Kelly Sullivan/The AS Review
Besides the alluring name Man Pies, this new Bellingham eatery has a lot to offer. Situated in the heart of Bellingham’s central business district, it is right where you were already going for your midday meal.
My roommate and I traveled down to the pie shop from campus on a Monday during lunchtime.
It was a particularly cold day. We were excited to taste some piping hot Man Pies and quench our curiosity about the establishment.
For months we had seen signs in the soon-to-be Man Pies window, advertising for what we thought could only be a lewd joke. We were pleased to discover that they were in fact meat pies, a close cousin to the American pot pie.
We were greeted as soon as we entered. The setup of the restaurant was very simple, with warm woody colors. Appropriate indie-hipster music played in the background.
From the front you could see into the kitchen. A large cutting table was covered with potatoes and onions, which three cooks were chopping furiously. Upon entering, you order from the five different pies listed on the chalkboard menu.
The options were beef chuck, braised lamb shoulder, roast chicken, caramelized onion and curried lentils. Unfortunately when we arrived at noon, the braised lamb shoulder and curried lentil pies were unavailable, both of which I would have liked to try.
I ordered the beef pie. My roommate ordered the caramelized onion and the seasonal brown sugar and whiskey pecan dessert pie. The sweet pie cost $4, and each man pie costs $6. I also ordered a Naked juice and gravy, which was an extra $0.50.
We sat down at one of three tables in the small lobby and began to consume our pies. The beef pie was delicious. The crust was perfectly buttery and flaky. Inside was a savory sauce of stock, tomato paste, onion and garlic with large chunks of beef, potato and carrot. The gravy was a great addition with a hint of brown sugar, an ingredient I tasted in every dish we tried.
The caramelized onion pie was really wonderful for the first few bites, with caramelized onion, goat cheese and Kalamata olives, seasoned with allspice and black pepper. The insides were almost a mushy purée. After a few bites we started to crave something solid to bite into. Perhaps it would have been better if the onions were whole slices.
As we sat there we started to notice our eyes burning as the acid from the all the chopped onions wafted throughout the restaurant. It wasn’t unbearable, but slightly uncomfortable. I did like seeing the natural ingredients that go in each pie. It radiated the essence of an honest local business.
Finally (and by finally I mean after we’d had a few bites of our savory pies) we tried the brown sugar whiskey pecan pie. It was a wonderful mixture of crusty pecan top, crunchy, flaky crust, and oozing whiskey sugar middle.
The establishment fits in very well with Bellingham’s late morning to late evening dining scene, with simple ingredients and a warm atmosphere. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of room in the lobby, so you might have to munch on your pies in the cold after a night at Rumors.
Man Pies has long hours, from 11 a.m. to10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; and from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
The pies were filling without being uncomfortable, and each with its own unique, savory flavors. If the pies were one dollar less expensive, I would say it is a great deal.