$10 and Under: Meal in a Pie

Savory South African pies in Oakland Park

If you thought you would never chance to taste South African food in South Florida, there's a strip mall in Oakland Park you should visit.

The dated yet charming shopping strip houses Meal in a Pie, a compact restaurant and grocery owned by Tracey and Rod Wiggill, from KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.

Every morning, Tracey and her staff bake feathery pastries dense with fillings like lamb or beef curry. This affordable meal-in-a-pie ($6) is best attacked with knife and fork; otherwise, the flaky, substantial pastry is likely to collapse on itself.

The first-rate bobotie pie is adapted from one of South Africa's culinary staples, a spicy and sweet meat dish. In this case, curried ground beef is punctuated with fruit chutney. The turmeric-infused chicken curry pie has a mellow, straightforward heat devoid of sweetness.

The Wiggills cure their own meats, including peppery spirals of boerewors ($7 per pound), beef-and-pork sausage best grilled on the braai, or barbecue.

Our recommendation: Grab a meat pie and a can of mildly sparkling Appletiser ($3), and drive to the beachside benches at Lauderdale-by-Sea. As the sun sets, taste some of South Africa while enjoying a truly South Florida scene.