pm

I know Aussie pasties and these are NOT it. They don’t even come close to the real thing Down Under. Live there for a year and you’ll see why.

Mar -Atl Foodie

June 14th, 2011
4:13 pm

I live in Marietta and was raised in East Atlanta, before it became a “village”, and have been to both Australian Bakeries and didn’t like what I had. The food is tasteless and really dry. I don’t know what they do, but I keep hoping for it to improve.

An Aussie

June 14th, 2011
7:40 pm

I’m an Aussie, I grew up there for 25 years and relocated to ATL. These pies are better then Australia. It takes a lot for a yank (American) to even go close to appreciating anything but standard burgers and fries, or bagels and cream cheese. Every American I see in there orders bagels or a sandwich. If you don’t know the food I find it strange to critique like this. It’s like me criticizing chicken livers for tasting like $hit. So go ahead an berate it, but it’s as close to authentic as you are going to get. Maybe next time stick with something that appeals to your obviously limited palette.

KEAD

June 14th, 2011
11:10 pm

I was really disappointed the one time I went, and don’t plan to return. The only decent thing I ate was the Lamington I ordered for dessert to get the taste of the watery frozen vegetables out of my mouth.

KCV

June 15th, 2011
10:08 am

“An Aussie” is “An A**! How dare you attack Americans because they don’t like the food at a “particular” restaurant. It doesn’t matter how close to “authentic” it is, if they don’t like it, they just don’t like it. I’m a Louisiana born American, I never ate bagels and cream cheese growing up, rarely eat burgers, and not a fan of french fries. However; I do love gumbo, bisque, etoufee, and crawfish pies. I would NEVER get mad and put down an Australlian (or New Yorker) because they wrote a review and said the food was too spicy. I may suggest that it’s not their particular taste, based on what you’re used to eating, but too insult them is just small minded and petty! Also, if they sell bagels and sandwiches, what’s wrong with ordering whats on the menu? Stop worrying about what other order and enjoy your dry pie! Your a pathetic representation of the warm and friendly Aussies I know!

Carla Roqs

June 15th, 2011
10:15 am

gene, oops, im sorry!!! :( i am a late comer– for the blogs ive normally read– john or jon wrote them. i have only recently read even jenny. must start reading you, though–quite a way with the words! love it–take no prisoners, gene. grin.

Carla Roqs

June 15th, 2011
10:24 am

ganners, thanks. it WAS capn billy’s. it had the cutest train tracks and accompanying train right under the ceiling. great catfish as well.

Becky

June 15th, 2011
10:36 am

@KCV..Amen to that..I love “cajun” foods as I had a cowroker that was from Louisiana..I agree with it might not be to your taste, but that doesnt’ make it wrong..I will neer forget the one time that I went to New Orleans and in one of the bars there, I ordered a bloody mary..Boy, did that wake me up..The taste of it was really good, but spicy beyond anything that I had ever had..Live and learn..

Emily

June 15th, 2011
7:35 pm

I really want to love the Australian Bakery, as an English girl who adores meat pies. But the last few times I was there the pies were shockingly under-filled (and I also have a problem with them being not warm enough.) I go there for the fillings, which I think are tasty, but to skimp so much is terriby disappointing.