Hooper Centre, 187 Hume Street, Toowoomba
It's becoming a rare occasion where I find myself excited over a food venue in Toowoomba. One evening, Byron and I were at Paton's in the Hooper Centre to buy dog food. Well, he was buying dog food and I was pacing around outside, bored, and I spotted a pie store.
Pie's are my 'thing' of 2013, or at least, 2 months into this year, they are featuring heavily on my cravings list. I was never a big fan of pies and thought of them as very unhealthy but 'just ok' in terms of taste so not a worthy food intake. Something's changed and now, all of a sudden... I have pies on my mind.
We returned to Joey Dents during a lunch break to try the pies and inject some fun into an otherwise boring work day. The shop is small, and focuses on pies but also does a few other takeaway store favorites like sandwiches and pasties. What you may not find elsewhere are some hybrid creations like 'Burger Pi's and 'Sanga Pi's, burgers and sandwiches using pie crusts in place of bread.
Our pie party
I wasn't game enough to try any of those so we stuck to the conventional pie. At first, we ordered 3 to share but they were so good that Byron insisted on picking up another. There are a few booths inside the shop but we were led to a separate building just beside it to eat. There were lots of tables there, all empty, and we felt quite VIP.
Beef and tomato pie
The first flavor that I tried was the beef and tomato. I noticed that the pie crust was very light and flakey and the filling was fresh. The tomato pieces inside weren't stewed to oblivion but rather, still intact and tangy. They complimented the beef mince nicely and omitted the requirement for tomato sauce.
Slopy joe pie
Next, I bit into the slopy joe pie. This would probably be my favorite of the lot. The savory mince was absolutely delicious. I could probably finish a whole bowl of it myself, with a few wedges of pastry to dip into it.
Beef and burgundy pie
The beef and burgundy had a strong, distinct red wine flavor that added an unexpected level of sophistication to the pie. Again, it was delicious and we wolfed it down in no time. Byron liked this one so much he wanted to buy another of the same but we had just eaten the last one.
Mince and mushy pea pie
Instead, we bought a mince and mushy pea pie. I'd always been curious about those pie floats with mushy peas on the outside. This was basically the same concept but with the peas integrated on the inside. It worked really well. Byron loved that the peas had a hint of mint to it.
Needless to say, we loved the pies at Joey Dents. The fillings all had a wonderful homemade quality. If we were to give critisism, Byron would have liked them to be saucier. We both noticed that there was a small filling to pastry ratio. That's probably how we ended up eating 4. They're not very 'hearty'. The service wasn't totally friendly but it doesn't taint a casual takeaway experience too much.