Location: 314 D 10th Street NW
Though I’ve categorized it as a restaurant, I’d say it’s more like a cross between a cafe and a restaurant. Maybe a bistro? I’m not sure exactly what the right word for it would be. As with most of the restaurants and cafes I’ve been to in the Kensington area, this place is quaint and cute.
The first thing that struck me when I walked into the place was how empty it was. I had heard that it was on the pricier side, but if the food was good, I expected it to be packed regardless. We were promptly seated and given a chance to peruse the menus. Me being me of course, I had already looked at the menu before coming because one I take forever to decide on what I want and two because if the food doesn’t sound appealing to me, I don’t want to go. While the atmosphere of the place is quaint and cute, the food can only be described as comfort. The menu consists primarily of pies, hence the name, but they also have a variety of food that aren’t pies (cleverly headed as “not pies” on the menu). Our waitress started us off with drinks almost immediately. Julia ordered a coffee and I had a winter gold tea. Both came from local business in the area, mine from The Naked Leaf and Julia’s from The Roasterie (which was right next door). The Winter Gold tea was magnificent and fragrant. Not only were the colours beautiful, the sweetness of the tea was not overwhelming. With that out of the way, it was time to focus on entrees. My initial reaction to seeing a Mac and Cheese Pie was disgust and confusion. I couldn’t imagine something so starchy ever being enjoyable, but putting that aside I decided to give this a try (also, bacon lattice, like come on, even though I don’t like bacon that much, a bacon lattice sounds so awesome!). It was a strange combination and I didn’t end up eating much of the pie crust, but it was something worth trying. My friend Julia ordered the Boston Chowder Pie. That was one of the pies I had considered trying, but was concerned that the pie filling would be more like a clam chowder and be very runny, but I was wrong. It was thick and creamy and filled with a hearty helping of clams, bacon, and assorted vegetables all wrapped in a wonderful, flaky potato crust. Each pie comes with a choice of sides, I had the coleslaw and Julia had the butternut squash soup. The coleslaw was more acidic that I had expected, but it was a good counter for the richness of the mac and cheese. The butternut squash soup was served in a cup and in no way measured up to Vendome’s butternut squash veloute. For dessert, we decided to share a slice of pecan pie. I had been craving pecan pie for a while and unfortunately I was about to be disappointed. I had thought if the entree pies were any indication as to the size of their portions, there was no way that we could each get a slice of pie and finish it after having had the entrees. The pie itself was actually quite nice. Very butter and flaky crust and overall, it wasn’t too sweet. However, for $8, the size of the pie didn’t measure up. Next time I think I’ll give their mermaid pie a try.
I like this place for the fact that they help support some of the local business in the area and that there’s a place in Calgary where I can find comfort food for those days when you need it most. What’s also interesting is its address: 314. On the “About Us” section of their webpage, they point this out. The significance. 3.14 is of course Pi. Their menu is quite extensive and any of their savoury pies sound so delicious that I intend to return to try them all. It would be interesting to try out their breakfast ideas one day as well. Our waitress was very attentive and I can find little to complain about. However, as mentioned earlier, the prices can be a bit steep for some and the size of the pecan pie was disappointing. Other than that, I’d have to say everything else was perfect. 4/5