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Toronto's Pie Hole

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Oh I hope this isn't too...um...esoteric but is there a place in Toronto that is like the pie restaurant "The Pie Hole" from the show "Pushing Daisies"?

Uh, if you have never watched the show, basically it's a diner type kind of place that sell pies. It has a very typical 50's diner decor but it looks better. It has a very warm, happy, and inviting atmosphere. It also has a pie crust roof but that can be optional.

I can barely find a diner in Toronto let alone one that has great pies! And don't say Wanda's cause I tried their apple pie it was pretty terrible. Pies are suppose to be happy and evoke memories of childhood and home! Like when you're down you eat a bite and a smile just naturally comes on your face.

I attached a photo for reference!

 
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  1. The quick answer is "nope".

    There is a new place called the Pie Shack in the Beach area, but reports here indicate that it has gone downhill quickly after a promising opening. And I'm pretty sure that it's take out only and doesn't have a bar to sit at.

    3 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      There's seating for a dozen or so.

      1. re: TorontoJo

        A friend went today to Pie Shack and proclaimed the strawberry cream pie "incredible"! Any other current reviews?

        1. re: Food Tourist

          We had bought a whole apple pie from them about a year ago and for the price we paid I had expected at least the pie to taste like apples. It totally lacked any flavour and we were sorely disappointed. The crust itself was nothing to write home about. I really wanted to like this place, but if you can't even do a decent apple pie and still charge the prices they charge then I have no clue as to why they're still in business. The one shop I really enjoyed eating their pies is the Chicken Coop in Green Bank. Great family owned and operated bakery with tasty pies (some great combinations like coconut apple, mixed summer berries, etc.) and the crusts are flakey.

      2. In my opinion, the best pies in the city are to be had at The Queen of Tarts on Roncesvalles. Great crust, wonderful fillings; not overly sweet like Wanda's.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Tatai

          no, no, no....to queen of tarts....hard as a rock, too thick crusts and way overpriced with skimpy filling

          1. re: robgm

            Totally agree about the too thick crust, but I would have agreed with you some time ago on the filling, but have started going there this past winter after a long absence, and the fillings are excellent.
            When they opened I found their fillings to be too sweet.
            The Lemon Tart is "tart".
            The raspberry cheesecake is my favorite.
            They use quality ingredients...

          2. re: Tatai

            and queen of tarts is strictly a takeout joint not a sit down eatery

          3. Wanda's pie in the Sky comes to mind as a valid option. I've only been to the Kennsington Market location, but they have solid pies and places to sit and eat. It reminds me of a cheese shop my mom used to go to when I was a kid, not much like a diner though. The sour cherry pie is my fave there.

            wandaspieinthesky.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: abigllama

              But the OP specifically said "and don't say Wanda's"... :)

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Doh my bad! Remind me not to post after a few glasses of wine!

            2. The Pie Shack looks nothing like The Pie Hole - it's less like a diner and more like the farmhouse your grandma grew up in. There are 3 long tables, each seating 6, which you'll share with other customers when it gets busy. The table I sat at seemed like it was maybe a chunk of old heavy floorboards (scuffed and paint splattered), and I noticed that another was an old door with a bit of glass over to keep it even. The walls are freshly painted, but everything else looks as if it's been there for years. The floor boards look as if they were painted and never sealed maybe 20 years ago, and have seen the foot traffic of a growing family.

              The pies are passable. Last night was my first time in, and I really enjoyed the crust (very crisp and flaky) but it could have used more fruit. My personal preference would have been for a better rhubarb to strawberry ratio, but for $4.50 the slice should have had more of both. There were also some filler almonds in my slice. On the other hand, the cups of coffee ($2) are bottomless, and everyone is very friendly. The pies are actually baked by Café Florentin, so the reportedly fluctuating quality is a reflection on them more than the Pie Shack itself. Hopefully they'll sort that out, or find a new supplier. I have a feeling the owners are aware that the quality is said to be on a bit of a downswing, as he only charged us $10 for two slices and two coffees.

