Tag Archives: Marietta Square

Paul’s Pot Pies, Marietta, GA

Steaming hot pot pies from Paul Lubertazzi’s Traveling Fare Cafe really hit the spot any time of year.

story and photos by Bakery Boy

Paul’s Pot Pies from Chef Paul Lubertazzi help keep his Traveling Fare Cafe on the minds of many in Marietta, Georgia, especially when they get hungry.

Around lunchtime people in downtown Marietta, Georgia, follow their noses to Chef Paul Lubertazzi’s place just off Marietta Square. For 27 years the amicable owner of Traveling Fare Café & Caterers has been cooking and baking aromatic meals for dine-in or take-out. His most alluring creations, called Paul’s Pot Pies, have achieved cult status among a hungry following, and they just might be the best pot pies in Georgia. No matter what the weather, hot or cold, a good pot pie is never out of season.

Here’s a primer on a heartwarming comfort food source you should keep on speed dial if you live anywhere close to this city just to the northwest of Atlanta—or if you are willing to pay the extra price to have pies cold-packed for overnight shipping anywhere.

WHAT MAKES THESE POT PIES SPECIAL Fresh ingredients, daily preparation in small batches, reasonable prices ($7.50 for a 6-inch pie to serve one, $21.95 for a 10-inch pie that feeds five or six), and most importantly taste.

PAUL’S STORY A New Jersey native and Culinary Institute of America graduate, he cooked in hotel kitchens before launching Traveling Fare Café in 1984. His mother Patricia, wife Roberta, brother Tommy, son Brayden, and daughter Renae help out.

INGREDIENTS “I get everything fresh from a butcher and a farmers market—big chunks of chicken or beef and lots of corn, carrots, broccoli, pearl onions, green beans, and peas,” Paul says.

A flower shape cut from pastry dough, Paul’s signature, tops each Paul’s Pot Pie.

CRUMBLY CRUSTS Paul rolls pie dough bottoms just before filling and baking, so they don’t get soggy waiting. He uses puff pastry for the tops for a crisp look and buttery taste.

TRADEMARK TOUCH “I top each pie with a flower shape cut from dough,” Paul says. “It’s my symbol, a tulip with stem and leaves. I’ll put people’s initials or other shapes there by request.”

VARIETY COUNTS Paul makes at least eight different kinds of pot pies. A few examples and what’s in them: Chicken Pot Pie (white meat, peas, potatoes, carrots, corn); Pot Roast Pot Pie (eye round, potatoes, onions, carrots, peas); Vegetarian Pot Pie (feta cheese, cannelloni beans, spinach, broccoli, carrots, zucchini); Italian Sausage Pot Pie (sausage, mozzarella, provolone, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, marinara); Creole Shrimp Pot Pie (shrimp, rice, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers); Pizza Pot Pie (ground beef, mozzarella, provolone, onions, bell peppers).

CATERER’S RX Paul is no doctor, but when people are feeling a little under the weather, he cheerfully prescribes that they “eat a chicken pot pie and call me in the morning.”

RAVE REVIEW Local orthodontist Dr. Gerald “Gerry” Samson frequents Paul’s for pot pies nearly every week. “I like that they’re made fresh, the portions are generous, and they’re consistently delicious—the best comfort food ever,” Gerry says. “For Christmas, as a thank-you gesture, I give pies to my dentist friends who refer patients to me.”

Look for Paul's Pot Pies at Traveling Fare just off Marietta Square downtown.

GIFTING PIES Show up with pot pies at any sort of party—housewarming, birthday, football—or when visiting new babies or sick friends. They’re sure to be hits. Treat yourself sometime when you just don’t feel like cooking.

MAIL ORDER OPTION “For people who live far away and still want a Paul’s Pot Pie, we ship overnight packed in Styrofoam and dry ice,” Paul says. “It costs $12.50 to send a $21.95 pie, but to some devoted pot pie eaters, it’s apparently worth the price.”

TIPS Order ahead to avoid hearing the dreaded words, “They’re all gone!” Eat there at one of four small tables, or get a hot pie for take-out, or carry one home to freeze for later (cooking instructions provided).


Traveling Fare Café & Caterers

10 Mill Street, Marietta, GA 30060





Marietta Welcome Center, www.mariettasquare.com, 770-429-1115

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.atlanta.net, 404-521-6600


Australian Bakery Cafe, Marietta, GA

Down Under bakers put the “g’day mate” and “good on ya” into an unrivaled bakery experience, especially if you like meat pies.

story & photos by Bakery Boy

Australian bakers Mark Allen (left) & Neville Steel. Photos by Bakery Boy.

You wouldn’t think to go to Georgia to hear Australian slang. Southern slang, yes, though not from quite that far south. Well, say g’day mate (hello, friend) to the fair dinkum (genuine) Aussies (Australians) making dinky di (honest to goodness) Down Under specialties at the Australian Bakery Café in Marietta. You’ll hear those phrases and more while having a cultural experience at this bakeshop northwest of Atlanta. When you leave with a belly full of meat pies and a box full of more for later, you’ll be saying good on ya (thanks) and righteo (yes).

