Over the years, a number of restaurants that we have featured have closed down for one reason or another. And one closure that was particularly sad was an East Boston dining spot that was one of the most "hidden" places that we have ever reviewed. But while Scup's in the Harbour is indeed no longer in existence, it is great to see that another restaurant has taken its place--and it is also nice to see that KO Pies at the Shipyard is every bit as satisfying as the eatery that it replaced, though KO Pies (whose original location is in South Boston) is a bit different from Scup's, with the new place mainly featuring Australian food, while the old spot focused mostly on classic American fare.
For anyone familiar with the old Scup's, you know that the location of KO Pies at the Shipyard is an odd one. The dining spot is located in the heart of the Boston Harbor Shipyard in East Boston's quiet Jeffries Point neighborhood, near the absolutely stunning Piers Park (it is tough to find a better view of Boston than from this space). So how do you get to KO Pies at the Shipyard? Well, you drive down Marginal Street along the water, passing Piers Park on the right and soon coming to what looks like the end of the road. A guard booth is at this spot, and when a guard is at the booth, you actually need to explain that you are going to the restaurant. Once you are waved through, it's about a 10-second drive to KO Pies, which is located in an old brick building to the left. The space itself is pretty simple, with an ordering area just inside the door and a few tables to the left. More seating can be found outside, with a covered patio that has a good amount of communal bench seating for those warmer days and nights.
Like the original KO Pies on A Street in Southie, KO Pies at the Shipyard is all about meat pies, though their menu does include other items as well. A variety of pies are offered, including one with ground beef, another with beef and cheese (this one is a popular choice), a braised lamb shank pie, a curried vegetable pie, a beef stew pie, and a rotating selection of pies of the month that includes a marvelous curried chicken option and a sweet-tasting pulled pork. Each pie at KO Pies is five inches in diameter, with fillings being enclosed by a dense shortcrust base and an airy puff pastry on top. If you're new to Australian meat pies and are looking for a "starter" option, the basic beef or beef with cheese are good choices. For a richer pie, the lamb is probably the way to go, though the beef stew has plenty of rich-tasting meat as well, and there are "special" pies available, including a tasty version with beef and bleu cheese. And, of course, if you are a vegetarian, well, the veggie pie is the obvious choice. All of the pies are quite filling, with one usually being more than enough for a meal (even though they look small), especially if you opt for a side of garlic mashed potatoes, roasted fingerling potatoes or potato wedges, chips, green beans, or mushy peas. And if you aren't in the mood for a pie, KO has some other options, including a wonderful grilled fish sandwich that is made with mild-tasting pollock, an Aussie-style burger with beetroot, fried onions, egg, and cheese, chicken and veggie pita sandwiches, a spicy BBQ shrimp plate, and snacks and starters such as sticky spare ribs, grilled bruschetta, soups (including a savory roasted potato, cheddar cheese, and bacon soup), a plate of Thai-style fish cakes that are also made with pollock, and Vietnamese-style lettuce wraps with fish cakes. (Note: Not all items are always available, as the menu is always changing.) Desserts include a hearty and decadent frozen chocolate parfait with a berry compote and a similarly sinful sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream. Beer and wine is available (including some local microbrews), as well as sangria, soft drinks and water.
Much like Scup's, KO Pies at the Shipyard is an offbeat and eclectic dining spot that is an instant Boston treasure. Its out-of-the-way location, friendly servers, dirt-cheap prices, and satisfying food make for a memorable experience--and you can make it even more memorable by taking a water taxi from Long Wharf in downtown Boston right to the restaurant if you wish. The closing of Scup's was a sad occasion to many, but kudos to KO Pies at the Shipyard for bringing smiles back to the faces of diners who know about this little-known space on the water.
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