For those that don’t travel out of Cape Town much, you should. As difficult as it is to leave this wonderful city, with everything it has going for it, sometimes the best weekends are those spent elsewhere. I know, you can get locked up for saying things like that about The Perfect City, but it really is great to “get away.” And if you’re getting away on the N2, you’re going to pass the Peregrine Farm Stall. It’s on your right just before you get to the Elgin turnoff. When you get there, keep driving. Don’t even look at it. Don’t even mention it. Because a short drive further on is the Houw Hoek Farm Stall, which is really worth stopping for. The Peregrine is really just the red herring. Not the pub, but as in the thing that distracts you from something else. The Red Herring pub isn’t anywhere near the N2 anyways. It’s in Noordhoek. Why even bring it up?
So aside from the farmstall, the Houw Hoek has a restaurant attached that serves reasonably decent roadfood (i.e. you wouldn’t really go there if it was in the city). But their actual farmstall is really impressive – well stocked with deli-type products (preserves, olive oils, nuts, etc) and with an adjacent wine shop that offers wines from the region. But there’s one thing you are stopping here for – their homemade pies and sausage rolls.
Okay, this really isn’t about the Houw Hoek Farm Stall at all. This is really an ode to the pies and sausage rolls they serve. I ate one of the sausage rolls this past weekend and when I finished the last bite I thought God might reach down and give my stomach a little rub himself. It was almost spiritual. It was THAT good. It was ridiculously good. Just silly. If every bite of food gave as much pleasure, we’d all be moaning uncontrollably in our restaurant seats before being restrained and carried away. I’ve also had a chicken pie and the chicken & mushroom pie here, which are almost as good, but the sausage roll takes first prize. And it doesn’t even have bacon in it!
How is this possible? Good mince, well spiced and fresh – that’s how. They make them daily and they sell them out. There are enough hungry roadtrippers buzzing past to clean their pie rack out several times a day, well, on weekends for certain. There really is nothing like a good pie when you’re driving. The crumbs sticking to your face and spilling all over your legs as you manoeuvre the pie out the packet to your mouth. And when you’re done you just hurl the packet out the window. Whoa! Okay, never do that! Firstly, you’re littering. Secondly, if you’ve left any pie residue in the packet, it could land on someones windscreen and cause a serious traffic accident. Death by chicken & mushroom pie! Do you want that responsibility? Me neither. Eat responsibly, people.