The bakery faces Marietta Square.

“This might be the only Australian bakery in the United States and for sure the oldest,” says Mark Allen, co-owner along with Neville Steel of the bakeshop they’ve run since 2001 facing downtown’s Marietta Square. They make a variety of sweet Australian goodies—such as crunchy oatmeal cookies they call Anzac Biscuits, walnut-laced chocolate desserts known as Hedgehog Slices, and pillow-y discs of meringue topped with strawberries and whipped cream—but they are best known for meat pies.

Neville: “We make thousands of four-inch meat pies every week.”

MEAT PIES? “Righteo, meat pies, that’s what it’s all about here, mate,” Neville says while rolling out enough pie-crust pastry dough to go under and over more than 200 of the 4-inch-square pies he’s making during an interview for the Bakery Boy Blog. “Meat pies are an Australian tradition we introduced here.”

Picture a flaky, oven-browned square the length of a deck of cards and twice as thick as one. It fits in hand like a sandwich, but keep it over a plate to catch the delicious sauce that oozes out after you bite in. Australian Bakery Cafe makes more than two dozen varieties.

Murals , meat pies, accents—the atmosphere is 100% Australian.

The original meat pie involves chopped beef sirloin in seasoned gravy. Options include steak and cheese, steak and onions, steak and mushrooms, steak and kidney, steak and peppers, chicken and vegetables, curry chicken, curry lamb, spinach and feta, shepherds pie, and others. There’s a Ned Kelly Pie named for an historical Aussie figure, a mid-1800s bushranger seen by some as a violent outlaw and by others as a Robin Hood-style folk hero for his defiance of colonial authority. “The Ned Kelly is a outback tough man’s pie stuffed with eggs, cheese, and ham,” Neville says, “with an egg on top too.”

Down Under flags hang overhead.

With so many choices, Neville and Mark created a Pie Identification Chart to remember which is which. For example the basic Australian meat pie has a single hole on top, steak and kidney pie is sprinkled with black poppy seeds, buffalo-chicken pie has paprika and four holes. “Without that chart we’d just be guessing what’s inside and so would our employees,” Neville says. “Of course we’d enjoy them anyway, because they’re all good.” They make a separate line of sausage rolls, meat-filled pasties, and pork pies, which are easier to ID because they’re different shapes.

Flaky crust and tasty gravy make a just-right meat pie.

WHAT’S THE SECRET? The crust can make or break a good meat pie. That goes double for what’s inside. “It’s no secret, really. The trick is to have a good, flaky, buttery pastry (what you Americans call crust) and a thick, tasty gravy,” Neville says. “We perfected the pastry long ago, so now we focus on getting the best possible meats, veggies, spices, and other ingredients.”

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES Besides local customers, regulars include the Australian Embassy and the Australian Ambassador’s Residence in Washington D.C. “They order hundreds of meat pies when they want to impress visitors with some genuine Australian food,” Mark says. “We also supply a lot of famous Aussies living in America. Keith Urban the country singer, Mel Gibson the actor, Olivia Newton-John the singer and actress, Stuart Appleby and Wendy Doolan the professional golfers, Graham Russell of the rock band Air Supply, and others have placed orders. We ship frozen pies overnight anywhere in the country, and all people have to do is warm them and serve. For Australians, what we’re really delivering is a little taste of home.”

“I love experimenting with new pies,” Neville says, fitting pastry dough over hundreds in a batch.

CHILDHOOD FRIENDS Neville and Mark, now 50, have known each other since preschool. “We’re both from bakery families in the city of Boort, about 250 miles northwest of Melbourne,” Neville says. “We went our separate ways and then met up again while attending the bakery school at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne. We each worked in several bakeries in Australia. Mark moved to the States in 1991, I followed in 1999, and we opened our Marietta bakery in 2001.

LOVING IT “I love baking every day and experimenting with new meat pies,” Neville says. “Today I’m messing around with barbecued pork and different spices for the gravy just to see what I get. The good ones go on the menu. The not-so-good ones we eat anyway but don’t make again.”

Bluegrass instruments come out for Tuesday night jams at the bakery.

BLUEGRASS IN THE BAKERY This is not an Australian tradition, if you were wondering. Mark explains: “My ex-wife Wendy, who is our business partner, has a new husband, Greg, who plays bluegrass banjo. He started hanging out here with his music friends, and the crowd of people playing and listening kept growing. So every Tuesday we hold an Open Bluegrass Jam. Anyone can bring an instrument and join in, whether they’re already seasoned players or just beginning to learn. We keep the bakery open until 9 o’clock to feed them meat pies when they get hungry from all that pickin’.” For more information about the Bluegrass Jam visit http://aussiejam.wordpress.com

Australian stuffed animals for sale in the shop window include kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras, and wombats.

LOCATION Australian Bakery Café, 48 South Park Square, Marietta, GA 30060. A second store is in East Atlanta Village at 463 Flat Shoals Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30316

HOURS Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Tue ‘til 9 p.m. for Open Bluegrass Jam); Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

INFO www.australianbakery.com or 678-797-6222