              So you might be able to find the ambiance you're looking for (especially if they're busy - the other customers were getting pretty chatty with everyone), but the pie will probably fall a little bit flat. It's good pie, but it's not wonderful pie.

              Personally, I'll definitely be back at least once this summer, as I'd like to seem them do well, and if we don't go back, we won't know if they start getting fabulous pies again.

              1. please keep in mind that this is a set from a tv show....fantasy not reality....remember the apartment in friends that none of these people could possibly afford in new york...

                having said that....good luck in the search-but i think in will be unlikely you will be successful-perhaps you have found a niche for yourself to change careers

                1. this place sounds great
                  Does anyone have the address and hours

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: itzi

                    The Pie Shack is at 2305 Queen East - take the streetcar to MacLean and backtrack a little bit.

                    They're open 10 to 10, but Thursday to Saturday they stay open closer to midnight (traffic dependent, I guess).

                    1. re: itzi

                      What place are you asking about? The place the OP describes doesn't exist, it's on a TV show.

                    2. I think they make pies, but Frangipane at Davenport and Dupont makes the best tarts I have ever had. Their website should say if they have pies. Sweet, buttery, flaky.

                      1. Just for fun, and because this thread was bumped anyway...the reason the pies were so amazingly delicious in "Pushing Daisies" is because Ned, the Pie Maker, touched the fruit first, bringing them back to life and full flavour. However, the espresso machine, when not broken, produced bitter coffee. See, no diner is perfect!

                        Sadly, Queen of Tarts has closed down.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Food Tourist

                          http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

                          My foodie book club leader mentioned she had delicious pie there on Monday.

                          1. re: Food Tourist

                            Good looking out. I gotta try this place. Pie is life.

                            1. re: GoodGravy

                              http://www.eyeweekly.com/food/crumbs/...

                              1. re: Food Tourist

                                Ooh. Looks great – Local Food Plus certified and no lard in the crust (great for us vegetarians). Thanks for posting. (I've been looking for savoury pies and haven't found too many I like.)

                            2. re: Food Tourist

                              Thanks! I'll be checking this out soon.

                          2. I was there during the summer and I was so incredibly disappointed. I ordered a slice of peach pie, and to my horror, they used canned peaches. In my opinion they shouldn't be using "canned" anything!

                            1. A new pie shop JUST opened up on Queen St. East, a block or two east of Broadview. Haven't been in, but through the window one can see small tables and big counters full of pies...anyone been?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BequiaT

                                Any idea what it's called?

                                1. re: kwass

                                  The Canadian Pie Company. Same people who opened up Cafe Florentin. Was called Pie In The Sky before it opened, but they changed it up. Now open.

                                  http://www.thecanadianpiecompany.com/

                                  more info:
                                  http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

                                2. re: BequiaT

                                  I had one of their Portuguese custard tarts last week. Very flaky pastry, slightly higher pastry to custard ratio than is my preference, very nice custard taste and texture (likely why I wanted more). A promising start, and will likely try more from them.

                                3. Don't know the show the OP mentioned, but I've enjoyed the pie from Madeleine's Cherry Pie and Ice Cream on Bathurst just below DuPont. Not cheap, not perfect, but pretty darn good.

                                  If you travel north at all, in Goodwood / Uxbridge on Hwy 47 there's also the former Mrs. Wideman's, under new ownership and now called Annina's - cute little bake shop / cafe where they serve excellent pies - fruit or savoury, like Henhouse Chicken Pie. They sell large and small personal pies, either fresh, or par-baked & frozen to take home, plus an assortment of truly outstanding butter tarts, plus solid sandwiches, coffee in quaint little rooms in the house. They also sell all the usual small town jams and treats to take home with your bake-at-home pie. I find their Pies and tarts, etc. rather pricey, but really great stuff and worth it.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: TorontoTips

                                    I also quite like Madeleine's, though I can only speak for their key lime pie, which is what I always order when I go.