Pie Town is an eatery specialising, unsurprisingly, in pies. It has been well-known to those who love American-style pies, and built up a following from Wandering Cooks. We didn’t know about it until we happened to notice the fire engine-red store front when driving past though. One of us is partial to meat pies, so that necessitated a stop.
A sign at the entrance requested that only one customer or couple be inside the store at a time, in keeping with social distancing restrictions. While waiting, we perused the menu blu-taced to the glass door, consisting of one A4 sheet listing the Daily hot savoury pies, and one listing the Daily hot sweet pies. There were many items in each section, catering to a range of tastes. The savoury list contained classics like Chicken Pot Pie and Pepper Steak Pie, but also more fusion flavours like Gado Gado Hand Pie and Mexican Chicken Pie. The sweet list had quite American leanings, like Key Lime Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Peach Cobbler. On the end of the list of sweet pies was the option of a Pie shake, so the adventurous could have their choice of sweet pie blended into a thickshake.
There were a few pies that quickly caught our fancy. When it came to our turn to enter the store though, we discovered that many others before us had evidently had the same leanings. Many of the savoury pie trays were already emptied, so we had to fall back to choosing from what was left. They let us know that they had a couple more options still available in family sizes, but we thought that that might be a little large for us. We settled on the Chicken Pot Pie and the Cheeseburger Pie in individual sizes.
There were more to choose from in the sweet pie cabinet. These were large pies cut up and sold by the slice. This meant that you could see a cross section of the pie fillings, which helped our decision-making. Although some of the flavours sounded tempting, like the Earl Grey pie, we do not particularly like cream cakes, so chose the Pumpkin pie and the Honey Walnut pie instead.
They were all neatly packed up for us in sturdy cardboard boxes that fit them just right, without squashing them. The boxes were a bright red on top, matching the exterior of the building, and on the side had the great pun “Another one bites the crust”. Helpfully, they marked which box contained which pie, to make for easier identification afterwards.
The Chicken Pot Pie was described in the menu as being composed of free range chicken thighs braised in leeks, onions, carrots, and peas in a chicken gravy. It had flaky, buttery pastry encasing its contents. This was extra thick around the top edge, where the pastry was twisted, giving it additional crunch. Despite the thickness of the pastry, it was not stodgy or soggy anywhere. It was filled with a moist mix of pulled chicken meat and diced vegetables. It was a better eating texture than either chunks of chicken or minced chicken would have been, and well-seasoned. It was hearty and filling, and would certainly count as an ideal winter warmer.
The Cheeseburger Pie was described in the menu as containing housemade Echo Valley beef patty, Barbecue Mafia tomato sauce, Picklehead dill pickles, and American cheese. This pie also had that lovely rich pastry. We wondered, when we bought it, how it would actually turn out, how they would make this pie cheeseburger-like, apart from being a mix of the ingredients (given that steak pies, for instance, rarely turn out to be all that reminiscent of steaks). This pie had a ground meat filling, replicating the texture of a burger patty. There were diced pickles and a layer of cheese on top of the meat (but still inside the pie). Completing the burger elements were dots of ketchup hidden in the meat mix. We thought it was cleverly done. Eaten all together, it was indeed unmistakably a riff on a cheeseburger, but even better with the pie pastry.
We had heated the savoury pies in the oven, so they were piping hot and delicious. We thought the sweet pies would be better just a little chilled, so had them in the refridgerator for a short while before eating.
The Pumpkin Pie was done American-style, with a smooth orange-brown pumpkin filling that had a good amount of warm spice flavour to it (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg). The spice wasn’t overpowering though, and it wasn’t too sweet, so you could get through the wedge of pie without it being cloying. The softness of the filling was contrasted by the thick pie crust, which had a robust crunch to it.
The Honey Walnut Pie certainly had plenty of walnuts in it. Other nut pies tend to often be mostly a sweet filling just topped with a layer of nuts. In this case, however, it was walnuts all the way through, with the caramelly sweetness holding them together. The Pie Town staff had advised having this pie close to room temperature, which meant that the filling had a soft, sticky, gooey consistency. This pie too had lovely, buttery pie crust, thick and extra crunchy around the edges. Unsurprisingly, the Honey Walnut pie was a good bit sweeter than the Pumpkin Pie. The slight saltiness of the pie crust helped to offset the sweetness of the pie filling though.
Overall, the Pie Town pies exceeded our expectations. The pastries on the pies may well be the best we have had anywhere. The fillings were flavourful and hearty. These days, places that do takeaway food well are the winners, and Pie Town pies travel well too. If you like pies, or even if you are ambivalent about them, this is well worth the visit.
Setting: 1.5/2 (currently only rating the takeaway section, as you can’t dine in.)
Price point: Individual-size savoury pies $8 to $11. Family-size savoury pies $35 to $40. Sweet pies $7 to $8 per slice.
Value: Good, for what you get.
Address: 342 Montague Rd, West End
Phone: 07 3844 3415
Website: Pie Town