The Goat Pie Guy, or What I’ll Miss The Most

Remember that scene in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy says good-bye to the Scarecrow? She says, “I’ll miss you most of all.”

It’s such a touching moment – Dorothy had arrived into a strange land with the fantasy of escaping Kansas, and slowly, over a long time, finds friends and acquaintances who guide her along her way, and help her to become a strong and confident woman.  By the end of the movie, she has so many dear and unexpected friends, that her deepest desire, to return home, is perhaps not quite as obvious as it seems to be on the surface.

The final moment, when she embraces the Scarecrow, and says “I’ll miss you most of all” has always stayed with me. The Scarecrow, without knowing it, became a beacon to our heroine, and in his heart-filled way helps to guide her home.  He is a symbol of all that is wonderful about Oz, the technicolor purity and light.

That final moment?  That’s kind of how I feel about the Goat Pie Guy.

goat pie guy

The Goat Pie Guy, a.k.a Mic, has been the friendly face of the farmer’s market since the first day we arrived. I, an American, had never really experienced a meat pie, and didn’t plan to, as I am gluten, and most-of-the-time grain free. Mic’s pies are made from locally raised goat meat, and he makes all the fillings and pastries himself. Anthony had had a sample, I couldn’t touch it.

However, that didn’t stop us from religiously going to chat with Mic whenever we’re at the market, provided there wasn’t a crazy line out of his stall (which there often was.) He, like many true craftsmen, didn’t seem to particularly care if we were there to buy – he was just happy to talk shop, joke around, and just in general be a lovely person. 

So, one day, after months of salivating over his lovely pies, even though I normally eschew grains because of my sensitive tummy, I started bugging him for a gluten-free pie.  He winced a bit; saying how difficult it was to find pasty to fit his high standards.  “They’re too crumbly, or too thick!” he said.  I continued pestering weekly, asking for a pie for my birthday.  I’m positive I was not alone in this endeavor, as one day, Mic gleefully arrived with a beautiful, Moroccan, gluten-free meat pie.  Complete with a G birthday candle, for what else? Goat. 

goat pie

Ant and I bought it, and raced to our car, nearly knocking over our market trolley in our haste. We couldn’t wait to get home, reheat our beautiful, pastry covered prize, and take our first bite.

I assure you, it was a holy experience.  The crust was perfect, just like I remember pastry being from the many years ago that I last had it.  But it was the filling that was truly extraordinary – slightly sweet, rich and perfect. The goat was perfectly pronounced but not too gamey, and the dates and other moroccan accouterment highlighted the flavor without overpowering it. It was divine. 

Last week, Mic eagerly asked what I thought of it, and I may or may not have sounded the way a teenager would after meeting her favorite celebrity – in awe, overwhelmed, and tongue-tied.

He gave me another pie to try, as he wanted to make sure that there was no cross-contamination between the gluten-free and not, so decided to ask another artisan gluten-free baker to do the crust for him.  I have to say, I thought the new crust was even better, if possible – flakier and lighter. 

goat pie 2

Of course, it’s not really about the pie. Just as the Tin Man always had a heart, even before the wizard gave him the (soooo 1930’s) metal ‘ticker’, the connections you make rarely have anything to do with the services they provide, how ever artisan or delicious they may be. Mic has, from day one, been a person I’ve looked forward to seeing, joking with, or even just giving a wave to on a busy day. As a girl in a strange land, he’s made me feel at home.

I wish nothing but the best of luck to Mic and the Goat Pie Guy team.  They deserve nothing but the best, and if you happen to be in Brisbane, drop everything and run to the Goat Pie Guy stall. You’ll be glad you did. 

Disclosure: I was provided with one sample gluten-free goat pie with no expectation of blogging about it or anything like that. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

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