I’m going to admit something a bit blasphemous here. I’m not usually a big fan of pie.
I mean, if pie is placed in front of me, I’ll eat it, sure. But I don’t generally seek it out.
Recently, however, I found myself over on Whidbey Island while doing some reporting for a story I was working on. One of my coworkers had ordered “Bring back pie” before I left.
So, after the photographer and I had done our work, we stopped by Whidbey Pies &Cafe in Greenbank. I was instantly charmed. It’s a cozy little cafe, surrounded by flowers and near a duck pond.
We settled in to peruse the menu and I ordered a cup of coffee.
The specials of the day board offered a quiche, a strata and two varieties of savory pies. The savory pies caught my attention. Now that sounded delicious. The day I was there vegetable minestrone or pulled pork were the two options. I settled on the pulled pork. Andy, the photographer, ordered a BLT-ini.
I sipped my coffee while waiting for the food. The coffee was too weak for my tastes. I mostly gazed out the window, which was incredibly relaxing.
Once my food arrived, it was far from weak. The savory pie was excellent. It was full of flavor. The pork was extremely tender and doused in a truly fantastic sauce. The special board had said the pie included jalapenos, but they only lent flavor to the dish, it wasn’t spicy. The beans included in the pie seemed a bit out of place for some reason, but they actually worked well with the whole dish. The crust was hearty and held up well to the saucy pulled pork. Weeks later, I still crave this exact savory pie when I’m feeling the need for comfort food. Shame that Whidbey Island is a ferry ride away.
The pie came with a small, simple salad with a tangy dressing. It tasted great with the pie, although I wished for a bit more of the light salad to balance out the heavier pie.
Andy’s BLT-ini was served on rosemary focaccia. It had plenty of bacon and he liked the bib lettuce. The aioli was particularly tasty. The sandwich was served with havarti, but Andy said the cheese’s flavor was lost. The bread was a bit denser that Andy would have liked for focaccia. That said, he finished his sandwich no problem and appreciated that it was a substantial portion. Plenty for a meal.
His sandwich did come with a tiny little side of veggies, including pickled cauliflower and radicchio, which wasn’t mentioned on the menu. Andy enjoyed it but wished for a bit more.
After we’d finished eating, I perused the pie menu. I had to bring one back, after all, or my colleagues would never forgive me.
I asked the waitress for her favorite pie. She said she liked the triple-berry, so I ordered one of those to go.
I wish I’d ordered more.
Once I got back to work, I cut myself a slice of pie — I needed it for research! I had to take the first piece! — and then let the rest of the newsroom know that there was pie in the lunchroom.
The pie was enough to change my mind about pie. The crust somehow managed to hold up perfectly when cut with a fork but then fall apart the moment it hit my mouth. It felt like a baking magic trick to me.
My pie vanished quickly. I thought about maybe getting another piece. You know, just to do more research. But by the time I went back to the kitchen, all that was left was an empty pie plate.
Whidbey Pie &Cafe
765 Wonn Road, Greenbank, 360-678-1288; www.whidbeypies.com.
Specialty: Pies and cafe-style food.
Alcohol: Beer and wine
Vegetarian options: Many
In addition to the cafe, the pies are also for sale at several stores around the island. Check the website for locations.