Product Review


Yesterday was the official opening of a new pie-based restaurant in Raleigh, so of course we were there!

(How could we miss out on a place whose motto is, “Our mission is to make and sell the finest quality all natural pies in Raleigh and beyond.”?)

Finding it was pretty simple – they’re on Person St, just north of Peace St, across the street from the Krispy Kreme (so on the E side of the street).  There appeared to be plenty of street parking in the evening.

We arrived around 6pm, at which point they were out of quite a few things (most appetizers, the quiche, and all hand pies, darn it), but there was still plenty to try.

We were seated quickly by a friendly person.  The decor is bright and cheerful, sort of a retro-kitschy feel (as the logo above embodies).  Our seat towards the back had a nice view along the side wall towards the front:

It’s still a bit bare-bones (some art on the bare brick walls would liven it up a little), with a bright, clean feel to it.

The menu had us drooling; I decided on the Mushroom Tart, while my companion had the Madras Curried Vegetable Pot Pie.  Both came with a side – we each chose salads, mine with balsamic vinaigrette, his plain (no dressing).

There were some opening-night bobbles in the service – it took a long time for us to get drinks, even longer for our salads and entrees to arrive (we got several rounds of a card game in between drinks and salads), and we watched the ice cream on our dessert pie melting away at the back for a good five minutes before we were able to alert our server that they were ready (when she came to apologize for the wait).  However, the staff were friendly and obviously trying hard, and I imagine they’ll get staffing and efficient service sorted out soon enough.

So, how was the food?

In a word: excellent!

Salads:

The salad was mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, and a bit too much red onion.  Perfectly fine.

Curried Madras Vegetable Pot Pie:

Came with a delicious raita and mango chutney.  I found the filling a bit uninspiring (sort of reminds me of English-style curry), but it also had no peppers, which is a plus for me.  And sweet potatoes, yum!

My dish, however, totally won on flavor (Mushroom tart):

Wild mushrooms and delicious caramelized onions on a pie crust base (yum!), with herbs and whatnot..  Very rich and deliciously yummy.  It was hard to share, even though we’d agreed 🙂

And of course we had to try dessert pies.  I got cherry:

Which inexplicably had powdered sugar sprinkled on it.  (?)  Now, I’m from Michigan (where cherries are grown), so I’m a bit particular about my cherry pie.  So when I say that this was nothing special, that’s not to say it was bad.  Just that it wasn’t… anything special.

My dining companion, however, totally won with the Apple-Crumble pie served with locally-made ice cream:

More inexplicable powdered sugar, this time with cinnamon (tasty!).  The ice cream, as you see, was a bit melted by the time we got the pie at the table, but still tasty.  The granola-crumble topping was fabulous.  Yummy!

We also got a coconut-cream pie to go, but haven’t heard back yet from its recipient how it was.  Looked yummy, though:

Total bill came to less than $50 including tip for two entrees w/sides, drinks (non-alcoholic, I think their license isn’t active yet?), and desserts, plus a takeout slice of pie.

Verdict: totally tasty, some service wobbles that I imagine will improve, and did I mention tasty pie?  We’ll definitely go there again.

Double Rainbow Chocolate Sorbet

In my continuing efforts to deal with the “no dairy, no soy” dietary restrictions, I’m always on the lookout for desserts that  I can both eat without guilt, and with pleasure.  So when I saw this on the shelf at my local Harris-Teeter, I picked it up.

The ingredients are thus: Sugar, Non GM corn syrup, cocoa processed with alkali, natural cocoa, carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan.

It’s 99% fat free, has no dairy, uses no soy (yay!), is gluten-free, and the calorie count is reasonable for a snack (120 calories for a 1/2 cup serving, 5 of them from fat). (More info about the company and their products here.)

So, how did it taste?

Obviously, the lack of butterfat means that it doesn’t taste like ice cream.  No getting away from that.  But the chocolate flavor is rich (although with a hint of that weird plastickiness that I associate with carob – this isn’t belgian chocolate, folks, and doesn’t pretend otherwise), and the sorbet is creamy and has good mouthfeel.

Honestly, the closest thing I can say that this comes to in flavor/texture is the Fudgesicle Fudge Pops – remember those?

Fudgsicle Fudge Pops

Mind you, I like fudge pops.  So for me, having an entire tub of solid fudgepop isn’t a bad thing, but ymmv.

It even makes artistic debris

It even makes artistic debris

With 6 apple pies to make, and 20 lbs of apples to peel and slice,  I finally broke down and bought an apple peeler.

It took Jeff all of about 20 minutes to whip through those babies.  Wow!  I am in love.  It’s so cool.  Everyone should own one.  Put this on your christmas list, for sure!

Johnny Apple Peeler by VICTORIO VKP1010, Suction Base