Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, aka Pie-day

Fridays are really awesome. Remember the TGIF lineup on ABC? They knew what was up. Fridays really rock. My favorite part of Fridays is taking a walk down to my favorite local bakery in Newton Center, Pie. Heck, that's my favorite part of ANY day.

Pie Bakery and Cafe lives up to its name. It has savory pies, sweet pies, and while it includes regular baked goods like cookies and scones, I tend to stick to the pies. You can actually get a full meal here for a reasonable price.

I like to start with the goat cheese and chive potato pancake. I'm a sucker for anything carbo-loaded, and anything in pancake form, so this delightful crispy pancake doesn't disappoint. The goat cheese is not overpowering and melts in well with the smashed potatoes in the center.

My favorite entree? Hard to say. I love the spinach and feta pie -- it is probably the best I've ever had. The shepherd's pie with sweet potatoes instead of mashed potatoes are a home run too, as is the savory moist chicken pot pie. Pie also offers salads for those who want to save calories (but really, if you're looking to save calories, both Pie and this blog probably aren't for you). Pie also offers a daily soup. I've had the sumptuous beef stew on a cold winter day, and it took the chill right out of my bones.

And onto the grand finale: the sweet pies. Never in my life have I had pies this good. Everything wins -- the harvest pie (mixture of apples, pears and cranberries), the pear and ginger pie, the apple pie. The key lime and lemon meringue are the perfect level of tart and gooey. The ultimate, however, has got to be the cookies 'n cream pie. It starts with a layer of chocolate creme, then some sort of cookies creme, then a layer of chocolate chip cookie chunks, then whipped cream, then chocolate chip cookie chunks sprinkled on top. It's probably about 4000 calories per slice, but it is pure heaven.

On top of it all, the staff are friendly and pleasant. In fact, the executive pastry chef trained with an old acquaintance of mine, Joanne Chang of Flour, who I believe to be the best (and nicest) baker in Boston. The people working the counter are never grouchy (although, can you really be grouchy when you're surrounded by pies all day?) and always accomodating.

What I love about Pie is that it doesn't do what a lot of bakeries do, and pump out pastries that are super sweet, assuming that this is enough to be a good pastry. It's not. The pastry needs to be rich and have depth and all sorts of interesting flavors. Pie's rich and buttery pastries always deliver without being cloyingly sweet, and I highly recommend ordering one of their pies to bring to your next gathering. Or, just grab a fork and eat the whole pie by yourself while watching reruns of 227, like I do. Oh, Jackee.

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