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Buzzy eatery embraces flaky concept

The proof is in the pie crust

Pop Pie Co. serves savory pies to go in a clever sleeve box.
Pop Pie Co. serves savory pies to go in a clever sleeve box.

Here in San Diego, we love us some high-concept casual dining. I don't know of a local restaurant this year that's captured more social media attention as the Pop Pie Co. And no, a pie shop itself isn't anything new. But start a shop that only serves sweet and savory food in pie form, and you suddenly had Facebookers clamoring for the place to open, months before it finally debuted on a street corner in University Heights.

Place

Pop Pie Co.

4404 Park Boulevard, Suite A, San Diego

At the top of the menu you'll find the comfort classic that no doubt served as inspiration for the new eatery: the chicken pot pie. That heads up a rotating list of other savory fare: a steak ale pie, a veggie pot pie, and in the run up to Thanksgiving, a shredded turkey and stuffing-filled pie, complete with gravy.

Pies are the focus of this shop on the corner of Park and Meade.

I opted for the chicken, featuring chicken breast, pearl onions, carrots and peas. Since theses $8-9 individual portion pies are only about the diameter of a DVD, I also picked up a red chile pork pie. Inspired by tamales, this one was filled with braised pork shoulder, potatoes, and Spanish olives.

In pie we crust.

No matter how good the recipes, a concept like this could never take off without one key ingredient: the perfect pie crust. And Pop Pie succeeds — these crusts are crispy and flaky on top, yet soft and chewy inside, where they absorb the moisture of the pie's saucy innards.

Succulent meat pie

The shredded pork in the second pie proved both succulent and spicy, and finding plenty of olives within added to its appeal. But the chicken pot pie especially hit the spot, nailing every texture and aromatic with sage. A little higher ratio of chicken to peas might have improved it, but I didn't really stop eating long enough to quibble.

Salted caramel chocolate fudge pie

Since I'm no fool, I also added one of the cupcake-size dessert pies: salted caramel chocolate fudge. Featuring a brownie housed within a small pie crust, this little bit of sweetness really took off thanks to a molten fudge center and a drizzle of caramel over cream cheese frosting and a chocolate-covered almond. The wee pie may have been just the right portion for something so decadent.

Whole lotta bakin' goin' on.

It's little wonder I found a long lunchtime line waiting to order — tasty, self-contained food items win every time in casual food culture. The good news is, once you order, the pies are essentially ready to go, so you may dine in or take yours to go almost immediately.

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Pop Pie Co. serves savory pies to go in a clever sleeve box.
Pop Pie Co. serves savory pies to go in a clever sleeve box.

Here in San Diego, we love us some high-concept casual dining. I don't know of a local restaurant this year that's captured more social media attention as the Pop Pie Co. And no, a pie shop itself isn't anything new. But start a shop that only serves sweet and savory food in pie form, and you suddenly had Facebookers clamoring for the place to open, months before it finally debuted on a street corner in University Heights.

Place

Pop Pie Co.

4404 Park Boulevard, Suite A, San Diego

At the top of the menu you'll find the comfort classic that no doubt served as inspiration for the new eatery: the chicken pot pie. That heads up a rotating list of other savory fare: a steak ale pie, a veggie pot pie, and in the run up to Thanksgiving, a shredded turkey and stuffing-filled pie, complete with gravy.

Pies are the focus of this shop on the corner of Park and Meade.

I opted for the chicken, featuring chicken breast, pearl onions, carrots and peas. Since theses $8-9 individual portion pies are only about the diameter of a DVD, I also picked up a red chile pork pie. Inspired by tamales, this one was filled with braised pork shoulder, potatoes, and Spanish olives.

In pie we crust.

No matter how good the recipes, a concept like this could never take off without one key ingredient: the perfect pie crust. And Pop Pie succeeds — these crusts are crispy and flaky on top, yet soft and chewy inside, where they absorb the moisture of the pie's saucy innards.

Succulent meat pie

The shredded pork in the second pie proved both succulent and spicy, and finding plenty of olives within added to its appeal. But the chicken pot pie especially hit the spot, nailing every texture and aromatic with sage. A little higher ratio of chicken to peas might have improved it, but I didn't really stop eating long enough to quibble.

Salted caramel chocolate fudge pie

Since I'm no fool, I also added one of the cupcake-size dessert pies: salted caramel chocolate fudge. Featuring a brownie housed within a small pie crust, this little bit of sweetness really took off thanks to a molten fudge center and a drizzle of caramel over cream cheese frosting and a chocolate-covered almond. The wee pie may have been just the right portion for something so decadent.

Whole lotta bakin' goin' on.

It's little wonder I found a long lunchtime line waiting to order — tasty, self-contained food items win every time in casual food culture. The good news is, once you order, the pies are essentially ready to go, so you may dine in or take yours to go almost immediately.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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