Pie seems to be all grown up these days.
It’s kind of like going back to your hometown for a wedding or a reunion and finding out that the nice, awkward, curly-haired kid that sat next to you in Biology grew into their looks and locks and is not only no longer awkward, but is actually out-hipping you while they sip their glass of red wine and share self-effacing stories of non-profit work gone awry and exotic travel that wasn’t so exotic.
The banana cream tart at Tartine Bakery is this kid. We ordered it expecting it to be good because well, it’s Tartine and it was bound to taste like banana cream pie, but what we weren’t expecting was the addition of a burnt caramel and dark chocolate-laced crust that lent itself to a seductive, adult sophistication that is altogether missing from a traditional banana cream. But we’ve been around the food block a few times ourselves so we caught on quickly and made sure that the charm of the freshly whipped cream didn’t take advantage of us (but oh how we cleverly turned the tables and took advantage of it).
Don’t worry, we eventually came out of our food coma and decided that Tartine’s banana cream tart is just the thing that could permanently steer us away from the time-honored, all-American pie we know and love. So a few days later we trekked over to Mission Pie —Mission street and 25th—and got a sampling of slices for our monthly movie night.
Mission Pie never disappoints. The pie is freshly made and tastes like home if home is nostalgic and magical. The apple pie is a staple and every time we order it we consider topping it with cheddar cheese (we’ve never actually done this, topping pie with cheese, but it seems so delightfully kitschy that we can’t help but consider it). We also took home a slice of pumpkin and slice of the pear ginger. It’s ridiculous how this pie tastes so right without having to try very hard. Simple, fresh, sustainable ingredients go such a long way in the food industry and Mission Pie makes sure every patron recognizes this fact.
Simple or sophisticated, we love pie. And we’re happy to have both Tartine and Mission Pie around to meet our expectations and then some. Now, if only somone would reinvent the Poptart things would be perfect.
Photo: By missionpie [Flikr]