By Lori Bosworth
Moving to Corktown recently, I thought it was time to venture out to Queen Street East and start sampling the abundance of culinary stops in Riverdale and Leslieville. Today’s restaurant pick was The Canadian Pie Company on Queen Street East at Boulton Avenue since pie and the onset of winter seem to go hand-in-hand.
The Canadian Pie Company has a prime spot on a busy section of South Riverdale’s Queen St. E. The 20-seat cafe was almost empty when we arrived before noon, which, I hoped, indicated we would receive quick service. Unfortunately, there was only one waitstaff manning the fort, which resulted in my party waiting a surprisingly long ten minutes at the counter before being able to place our order. That being accomplished, we were able to score a window-front table to people watch while we waited.
The Canadian Pie Company’s interior is decorated in warm brown and beige tones with a barn-worthy hardwood floor and exposed brick. This resto is definitely a place where you would feel comfortable kicking back for a few hours.
While waiting for our meals, we spied some scrumptious-looking breakfast sandwiches being served to the table next to us (note to file for next visit). In the meantime, our meals appeared fairly quickly and we settled in to taste. Our order included organic goat cheese and spinach quiche ($4.95), asparagus and swiss cheese quiche ($4.95) and chicken pot pie ($6.95) all with additional side salads ($2 each). The goat cheese and spinach quiche contained the right amounts of each ingredient and definitely hit the mark. The quiche’s super-thick crust, which was decidedly fluffy and light, could be accused of infringing on the ingredients. Both my lunch partner and I would have preferred a thinner crust to accommodate more of the wonderful filling.
The chicken pot pie’s adorably crusty top hid a mixture of shredded chicken, carrots, peas and corn. Although my dining companion deemed it satisfactory, she regretted not selecting the sirloin steak pie she had ordered on a previous occasion since she said it was much more savoury and included potatoes. My vegetarian lunch companion voiced regret that, although there was an abundance of vegetarian quiche options, there were no vegetarian pies on the menu. Each of our side salads, a blend of crisp organic greens, tomato and cucumber, was remarkably fresh, topped with just enough of a well-executed balsamic vinaigrette to satisfy the tastebuds.
We resisted temptation on this occasion, but if you’ve got room or prefer to just stop in for dessert, The Canadian Pie Company offers both cream pies (banana cream, coconut cream, pumpkin, pecan, lemon meringue), as well as fruit pies (blueberry, apple bumbleberry, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, peach and apple cinnamon). You can get your own 4″ cream pie for $6.95 or bring a fruit pie home for the family (9″ for $16, 11″ for $25). We spotted a 9″ tourtière on the menu (probably a seasonal offering since this traditional pie is popular at Christmas), which is available to take home for $20.
The Canadian Pie Company, 798 Queen St. E., 416-781-4743, Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.