Not too often we make our way out to Etobicoke. The area around Islington and Queensway has seen its share of redevelopment however we have found it a hit and miss in terms of the new food options popping up. The new additions were mostly chain restaurants with an almost suburban feel. The Pie Commission was an interesting discovery for us. We almost randomly ran into it while biking in the area, but had no regrets having our Thursday dinner there.
Not that easy to find, The Pie Commission occupies a semi-basement space underneath a spa. Although the address is technically on Queensway, we found it only by following the signs to Queen Elizabeth Boulevard. A loud "Bloody Good Pies" sign welcomed us along with a plenty of black and white signage and an illustration of a moustached gentleman with a bowl hat. The few red barbecue benches added some life to the bold signage and cleanly landscaped exterior. There was also an outside area with stand-up tables. Overall, not many seats outside (and none inside as we soon discovered), but dining-in did not appear to be the focal point for Pie Commission. A large gravel parking area, with clients stopping by every few minutes was the lifeline of this restaurant.
We entered a tiny square room - not great, if a line develops. The same menu board was right before the entrance and on one of the walls inside - for those making a last min decision. There was also a small fridge with pop in the corner, away from the tiny window. This space seemed temporary and it missed the well-branded feel, which was so well set from the outside. Their friendly cashier greeted us with a smile and delivered sad news that they only had two pies left as it was the end of the day. Luckily we wanted to try these exact two pies, so no mood ruined there. Beef'n'Beer and Veg-ilicious were our choices. We were shocked to find out that there was no beer to choose from - no alcohol in this fine establishment (well, perhaps just a tad used in our beef'n'beer pie). Could have been a perfect match with these all-butter biscuit pies.
We also picked one of their sweet pies. They were all on display in a refrigerated area. There seemed to be more options when it came to them.
There were also seasonal pies on the menu which we neglected for this visit (not that they had any towards the end of the day anyway), but a good idea. All the pies were made from scratch and in-house using only natural ingredients with a delicious all-butter crust. A way to get around the evening shortage of supply was to order ahead or to simply take some frozen pies home which just need a bit of baking before enjoying fresh at the comfort of your own place.
Our Beef'n'Beer pie was heavy, meaty and a bit on the dry side. We saw the chunks of onion through the homogeneous content of the filling. We preferred the meat option due to a more flavorful taste, the veggie one could have used a bit more of a flavour spike. The Veggie-licious was packed with kale, millet, broccoli, tomato, and carrots. The content of this one was quite chunky and a bit tricky to eat, if one wants to take a break. There was supposed to be a goat cheese, but neither of us felt it. Both pies made excellent comfort food though. The flaky crust with sweet smell of butter will make your hands greasy, but their unique packaging was designed in a way that allowed to keep you clean even if eating with one hand. Nonetheless, we enjoyed both pies on their sunny patio. We both agreed that some more greenery outside could be great for those of us who would like to enjoy the pies right by their birthplace.
All dessert pies were sold cold including the Strawberry, Rhubarb Apple Crumble we bought. It came sprinkled with oats and crumbs - so be careful not to let them get away. We liked the pie for it was not being too sweet, having just enough acidity and a well-balanced combination of flavours. We would have preferred to enjoy it warm, even-though it was quite refreshing for the warm day.
There will be doubling of mustached-man-in-bowler-hat-inspired places in the city sometime soon as cashier told us - The Pie Commission was looking to expand. We were glad to hear that. After a year and a half at their current location, they appeared to have won the hearts of locals and achieved considerable success overall.
ps. We learned that the most popular savory pie option was the Beef Rib pie (unfortunately sold out) but we both through we should come back and take some to go - so we can enjoy them properly, with beer.