Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Pie Shack

The other day, my friend and I headed down to the beaches area to make the most of the warm summery weather. As we walked along Queen Street East, we discovered this little gem - The Pie Shack. We wanted to grab a bite before we headed down to the boardwalk and pie seemed to be a novel and fun choice.

First of all, I don't think anyone can comment on The Pie Shack without mentioning its atmosphere and service. What initially brought my attention to this place was the unique elements of its exterior: the signage with the pie on the windowsill and the Paw Shack doghouse. Fortunately, the interior continues with the quirky charm. With the mish-mash of vintage flea market-type decor and furniture, the whole place has a casual rustic and eclectic feel that just oozes with character. There are several interesting details including a plush moose guarding the display case of pies, dinosaur skeletons gracing the couch, a wooden chandelier dangling above the coffee table, and even a cuckoo clock cooing on the hour. It is a truly quaint and cozy place that would make for a great hangout spot. And the owner, Tim McConvey, clearly thinks the same: there's a cupboard with some boardgames and a deck of cards at every table.

Speaking of Tim, he is incredibly personable and welcoming. I quickly learned that he knew all the other patrons on a first-name basis, regularly checking up on them and engaging in friendly chit-chat. It was so refreshing to find someone so genuinely friendly and passionate running the place.

However, I'm getting a little off-track; afterall, the pies are what we really came for. Although there were a number of tempting sweet pies, we opted for the savoury pot pies: the beef bacon cheese and the chicken.

Both pies were served with a small side of salad drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette, which was a nice touch since I was only expecting the pie alone.

The beef bacon cheese pie sounded promising in theory, but ended up being slightly disappointing. The crust was buttery and slightly flaky with crispy edges but I found that the bacon flavour got lost in the rich beef. I wouldn't have realized there were any bacon bits in it if I hadn't been actively looking for them. The cheese flavour also was not very prominent. Instead, I think it actually added a slightly sour, tangy aftertaste to the pie. Consequently, I felt that the beef pie was a bit of a miss.

The chicken pot pie was much better though. Like the beef pie, the crust was done well. The chicken filling was also creamy, and not too salty. Whereas the beef pie felt heavy, the chicken pie felt lighter especially with the vegetables.

Overall, I enjoyed the food although I'll take a pass on that beef bacon cheese pie. I don't think the pies are OMG-AMAZING but they do make for a satisfying and relatively affordable meal/dessert. And what The Pie Shack lacks in food, it more than makes up in service and atmosphere. Next time, I'll be sure to drop by and try the sweet pies.

Slice of pie $6
Whole pie $25
Pot Pie $6.50

The Pie Shack (Beaches location)
2305 Queen Street East
Toronto M4E 1G7
(647) 351-1411
The Pie Shack on Urbanspoon

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