Inside the Meat PieImagine this bit of sci-fi: A mad scientist decides to put his dinner, a chicken pot pie and a slice of meatloaf, in a teleportation device. The experiment goes awry of course, and what comes out is a melding of these two stalwarts of American comfort food. Behold the meat pie. In fact, the meat pie is not a Frankenstein amalgamation, but a favorite snack from Australia. It's the specialty of Tuck Shop, the Aussie takeout restaurant that started in the East Village and now has opened a second branch in midtown.

The new Tuck Shop has all the charm of a laboratory. That's because it unfortunately shares space with the Cyber Café, a bizarre 90s throwback bedecked with curved aluminum walls and dramatic spot lighting. Plugged in to computers lining the café are people who must be stranded European backpackers desperate for email. This is all the more reason to order a pie to take away; they are designed to be portable after all. (If you're not going back to the office, nearby Worldwide Plaza has tables and chairs open to the public.)

The traditional beef pie is the place to start here. A flakey crust envelops a filling of ground beef in “oh so juicy gravy,” as the menu puts it. It's a simple, salty, and satisfying sauce that does manage to stay remarkably moist within the pastry shell. Top it with ketchup if you want to fully replicate the Down Under answer to the hamburger. Lamb, chicken, and veggie options are also available, as are unbaked pies to take home (all $5 each). Each day there's a different special filling on offer, recently lamb in Guinness stout sauce. To balance out the heaviness of the pies, you can get one with salad on the side for $8 altogether.

For dessert, try the traditional Aussie treat called a Lamington. It's an enormous cube of dense vanilla cake covered in chocolate fudge and rolled in coconut. Like a giant, leaden, tastier Snowball, the Lamington is not to be taken lightly. Make sure you share it, especially if you've already tucked away a whole pie.