My Whole Family Loves a Good Meat Pie.
I’m from a pie family. We like pie. Apple pie, sweet potato pie, rhubarb, pumpkin, cherry pie… make any pie out of any fruit, squash, custard, or pudding, and we will eat it. Make a pie out of meat, and we will eat ALL of it. You and your family will have no meat pie for yourselves, because it will all be inside of me and my family. Steak pie, steak and mushroom pie, pub pie, shepherds pie… I’ve been known to say that my three favorite things on Earth are lobster pot pie… get it? No? Ask someone high to explain it to you.
Anyhooods… That’s why me and my clan were so excited — and when I say “clan” I mean it in the Scottish familial sense, and not the fucked-up-white-hooded-assholes-who-officially-endorse-and-support-Donald-Trump sense — we were very excited when word came down the pike that a place called Pete’s Pies was slated to open in the old location of the Creperie behind Bouchon on North Lexington Ave. You know, that super-cute little brick building hidden back in there? Kinda behind Virtue, in the courtyard that’s shared with Mountain Madre (nee Scully’s)? Where that other building fell in that one time… a really long time ago… remember? Yeah, no, nobody remembers that, Stu. Just go on with your fuckin’ meat pie story.
Okay, um, Pete’s Pies. It’s a little hard to find, but when we met Pete he said he had more signs being made, so that should help. We got there right at 12 noon and the place was effing packed. As I write this, it’s been open for exactly one week, so it seems as though it’s been discovered already, and I’ll tell you what, I predict that this place is going to be a lunch-time favorite of locals and visitors alike. So get your ass in there now, while there’s no line out the door. The space is tiny, remember that. In the fair weather, there’s lots of outdoor seating, but for now, cram yourself in the tiny brick box if you can, and then start cramming meat pies into your face.
They’s good. Real good. Real fuckin’ good.
Below is a picture of the chicken “pub pie” and the “mushy peas” that I ate. I would apologize for the photo, but hey, that’s what English food looks like. It ain’t winning any beauty contests — it ain’t even tryin’ — but the flavor, texture, temperature, and the skill with which this plate was prepared — plus the pure satisfaction and comfort levels of this food — made for a truly excellent meat pie experience, one that I will personally be looking forward to revisiting again and again at Pete’s pies.
The pie itself was just the right size: About 5″ or 6″ in diameter, and just the right temperature: About “holy fuck that’s hot” degrees. The crust was exactly the way a meat pie crust should be: Light, yet substantial, flaky on the top, and slightly doughier on the sides and bottom… and YES, you top-only crusters, a true and real meat pie should have crust all around it, not just perched on top like a precious little disc of French-pastry-frou-frou. This is British food, it ain’t fuckin’ around with frou-frou. The crust exists to contain the stuff inside. It’s a package, a delivery system… a delicious delivery system package of meat and veg and good fucking YUM, that’s what meat pie crust is and should be. Top-only… gimme a break!
The contents of my chicken pub pie were exactly what you might expect: Nice chunks o’ chicken, carrots, peas, a thick, gravy like substance with which the meat and veg were surrounded and suspended. When I cut into the crust, it gave way, breaking into large flakes on top, and allowing the contents to ooze out slow and thick, like a marvelous mud-slide of meat. I tore into that pie with everything I had, and it was transferred from the plate to my stomach in no time flat. It was perrrrrrrfect. I loved it. I consumed every speck and dollop of the pie, and every mushy pea, and shared a GIANT sized fruit “pudding” (cast aside all American concepts of what a pudding is) with my mom for dessert. Holy fuck.
My mom got the steak pie. She loved it. I tasted it, and it was fantastic. I’m getting it next time. My step-dad got the steak and mushroom pie. He loved it. I’m getting that the next time after the next time. Good Friend Cappy got a “buttie” which is a sandwich. She loved that too. I’ll get to the butties eventually, but for now, I’m alllll about the meat pies. Meat. Pie. Meat. Pie. Meat. Pie.
I said to Pete on our way out the door, “My family approves of these meat pies.” What I didn’t mention to Pete was that it was so good, I’m making it my…
EAT OF THE WEEK!
“Authentic British cooking & courtyard pub located in downtown Asheville, NC.”
62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.
ON THE RADIO: wpvmfm.org