Great Barrier Quiche

Eat like a proper Ozzie at Bronzed Aussie

Ever wonder why Australians are known for their friendliness?

It might have to do with what they're eating for breakfast.

Wander into this hidden food court near Downtown's Santee Alley and you'll find Bronzed Aussie, a new pastry shop and café serving nostalgic pastries from the land down under. Even if you didn't grow up eating Vegemite, caramel slices or sausage rolls, the appeal of home-style baked goods fresh from the oven is undeniable on any continent.

The veggie "brekkie" pie ($6), a fluffy quiche studded with carrots, onions and spinach, is surprisingly ethereal, encircled in the kind of soft, flaky crust pastry over which chefs obsess.

Owner Samantha Bryan imports Australia's Longshot Coffee for espresso drinks, including a flat white ($3) and a long black ($3), an amped-up version of the Americano.

At about 10 a.m. daily, personal-size savory pies ($5 to $7) slide into the display case, filled with ratatouille, thai curry chicken, or lamb with rosemary. Our favorite was the classic ground beef, an umami-rich onion-and-gravy potpie of sorts. Try it doused in ketchup, native-style.

And for dessert: a Lamington ($3). That's a square of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. If only we Yanks had thought of that first.