Chew On It
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By Andrew Kochirka GoErie.com staff blogger
Food has been an integral part of Andrew's life from a young age; from cooking with his mother and grandmother to creating recipes in his own kitchen. Now he scours the area's non-chain restaurant scene to find the best of the best of local food from chicken wings to French cuisine.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-878-2230

Cake and Pie

Places where the Beard ate Cake and Pie
Posted: October 24th, 2012

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The first week of my cake and pie tour was a HUGE one. Out of the four bakeries on the poll, two of them were at the top with 25 votes each so I decided to visit both. On Monday, I headed to Ye Ole Sweet Shoppe in downtown Erie. They always have a large supply of cookies and muffins on hand. There weren’t too many cake options seeing as how it was the first day of the week for them, but they had a couple of things that I was able to try. They sell whole 9 inch pies in assorted flavors like apple, pumpkin, and berry as well as mini pies and even hand pies. I bought some of each pie that they had on hand home with me for dessert Monday night.

First, Amanda and I tried the Very Berry Pie.This pie was overflowing with a fresh gooey mixed berry filling. The crust was wonderfully buttery and flaky and really held up to the weight of the filling. The berries were sweet, but still had some of their natural tartness. It was delicious at room temperature, but would have been even better warmed up with some ice cream on top. I’ll remember that for next time.

I also brought home a Pumpkin Apple Mini Pie. Yes, pumpkin AND apple in one pie. The 4 inch pie was a combination that I had never had before, but I was excited to eat it. The pie did not let me down; it was amazing. Each bite had both the rich and creamy pumpkin taste and texture that I expected, but the chunks of fresh cut apples were an incredible addition, I really don’t know why I’d never thought of combining the two before. The crust was buttery and melted in your mouth. The apple provided small pockets of sweetness to the almost savory pumpkin. This was a perfect and heavenly dessert.

The other stop on this week’s tour, Icing On The Lake, is closed on Sunday and Monday so I headed in around lunch time on Tuesday. They offer cupcakes, cake pops, chocolate dipped confections, and many other sweet treats all the time, and full sized cakes and pies are available made-to-order. They sell smaller personal pies from time to time and yesterday, they had some on hand. I decided that I would try everything they had to offer in terms of cake and pie so I left with a lot. This would be another big night of desserts.

Amanda and I started with a Coconut Cream Pie. This was the first of four. The crust was a buttery, crunchy crumb crust that had a lot of flavor. The pie itself was layered with silky smooth custard that was loaded with rich coconut flavor. The custard was topped with a very light and slightly sweet meringue and some toasted coconut shavings. Each bite was filled with a great variety of textures and flavors and it was truly fantastic.

We moved on to an Apple Crumb Pie. When I cut through the pie, it felt as though the crust was very thick. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn’t the crust, but the sheer number of apples. The crust was actually perfectly thin. The apple chunks still had some of the skins on which gave this pie another textural component. The apples tasted so unbelievably fresh, it was like they were picked right off the tree seconds before the pie was made. The crumb topping was sweet and buttery without being too heavy. This is something I want to wake up to on Christmas morning. Who said pie is only for dessert?

Next was the Peanut Butter Pie. The filling is incredibly thick and rich, but I could eat this pie all day long. The crumb crust was super crunchy and really paired well with the peanut butter and chocolate drizzle. The peanut butter itself had a muted sweetness to it that helped mellow the entire thing out. It was my favorite dessert of the selection we tried.

The final pie was pumpkin. This pie had a toasted pecan and walnut crumb topping that gave it a real, nutty taste that you don’t get with most pumpkin pies. The pumpkin filling was smooth and well-spiced. The crust, like the apple, was buttery, flaky, tender, and rolled out to the perfect thickness.

We also tried a few of their cupcakes. They offer a ton of different cupcakes featuring flavors that change with the seasons as well as some that are offered year round. Their signature cupcake is the Strawberry Fields cupcake. A simple white cake with a taste slightly reminiscent of angel food, but with a more dense texture, is topped with a delicious fresh strawberry butter cream. The vanilla flavor of the cake paired perfectly with the strawberries. The frosting was a bit sweet, but definitely not overpowering.

Next was the Red Velvet cupcake. This bright right cake has a slight cocoa taste and was light and moist. On top was a white chocolate cream cheese frosting that is to die for. It is rich, and incredibly creamy. The cupcake is called red velvet, but it was the texture of the frosting that was truly velvety.

The first of the seasonal cupcakes we tasted was the pumpkin. The cake was very moist and incredibly flavorful. It was topped with the same cream cheese frosting previously mentioned and is as close to perfect as you can get. It was a wonderful demonstration of the delicious flavors of Autumn.

We then tried the Cookies and Cream cupcake. It started with a basic Devil’s Food cake with Oreo frosting on top. The cake itself is rather standard, but if you like Oreos, this frosting is the way to go, there are small chunks of Oreo throughout and the base of the frosting tastes like and has the mouth feel of Oreo crème.

We ended our dessert sampling with two more Devil’s Food-based cupcakes that couldn’t have been more different. The Peanut Butter Cup cupcake was topped with a delicious peanut butter frosting that really transformed the Devil’s Food into basically a Reese’s cake. If chocolate and peanut butter is your thing, you have got to try these, especially because they’re garnished with a piece of Reese’s Cup on top. The last cupcake was The Nutella Dream, which is also seasonal. Devil’s Food cake is filled with a surprise ball of Nutella in the middle, topped with decadent chocolate frosting and a whole hazelnut. This was a little too rich for Amanda’s taste, but it was perfect for mine. I can never get enough Nutella, so this was a great way to end our tour of desserts.

