I just took a trip out of this world. My flying saucer was shaped like a pie.
I do love me some pie. I'm a big fan of sweets in general and I've never met a baked good I didn't like. I think baked goods like me too because they seem to glomb onto my thighs for all of eternity after just one lousy bite. When I worked at an advertising agency a while back we used to celebrate birthdays every month in the break room with a grocery store sheet cake. Don't let the high balls of Mad Men fool you. When September hit I put in a request for pie instead of cake. It's not that I don't like cake. I love cake. But month after month of grocery store marble cake with Crisco frosting wasn't how I wanted to celebrate my birthday in the windowless office break room. And being the market researcher that I am, I polled all the September birthdays to see who might like to switch to pie.
The pie won. Unanimously. Funny how the turnout for September's soiree was so large. Everyone wanted a piece of the pie.
Literally and figuratively.
Raleigh's latest bakery made my quest for pie a little easier. Pie Bird.
It's a soon-to-open pie shop on Person Street in the old Conti's storefront. (Indulge me in a moment of silence for Conti's, please. My family dearly misses that place.) What makes Pie Bird more than a sugary bakery are its savory offerings. I tasted a chicken pot pie that rocked me out of this world. The crust is more of a shortbread consistency so it's not flaky and greasy. In fact, there were no grease splatters on the box.The wonky, off kilter fork tine imprints that aren't perfectly uniform tell me a human hand crimped that crust, not a factory machine. Inside, the chicken was so remarkably tender. It was shredded, not cubed, which is what I prefer. I've roasted a lot of chickens in my time, and not one of them has been as fork tender as the shredded bits in Pie Bird's pot pie. There were plenty of peas and carrots and just a few potatoes. That's the perfect ratio in my book. And the sauce. Oh, the sauce. It was creamy, peppery, but not too rich. The mushrooms were a nice woodsy touch too. My family inhaled that pie. In fact, my husband and I both had a late night second helping because we just couldn't resist.
And I'm not even talking about dessert yet.
I tried a coconut cream pie, something I'd have no idea how to bake on my own. Again, the crust was perfect and not too buttery. The pie was pretty enough to take center stage on a cake stand at the buffet table. The crust had cute little three-leaf clover cut outs adorning the edges. The filling was delightfully creamy with no paucity of coconut. Some coconut cream pies can have that gelatinous gluey texture that makes you look like you're chewing cud while eating it. Not so here. Pie Bird's coconut cream pie amazingly held its shape when cut and was neither goopy nor gummy. It came topped with whipped cream (not from a plastic container found in your grocer's freezer section) and toasted coconut. Toasted! I'm cuckoo for coconut. I'm pretending it was light enough to indulge in two slices in one day. One slice doesn't count if eaten straight from the box while hunched over the kitchen counter.
The best part is that with 24 hours notice, Pie Bird delivers pies to your door. To. Your. Door.
Once the storefront opens, I think there will also be a little cafe. I'm thinking it will make a great lunch spot or retreat when I need an excuse for pie. If Pie Bird had free WiFi and coffee (hint, hint...ahem), I just might make it my second office as I crank out the goods trying to get my own slice of the American Dream pie.
Ilina, the mom of two, writes about food here on Go Ask Mom every Wednesday. But you can always find her at her own blog Dirt & Noise.