With various songs and quotes featuring pie slathered across the wall, I didn't know what to make of Pie Shop. For one, what a strange location. Behind and under a little fenced-in commercial property with a pay-box lot, this diamond in the heart of all that I can't stand about Atlanta (primarily Buckhead) really is a refreshing slice of what this city needs. My first bite of that ganache pie sent me into a transcendental spin - was I really eating something this good, this simple in Atlanta? Coming down off my high, I just smirked and made sure I dabbed every bit of the crust flakes with my finger tip and returned them to where they belonged - my mouth.
Mims, the owner and baker extraordinaire, (wo)mans this newly-opened spot with 2 or 3 other ladies who are as equally passionate about (you guessed it) pie. Saying that Pie Shop serves up humble pie is an understatement. They did everything to make my compadre and me feel comfortable. They fielded all of our questions, provided us with generous samples and provided quality service for a place that's essentially grab-and-go.
The pies were a huge success. We first sampled the mojito/mint bite. The staff told us it was similar to key lime pie and they weren't kidding. Just really great flavors in this one - I swear I even tasted a hint of sharp cheese in my bite. The banana caramel was absolutely decadent. Talk about a just smooth, rich bite. Next we tried their savory fried pie which featured corn, chive and something else I can't remember. I was probably most excited by the sound of this one, but it didn't really hit the mark for me. The dough was a little too heavy for a fried pie and didn't really give way to the more delicate filling. This is a minor complaint - I still had no problem polishing it off.
Also sampled were the date, mint crostata with fresh whipped cream. As someone who doesn't particularly go nuts for dates, this was a hit. The flavors just hit the mark and well, I'd eat that whipped cream off of the asphalt outside. I can also attest to how well crafted the watermelon chiffon was. While I hate all things melon, the miniature pie was like eating perfectly flavored watermelon air - exactly what a chiffon should be.
The grand slam for me however, was their simply titled ganache pie. Sumamabitch. I'm constantly complaining how chocolate desserts in Atlanta just aren't chocolatey enough. I can complain no more. This is not that Hershey pie they serve in a box at your at BK. Oh no, this is far more enjoyable. Essentially it looks just like an icebox pie, but calling it that would be and insult. The intense chocolate filling is exactly what my insatiable chocolate hound self has been looking for. I ate this slice slow, and not because it was hard to stomach. So light, but so full of flavor. Wow.
I can't stress enough how Pie Shop is already one of Atlanta's best dessert spots (it's actually difficult to name many more). The boutique and artisinal pies are perfectly executed and the staff isn't pretentious in the slightest - which is often a by-product of such quality goods. They're cranking out new pies every week, so while it might be impossible to get the above examples, it doesn't matter. When you visit Pie Shop, you're in capable hands. Trust.
My gripes: My only criticism of pie shop was that the same type of crust was used on all pies except the mojito one. I think some additional variety of crusts that are more complimentary to the fillings would really be a bonus to the near-perfect pies. Secondly, I sure as hell hope that Pie Shop doesn't inspire a whole bunch of other pie shops. I realize that delicious pie is delicious pie, but like cupcakes and burgers (of which Atlanta was a late adopter of) pies have been the big "thing" in larger cities (especially New York) the last couple of years. What I do hope, is that Pie Shop inspires more varied concepts of different, well-done specialty joints across the city.
I leave you with this little diddy from the wall of pie: