Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chile Pies (& ice cream): The Buzz Begins

Breaking Story: Chile Pies (& ice cream) makes NOPA more cool than it thought it could be.

Today at 3pm the neighborhood's newest business sparkled and smiled and welcomed its first two customers, both longtime NOPA residents who couldn't wait for a sampling of the treats spread before them. Trevor Logan, Chile Pies' owner, nodded to his staff and suggested, "Let's make this a learning experience," since they weren't absolutely ready for us. But opening day jitters settled amid a palpable eagerness to share the namesake pies and ice creams.

There we were gazing over calorie and carb abandonment. Ice cream will wait for the second visit; all our attention centered on the pie selection. How to choose among Mexican Chocolate Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Lemon Buttermilk, and the house specialty, Green Chile Apple? Two out of four seemed wise: yes to the Mexican Chocolate Pecan and, definitely, the Green Chile Apple. Why not ala mode with Straus Family Creamery vanilla and a drizzle of red chile honey?

We happily offered the first dollar bill for posting by its mate from this location's previous occupant: Green Chile Kitchen, the more-than-popular New Mexican restaurant also owned by Logan that relocated to a larger space at Baker and McAllister. With this addition to the neighborhood, BIKE NOPA's earlier notice of the new "Baker Street Beat" seems right on target.

How were the pies? Dale Danley, customer #1, favored the Green Chile Apple for being "tart, savory, and sweet," and gave a thumbs-up to the Mexican Chocolate Pecan: "nice and fresh and not too sweet like pecan pies often are."

Neighbors started streaming in. JoshRichardson ordered the Classic New Mexican Frito Pie (Niman Ranch ground beef, organic pinto beans, red chile, lettuce, tomatos, onions, cheese -- all inside a split-open bag of Fritos). (Vegan version offered as well). "It's so good," Josh beamed after the first bite.

We don't think Chile Pies needs to advertise much: word-of-mouth will do just fine. It's already begun.

Chile Pies (& Ice Cream)
601 Baker (at Fulton)
Tuesday - Sunday, noon to 9:30 pm; closed on Mondays
(but open this afternoon and tonight for celebrating)

For more info on Chile Pies check this fine review from SFWeekly's blog of March 18th.

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