I have been a fan of Pacific Pie for several years, ever since I discovered them at the Farmers Market where they got their start. Husband and wife team Sarah and Chris founded Pacific Pie when being the sweet loving wife that she is, Sarah tried to help Aussie Chris’ homesickness for savory pies by baking meat pies. I love their sweet pies too (my favorite is the Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut), but Sarah’s savory goods were really what hooked me in. Also, Sarah is a better food lover than I: like me, even while eating she is already thinking ahead to the next deliciousness, but with the extra expertise of being able to actually come up with interesting combinations and make it happen. Even though this is a business, you can see and taste the love in these pies.
Sadly, I had not had the time to visit their new NW 23rd location when it opened last year in December. It sure is a struggle to be a food blogger while simultaneously trying to slim down for my sister’s October wedding! When a Pacific Pie Food Blogger Event invitation appeared in my email box a couple weeks ago though, I knew I had to go. And look at the reward I got!
This new second location of Pacific Pie (their original is still open at 1520 SE 7th Ave) at 1668 NW 23rd Ave has the same great sweet and savory pies, but aims to be more of a neighborhood restaurant that you can bring the family in for a laid back delicious meal without the hustle and bustle of many of the other options on NW 23rd. The interior feels open and airy but casual, like a combination of a coffeeshop that you can hang out at, but with the benefits of being able to order many many more baked good items OR from a bar. In fact, they have a happy hour Monday-Friday 3-6 pm!
I mean, do you see these kind of offerings behind the glass case as you are ordering your latte normally? There are some regular pies and also seasonal pies that just vary from key lime, chocolate bourbon hazelnut, chocolate peanut butter, apple sour cream streusel, marionberry, peach crumb… And tarts like chocolate salted caramel tart, pecan pie bars, anzac biscuit, cowboy cookie, peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s kiss…
Sarah understands the dilemna of there being multiple options you want to try… so she also offers the most adorable little mini pies so you can have several of them and try more flavors without having to eat a whole pie’s worth. How adorable are these? And how perfect would they be as a tray to have at a party?
But don’t think that Pacific Pie only has pies. They offer lunch and dinner during their hours on the weekdays, and on the weekends they also offer breakfast/brunch. This is only at their NW 23rd location.
During the Pacific Pie Food blogger event I attended, I was able to try some samples of these offerings. They offer six different salads, but the two that caught my eye were the Arugula + Roasted Squash Salad that has molasses roasted butternut squash, feta, currants, candies walnuts with arugula in a Balsamic Vinaigrette and the one we got to sample, the Spinach Strawberry Rhubarb Salad with organic baby spinach, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, goats cheese, and rhubarb vinaigrette.
They also have 5 sandwiches and 7 other entrees to choose from, varying from a lamb meatball wrap and curried chicken salad sandwich to lentil & veggie’s shepherd’s pie (Yes! Vegetarian shepherd’s pie!) and chicken schnitzel. And of course, they have more than a dozen combinations of pasties, which is their founding food, varying from Steak and Cheese pastie or Beef and Stout (with Burnside Brewing stout) to Thai Green Chicken Curry or a Roast Lamb with lamb braised in a shiraz red wine sauce. 4 of their offerings are vegetarian! Yes, that is the most adorable little chicken shape on top of their chicken pot pie.
Among their 10 snack & starter plates include intriguing options such as Mini Sausage rolls with beer mustard, Mini pasties where you get 2 each of the spinach and feta pasties (with organic tomatoes and hint of spice), and curried samosa (these are stuffed with peas, carrots, potatoes, finger, garlic, cilantro and spices) served with cilantro yogurt sauce. Or indulge with mini chicken pot pies with Draper Valley chicken in a creamy white sauce with peas and carrots. These mini things are so endearing!
Or how about Marinated Goats Cheese, creamy goat’s cheese marinated in olive oil with fresh herbs and peppercorns served with Grand Central Bakery baguette? On the non baked good / no carb side, how about a starter of Chicken Satay, a yogurt marinated chicken breast on ginger soy slaw finished with peanut sauce?
On both their lunch/dinner menu and also available at their breakfast/brunch is their Polenta with mushroom sauce, baked polenta with creamy organic crimini mushroom sauce. The only difference is the breakfast/brunch version comes topped with 2 eggs. This is so melt in your mouth you can see even though I sampled it at this Bloggers Event, I also ordered it when I returned for lunch a couple weekends later!
Vegetarian F was able to have a pie as well – there are many options, and it was great that he had multiple choices of different vegetarian friendly pies. He ended up selecting the Lentil and Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with french green lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and potatoes cooked in a savory porcini mushroom vegan gravy topped with vegan mash and served with a small green salad.
I went wholely the opposite way with an un-pie option but which still reflects the Aussie story here, Chicken Schnitzel that is skillet fried, seasoned and crumbed chicken breast served with your choice of potato and with a small green salad. I upped it by adding ham and melted Tillamook Cheddar. I think this ended up being not only lunch but 2 other meals with the leftovers!
I would also highly recommend stopping in even if you don’t want coffee or a meal just to come for dessert. Obviously, there’s the pies. But, they also have concocted pie shakes. PIE SHAKES. In case you wanted to go beyond a pie a la mode, they have pie shakes, which are their amazing pie with ice cream. Because it was my super lucky day, besides sampling all the above I was able to get a glass of my favorite pie in shake form- the Chocolate Bourbon Hazelnut Pie Shake. If you want, you can ask to spike it with bourbon or rum.. Seriously Sarah, you are not good for my waistline.
If you can’t stay and linger for pie, you can even cheat and take some of the pies home to bake for your dinner party or to have later for dinner or lunch the next day, as it includes their sweet and savory pies and many of their pasties!
Try visiting Pacific Pie NW Portland – I think you will be surprised by this wonderful gem.
Disclosure: The Blogger Event meal was complimentary, but I returned later and had a regular lunch out of my own pocket. I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.