Some of our reviews
Many years ago, during my bachelor days, on an occasion that I happened to be being dumped, the woman involved, tearfully exclaimed, "I didn't plan on falling in love." To which I bitterly retorted, "Well, you're probably not planning on finding a bag gold nuggets, but if you did, I think you might stop to pick it up." A silence fell over the two of us, as we were left to confront, that to this woman, I was clearly a bag of something other than gold nuggets.
Yesterday afternoon, I was on the look out for a Thai restaurant about which I'd heard good things. As I headed west along Sunset, I caught sight of a hand painted sign, a beautifully executed logo, the type treatment of which read, "Fork-In Aussie Pies." Good graphics. Clever pun. Tidy new shop. Schedule be damned. Time for a detour.
Lunch having, only moments earlier been finished, I strolled in with the intention of merely grabbing a menu. There I met Amelia. Less a counter woman/barrista, more a true brand ambassador. Amelia talked me through the AFIP ethos of bringing an upscale vision to traditional Australian pies and she offered be a sample of the sides. She asked, "Are you in a hurry?" "No," I lied," and thereupon, a modest rasher of minty mushy peas, garlic mash, yams and stuffing, all topped with creamy thyme gravy was placed before me (after a cautious inquiry concerning food allergies) and was, as quickly, consumed.
Can't say what happened to my face, but my mind went to mist. With a hint of concern in her voice, Amelia queried, "So, what do you think?" I said, somewhat weepily, "I think it tastes like Thanksgiving." "I get that a lot," she said, nodding knowingly. And so it was, that my work schedule for the day was tossed on the scrap heap, along side my hours old recommitment to physical fitness.
Something caught my eye in the display case, and in moments, I was tearing in to my first Hemsworth Roll, which I would describe, owing to the nature of the crust, as a bacon, sausage and cheese 'croissant,' more than a roll. Suddenly, an explosion of savory breakfast flavor went off, simultaneously, in every region of my brain. And now I am theirs. In a world full to bursting with breakfast sandwiches, AFIP is, far and away, the maker of the king of ALL breakfast sandwiches. As I ate, I noted, with some skepticism, where the menu describes how well these sandwiches travel and reheat. "Sausage and cheddar roll to go, please." This morning, as promised, even after a night of refrigeration, 10 minutes in a 325° degree oven, returned the sandwich to display case freshness and crisp crustiness.
These pies would be a deal at twice the price. At $3.50 they represent an almost absurd value - like every minute I'm not eating one of them, I'm actually losing money. Think about that. Now, I didn't plan on finding AFIP. As I said, I had a whole different day in mind. But I'm glad I stopped in when I did. My subsequent visits will not happen by accident.
You know, I think I may call that woman that dumped me.
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Okay, the above took place 4/5/2016. Yesterday 5/10, I stopped back in and was served a "flat white" coffee. A revelatory experience! As I savored the richest, creamiest, cappucino-like coffee I've ever enjoyed, Adam, the barrista on duty, explained that Australia sees itself as second only to Italy in the delivery of superlative coffee. Let us just say, Adam and I found little about which to argue.
I rode my motorcycle from Deadhorse, Alaska to Yaziza, Panama and am now returning home again to Alaska. In that 20K miles Fork-in was the best comfort, if not overall best, food I have eaten on the trip. I came back to Santa Monica just to eat here. Well worth the stop and hard to imagine being beaten.