Folks in the South know a thing or two about making delicious pie. Think about all those peach pies, key lime pies and pecan pies that point to locales downwind from the Mason-Dixon line.
Boise Pie Co. and Eatery opened last year on Orchard Street, next to Idaho Camera, in a corner spot that formerly housed a Quiznos. Owners Terrance and Bridgette McAbee had recently moved to Idaho from Florida, bringing with them a lineup of time-honored pie recipes with deep-rooted family connections.
The diminutive dining area has attractive wood accents and metal tables and chairs spread about in café fashion. But the well-stocked pie case — the main reason to show up here — clearly takes center stage, drawing people in like an illuminated bug zapper.
Step right up to the counter and pick your pie, then in a few minutes your homespun food gets delivered with a friendly dose of Southern hospitality.
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It all starts with an ultra-flaky, buttery crust — made with ice water; that’s the trick — which becomes the foundation for a plethora of mainstay and seasonal pies, both sweet and savory.
Slices of pie cost $3.95, and you can get whole pies from $12 to $21. I recommend going for the pie flight, a sampler of three slices for $10.95.
One day my dining partner and I went big with two pie flights, served in shiny pie tins.
Considering the McAbees hail from Florida, key lime pie is obviously the eatery’s signature pie, not to mention the best seller. Most key lime pie dished up around these parts comes from a just-add-water pie mix. Nothing special. That’s clearly not the case at the Boise Pie Co., where it’s made from scratch using rather expensive key limes. The result is a zesty and silky filling, with hints of sweetness atop the aforementioned crust — the whole thing topped with dollops of freshly made whipped cream. This is hands-down the best key lime pie you’ll taste in the Treasure Valley.
Another deep Southern favorite is the pecan pie (go ahead, say PEE-can), done in a traditional style with crunchy, caramelized nuts covering a rich, buttery filling that’s held in place by a firm yet flaky crust.
The Boise Pie Co. also dishes up classic peach pie, a culinary staple for generations of people in the South. Big pieces of saucy peaches, hit with a wee bit of cinnamon and other spices, get covered — top and bottom — with the delicious crust.
The second pie flight also took a Southern turn, with chosen slices of banana cream pie (velvety banana pudding crowned with a big puff of whipped cream atop a graham cracker crust) and a classic strawberry-rhubarb pie that offered tangy and sweet notes, topped with crunchy Dutch-style crumbs. A dark and dense wedge of delicious chocolate mousse pie (with a chocolate cookie crust) rounded out the plate.
In addition to sweet pies, the menu features savory items such as quiche, chicken potpie, shepherd’s pie, meaty sandwiches, soups and side dishes. A good pick in this department is the seasonal quiche du jour ($7). One day I received a sizable slice of warm and moist quiche, riddled with zucchini, yellow squash and onion, next to a handful of mixed greens. The quiche tasted freshly baked, as expected, yet it was underseasoned. A little more salt would have coaxed out those farmstead flavors.
Boise Pie Co. and Eatery
Address: 1216 N. Orchard St., Boise
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Menu price range: soups, sides and sandwiches $3-$9; savory potpies and quiche $7-$12; slices of pie and whole pies $3.95-$21.
Opened: October 2017