“We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presences of pie.”, or so says playwright David Mamet. Janet Clarkson, the food historian has written, “It could be argued that there is an element of entertainment in every pie, as every pie is inherently a surprise by virture of its crust.” Are those wonderful sentiments about a simple dish? As a massive pie fan (I used to request a birthday pie, instead of cake), I wholeheartedly agree more with both sentiments. Pies are a happy food and not just for dessert. Pies are a lunch/dinner dish when done Aussie style, filled with savory delectables. For me, a veggie pie is the epitome of happiness in a crust and a relatively recent discovery, made in Sydney.
Ever since my first veggie tiger at Harry’s, I have been jonesing for these small wonders. When I planned my Vancouver trip, Serendipity was working in my favor. She (serendipity with an ‘s”) let me stumble across an article on the best new places to eat in the city. Peaked Pies was on that list and my mission was clear – find the shop and eat as many pies as I possibly could during my visit.
Mission accomplished! Peaked Pies was only 5 minute walk from my hotel and upon my arrival, I made a beeline to the shop. Walking in, the little bells on the door heralded my arrival to a small slice of heaven. I immediately decided on the Vegetable Medley and ordered at the counter. My pie was ready in a flash and armed with lots of napkins, I sat at one of the blond wood tables in the small dining room, ready to tuck into the flaky pastry topped with the two scoops of love.
Diving into the depths of my pie with plastic cutlery, I encountered perfectly cooked chunks of vegetables (corn, carrots, leeks, celery, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes) in a delicious coconut milk-based sauce. These were punctuated by the warmth of mashed potatoes (damn near just as good Mom used to make), the earthiness of mushy peas, and a perfectly savory gravy. I couldn’t get this into my mouth fast enough. Thankfully, being in public I was able to tamp down my desire to lick the plate. Make no mistake, this is not a light dish. It is a full-flavored, full-octane entree worthy of a great lunch or dinner.
If you arrive at Peaked Pies and are overwhelmed but the deliciousness of the menu board, don’t worry – the excellent staff will help you make a decision. You have the option of “peaking” your pie with mashed potatoes, mushy peas, and gravy. DO IT, that is what Peaked Pies is all about. An authentic Australian pie shop that really REALLY needs to hurry up and clone themselves…in my kitchen!
Oh, if you have room (or even if you don’t) get yourself a Salted Carmel Tort. Decadence that you can fit in your hand! I had one with dinner and another with my coffee the next morning, which was pretty close to a holy experience.
Peaked Pies was definitely worth the trip, around the corner or (in my case) back to Vancouver. It has earned a permanent place in my heart and on my taste buds. My only regret is that I was too distracted by the pie to try the coffee. I can only imagine how it would have complemented the Salted Carmel Torte. Now, if I could just convince them to open a shop in Arizona…..