In the food world, few dishes have the versatility that pies do. Yes, crepes are similarly used in multiple meals around the world. Yes, burritos are now commonplace in the morning. But a pie? With its roots stretching as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece? Nothing has been more adaptable.
This is for good reason, too! For one thing, pies very broadly defined. You’ve got your filled pie (fillings siting in a pastry bowl), top-crust pie (fillings with pastry on top), or two-crust pies (encased in pastry). What the pastry is specifically made of, and what it’s filled with, is how you get to a thousand different types of pies.
The Pie Commission was created in 2013 by two guys, Patrick and Mike, as a way to take this very traditional food and put a fresh spin on it. They have two locations in the Greater Toronto Area – Etobicoke and Mississauga. Everything about their branding oozes cool and hip, giving these little pastries hope of being taken more seriously by millennials.
Seeing all this, we knew it was time to put The Pie Commission to The Taste Test.
Our means of trying it was by way of their ‘Delicious Takeaway Meat Pies’ offerings. Basically, you buy these personal-sized frozen pies and heat them up at home. We bought two of them, both two-crust pies. They came in a typical tin try and heated up nicely. Below is a breakdown of our thoughts for each one.
Braised Beef Rib: Holy Cow! (sorry, vegan followers) Who knew that something so small could hold so much protein. At first glance, you assume just one won’t fill you. That is, until you begin biting in. After cutting it with a fork, the wonderful filling of tender beef chunks, various types of potatoes and mushrooms were all nicely coated in gravy with red wine.
The amazing thing here was that each bite seemingly contained every ingredient! The beef was so tender, so savoury and never chewy. It was like beef stew in a crust, something we make quite a bit in this household. Because of this, we may be a bit biased here but it had everything going on needed to deliver exactly on what the name suggested. (Chris note – I can always do with onion but Candice dislikes those multi-layered tear makers.)
Let’s talk about these pie crusts for a minute as well. So damn good. Not too flaky, where it has the potential to just explode all over you, but just enough to identify as pastry. There was a distinctly buttery taste that still came through, despite the stronger-tasting filling. Maybe because they use a whole stick of butter per pie? Maybe, but I don’t want to know!
Biases at play, we are giving this pie a 5/5!
Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash: For our second pie, we stayed traditional but ventured into poultry territory. Doesn’t the name of this pie just make your mouth water? The white and dark meat blended together so nicely, and every bite was infused with a creamy coating. It was almost as if you were eating a whole Thanksgiving meal, without all the annoying vegetables that usually come with it!
This pie crust held up just as nicely as its braised beef counterpart. The added feature on this one was the piece of bacon on top. The bacon actually broke apart nicely, when it looked like the piece was going to be solid. It added a flavour so welcoming that we both wished there was more laced throughout the dish.
Both were potato-heavy but really utilized them in different ways. Since it was mashed in the chicken pie, the consistency was much more dense and creamy. Mushroom was also used in both and seemed quite similar, texture-wise.
With a bit left to be desired for the bacon component, this pie receives a 4/5.
So, that’s it for The Pie Commission! We can say that we’ll definitely be returning, especially given the huge variety they offer. They’ve given an old dog new tricks and we are fans!
BONUS TASTE TEST: Candice bought me a Glaceau Vitamin Water Fire (the specific flavor is spicy watermelon lime) for work. I always enjoy bringing Gatorade or Vitamin Water because sitting and typing is my version of running a race, apparently. Anyway, didn’t think much of it and wasn’t expecting to put them to The Taste Test. That changed when I cracked it open sometime after noon and took a big swig.
Fire water? I guess that’s how I would explain this. It’s as if someone took those little spicy cinnamon hearts, and dumped them into a water bottle. The worst part is that the aftertaste almost gets stronger, burning the back of your throat. If you don’t believe me, this ‘burning my throat’ comment seems to be quite typical from others on the internet who’ve provided their thoughts as well. I’ve not finished a water bottle out of neglect quite a few times but this is the first time I can remember that I drained bottle water in the sink due to flavour.
This is a 1/5 for me. I’m actively telling you to not buy this.
Cook on the bright side,
Chris & Candice