Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Nov 21, 2008 02:04 PM

Holiday Pie roundup ?

Might be helpful to share our experiences all in one spot.
I think there's been a few sporadic posts on this but nothing comprehensive....

The Gaurdian did a roundup listing Mission Pie, Miette, Crave Bakery, Zanze's Cheesecake, Peasant Pies, Fat Apples, and Beard Papa for uh, pumpkin cream puffs. None of those really sound great.

Some thoughts:

Andronicos: Buying from a supermarket never feels special enough to me, but the "prize winning" Pecan is the best I've had. Since they redesigned their Irving St. location, the store, and the pies look entirely different now. Hmm.

Mission Pies/Destination Pies: Maybe they farm out their bulk pie making during the holidays or something? I've liked their pies the rest of the year, but the crust was flavorless, and lacked butter or something on the samplings I had last Thanksgiving.

Bi-Rite: Really disappointing. We couldn't even eat their house branded pecan pie.

Plutos: Not that anyone would go here for a pie, but just in case, I can report it depends on the year, and where they're ordering them from. They're usually huge 18" pies. Last years was really generic. A couple years back amazing. Who knows for this year.

Anyone have any experience with holiday pies at Arizmendi or Bay Bread?

Is Tartine doing specials? What about Mission Beach Cafe, or maybe Memphis Minnie's?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here's my list of pumpkin and sweet potato pies in the Bay Area.

    Don't know why FatApple's didn't sound good to you as she really didn't say much about it. They actually make one of the better pumpkin pies in the Bay Area. I'm not a fan of Peasant Pies as it is because I don't like the crust, but putting apricot pumpkin and pecans in a pie is just wrong. Here's the article

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I think the print version of the Fat Apples entry is a little more extensive, but in my case, the Berkeley location is the dealbreaker.

      1. re: sugartoof

        Ah ... well, Saturday at Ferry Plaza they are having a holiday pie party

        "CUESA will be hosting a pie extravaganza tomorrow with pie-making demos, mini pies for sale"

        1. re: rworange

          I just posted about Swanton's pumpkin pie at the farmstand, maybe they'll be at Ferry Plaza?

    2. I got a fabulous classic sierra beauty apple pie from Sweet Adeline two Thanksgivings ago.

      1. In the East Bay, I'm a big fan of the pumpkin pie at Bakesale Betty's--i prefer it slightly to the one at Crixa, and it's also a bit less expensive. The Bakesale Betty pie has a good balance of spice--not too sweet--and it holds up well in the fridge, at least overnight. Pretty good deal at $20 (and only $3 by the slice).

        I haven't tried the Arizmendi pumpkin pie and would be curious as to what people think of it...

        1. Any favorites in the NorthBay?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sarah

            I had a good cabernet grape pie in October at Sweetie Pies in Napa. I am hoping to be able to try the pumpkin.

            1. re: rworange

              I'm going to call Water St Bistro in Petaluma (from your List) to see if they're going to have the pumpkin pie this year -- sounded so good!

              1. re: Sarah

                Talked to Stephanie at WSB who told me she is making pies but has too many orders but took mine. After thinking realistically, I had to call back and cancel my order because there really is no way for me to drive up to Pet on Wed... sad. They were so nice about it all.

          2. Tartine is doing a pecan pie. Is that a special? I don't recall seeing pecan pie there on a regular basis in the past.

            I don't know if Mission Beach Cafe is doing anything. The pastry chef (Alan) is easy to get in touch with, though, and exceedingly nice. I think he's very talented.

            Once again I have to mention Thorough Bread. Some of the holiday offerings:
            --Apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie (all $18, same price as Mission Pie)
            --Pumpkin pave (which is like cheesecake with a hazelnut streusel and is YUM, $1.50/piece)

            They have a long list of things that can be ordered, but those are the pies.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Atomica

              Thanks! I've never seen a Tartine pie before, so that sounds special enough to me. Anyone have one of their pies? No specials listed, but Mission Beach Cafe has a really extensive pie menu on their site.

              Have you tried the pie itself at Thorough or are you figuring it's a can't miss?

              1. re: sugartoof

                The pecan pie at Tartine looks *very* substantial. I'm sure the price is as well. I regret not taking note of the price when I was there (Wed or Thurs).

                I have not had a pie at Thorough because I actually haven't noticed pie on offer there, but I have had their galette, which I think of as similar, and the pastry was TO DIE FOR. Just buttery and perfect and almost brought tears to my eyes. I know that's melodramatic, but it really was that revelatory. The filling (I had the apple) was damn good too.

                I don't think you'd go wrong with either Mission Beach Cafe or Thorough.

                1. re: Atomica

                  I just checked it out today. All orders must be placed by tomorrow (Sunday), as is the case as MIssion Pie too. Tartine has a pumpkin, a pecan, and a nougatine apple in tart form, and a pie for the pumpkin on their special menu. Prices were $31 for the pie and $35 for tarts. Looked amazing.