| Salt Lake City Weekly

Pie of Life 

Math is great, but here's what Pi Day is really about.

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  • Alex Springer

We are blessed to live in an age in which more and more of our favorite foods are being honored with national holidays—National Doughnut Day on June 5, National Ice Cream Day on July 19 and National Bacon day on Dec. 30 are all marked on my calendar. Though there's nothing wrong with celebrating a healthy love of pie on the National Pie Day that takes place on Jan. 23, every true blue pie-o-neer knows that Pi Day on March 14 is the correct date to participate in pie-based festivities. Pi Day has been around since before the food holiday surge and, despite its math-based origins, it's become an excuse to celebrate pies of all stripes—savory meat pies overflowing with gravy, buttery quiches filled with fluffy eggs and, of course, pizza pies slathered with tomato sauce and melted cheese.

March 14 is a day to celebrate pies for their versatility, aesthetic cuteness and for the way it feels to slice into warm crust and filling to claim a little piece of harmony of your own. Here's where you can do just that for every meal Pi Day meal.

Quiche at Tulie Bakery I have zero reservations about eating a sweet cream or fruit pie first thing in the morning—I've incorporated a fair amount of leftover dessert pies into breakfast over the years. But sometimes you wake up and want a savory mixture of eggs and meat or veggies nestled within your pie crust. In such a case, I recommend the quiche ($6.75) at Tulie Bakery. The Tulie team excels at most everything they make, but their true talent lies in crafting butter-forward pastries like croissants. It's a talent that has translated remarkably well into the crust for their fantastic quiche. It holds up to the eggy filling, which can cause lesser crusts to become unpleasantly soggy. The crust at Tulie is firm but flaky enough to cut easily with a fork—a prime example of quiche-craft, and a great way to start the morning, whatever your plans for the day may be. Multiple locations, tuliebakery.com

Shepherd's Pie at Piper Down

For a lunchtime pie, it's tough to beat a mid-day visit to local gastropub Piper Down for some shepherd's pie ($11, pictured)). Most iterations of this rustically traditional food pile are going to be good—it's a comfort food that's hard to get wrong. Piper Down's version is memorable thanks to the Guiness-infused gravy that permeates the lower layer of this classic. Mix that with seared sirloin, carrots, green beans and a creamy crown of mashed potatoes, and you've got something special. In keeping with their "green" menu, this dish can be ordered plant-based, with Boca crumbles instead of sirloin. Both variations are soulful and comforting thanks to that unctuous Guiness gravy. 1492 S. State, 801-468-1492, piperdownpub.com

Pork Tomatillo Pie at June PieIt's still an internal struggle, but savory pies often threaten to overtake dessert pies on my inner pie chart. Something about a buttery crust crumbling into an ebullient mix of gravy, meat and veggies just floors me. That said, the place that continues to challenge and delight my definition of what a pot pie can do is Heber's June Pie. Their pork tomatillo ($10 mini, $25 regular) is the grand master of savory pies that brings a diverse array of flavors and textures into the pot pie arena. It's stuffed with smoked pork and blackened corn that has been soaked in their homemade salsa verde and piled high within a thick, buttery crust. That's a solid lineup any way you slice it—heh, heh—but it's the dusting of cornmeal on top that takes this pie over the edge. 133 N. Main, Heber City, 435-503-6950, junepie.com

Toll House Pie at The Dodo

My personal love for savory pies notwithstanding, I'm woke enough to know that dessert pie is and will always be the main event of a pie celebration. On a day when the sole reason for eating pie is to appreciate its existence, a trip to The Dodo for a slice—or a few—of their famous Toll House Pie ($7.99) is a must. If you've tried this before, I need not explain how much this pie will change your life; we are cousins in crust. If you haven't, then simply imagine a dessert that takes the restorative powers of chocolate chip cookie dough and bakes it into a perfectly thin and flaky pie crust. It's sliced in mile-high pieces and comes served with a wobbling gob of whipped cream on top. When you bite into this, you can't help but be pulled backwards in time to when simple things like cookie dough and sweetness on your tongue could still elicit a tear of pleasure. Don't think. Just head to The Dodo and treat yourself. 1355 E. 2100 South, 801-486-2473, thedodorestaurant.com

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