I have discovered Pie Face Bakery Cafe thanks to a co worker whose wife, Jane, is Australian. We were talking about Australia that we would like to visit one day and, at some point, we inquired about the food. It all started when talking about dessert. Jane mentioned the Lamington, a cake made of sponge cake with strawberry jam and coated with chocolate and coconut. I then learnt that there is a bakery on the corner of Broadway and 53rd called Pie Face. As you can imagine, it was my next mission possible to go there.
To give you some background: Pie Face is a true Australian chain that opened its first location in NYC in January 2012. They are in fact opening a new location soon. It is in 2003 that Wayne Homschek and Betty Fong opened the fist Pie Face in Sydney, Australia and since, they have more than 70 shops, serving more than 18,000 pies a day! They are planning on opening 50 bakeries in Manhattan: pretty ambitious! So, what do they serve: the main specialty there is meat pie or potpie as some are vegetarian. The pie itself is a delicious puff pastry. What is smart is that they serve the pies in two sizes: regular and small. So you can try several small as I did. They were even proposing a menu for $8: three small pies (any choice) and a bottle of water. For somebody with a regular appetite like me (!), three small pies and a dessert is sufficient.
They also serve quiches and sandwiches; they mention baguettes, but it did not really look like baguettes!
So I tried the small pies.
Each of them have a different face so you can differentiate them. I had:
- The tandoori vegetables one (with a V as a mouth): it was very tasty and had a delicious Indian flavor. The veggies were like a puree, at the exception of chick pies. It was not too spicy.
- The Mexican (with a X as a mouth): it was composed of ground beef, black beans and jalapenos. It was good but did not really remind me of Mexican flavors. The Jalapeno taste was even inexistent.
- The Chicken and Mushrooms: this was my least favorite. It was like eating a cream of mushrooms in a pie. I really did not like the texture.
From the three pies, the vegetarian one was the best!
Then, of course, I needed to try the desserts! I ordered few of them:
The cherry pie (bottom right) is one of their best sellers: it was very good! In fact all their desserts were perfect: good and not too sweet! The lemon pie was also delicious with its thick lemon layer. The other best seller I tried is the Pear and Ricotta pie.
It was, in a puff pastry, a layer of poached pears, a layer of ricotta that was caramelized on top. The three layers gave a nice balanced flavor.
Last, was the Lamington: I had to try it! And remember: I am not a huge fan of coconut!
It was delicious! The sponge cake was extremely light and moist. I was conquered!
At the end of this experience, I liked Pie Face, but mainly for the desserts. It seems that their chocolate mousse cake is very popular. I guess I will have to try it...Just for the blog...
Enjoy (I did)!