Thank you again to Lea and Heidi for creating such outstanding baked treats. I visit both of these places far more than I should, but the creative concoctions coming out of those kitchens are well worth every calorie. If you haven’t tried any of these, I highly recommend you do so; your taste buds will thank you.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Cake and Pie
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 31st, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

For the last 72 years, Russ’ Dinor has been serving delicious food to Wesleyville and the surrounding area. At 2902 Buffalo Road, this small diner offers breakfast, lunch, and some incredible desserts. I stopped by after work last night because they close at six during the week and I wanted to make sure I got some pie. There were a few regulars enjoying their last few bites before closing time. While I waited for my pie, one of the patrons told me how she wrote “Russ – 1940″ in the sidewalk right after the owners had it poured when the diner opened and she’s been coming here ever since. The server who waited on me, Jeanne, has been part of the Russ’ Dinor family for 21 years and was eager to answer my questions. She informed me that the owner bakes all of the pies from scratch and the variety that they serve changes almost daily. They had four different pies to offer so I ordered a slice of each.

After dinner, Amanda and I started on the pie. First we tried the raspberry. This was a double crust pie that was overflowing with raspberry filling. The crust was light and flaky with lots of buttery layers. The top was sprinkled with coarse sugar crystals which give it just a bit of texture as well as the right amount of sweetness. Raspberry pie is my favorite fruit pie and this one was no exception. The raspberries were sweet, but still had a hint of tartness. They still had some body to them even though they were macerated with sugar. Some people don’t like the seeds from the berries, but the crunch is one of my favorite parts.

Next was the apple cheese pie. When Jeanne told me about this pie, for some reason my mind immediately went to cheddar cheese (which is actually delicious paired with apples). When it came time to eat it, I was surprised to see that it was a cheesecake-esque layer under the apple filling, like what’s found in a cheese danish. The apples still had a ton of crunch and were really fresh. The topping was an oatmeal crumb topping that was buttery and crunchy. The cheesecake layer was mild, but still had that delicious cheesecake flavor. It wasn’t as creamy as a normal cheesecake, but that helped mellow the sweetness of the apples and the topping. The crust was the same as the first. This was the first of its kind that I have had and it was excellent.

The third pie was what Jeanne called the Medley Pie. It was a double crust filled with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apple, and rhubarb. The combination of berries really added depth to the pie. Like the raspberry pie, they were all still on the tart side. The rhubarb added a little of that too, but mixed with the apple, it balanced out the flavors. They also held their crunch through the baking which was fantastic. The sugar crystal coated crust added more sweetness as well as texture.

Finally was a slice of Pumpkin Pie. The pumpkin filling was velvety and smooth. There was a bit too much nutmeg in it for our taste, but I thought the streusel topping helped cut it. The topping was sweet and nutty and packed with flavor. This was the largest slice of pie we got. It was close to two and a half inches thick and very dense. Out of all the pies, it was my least favorite, but it was still a good dessert.

Thank you to Jeanne and everyone else at Russ’ Dinor. I will be back for again for pie as well as the rest of the food. The diner is open Tuesday through Friday from 7am – 6pm and Saturday from 7am – 1pm. They are closed Sunday and Monday. The phone number is (814) 898-2750.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

Russ' Diner on Urbanspoon

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Posted: November 6th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

1201 Kitchen has been one of my go-to restaurants since the first time I visited for my blog for sushi a year ago. The seasonally changing menu, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and cozy, aesthetically pleasing atmosphere all play a part in what I love about this place. Yes, you can eat there for Taco Tuesday or try the amazing sushi, or even go just for the several varieties of pork belly they serve, but their desserts are not to be overlooked. Last night, Amanda and I headed into the restaurant at 1201 State St. to indulge in some of those spectacular sweet treats. We grabbed two seats and geared up to try both of the newest decadent creations that just so happen to fit in with cakes and pies category perfectly.

First, we started with the Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake. A precisely cut block of pumpkin cake is coated with a thin layer of brown butter. Brown butter is clarified, unsalted butter that is cooked until it turns a beautiful amber color. It gives the butter a nutty aroma, a silky mouth feel, and perfectly autumnal flavor profile. The cake is topped with sliced strawberries and red grapes that have been tossed in simple syrup. Diced gala apples that have been cooked in a little cinnamon-butter are added after the berry/grape mixture. Homemade matcha green tea mascarpone cheese is piped in large dots around the cake and fruit. Finally, everything is topped with a fresh vanilla bean gelato. This is not your typical sugary dessert. Though the strawberries and grapes are sweetened slightly, the apples and the cake itself are on the savory side and give the plate an amazing balance of flavor. The pop of the fresh grapes and slight crunch from the apples add a bit of texture, and the mascarpone is wonderfully creamy. All of these flavors and textures, topped off with the cool, subtly flavored gelato, created a perfectly composed dessert that is ideal for those who prefer to finish a meal with something that isn’t incredibly sweet and rich.

Our second dessert was a Mocha Hazelnut Tart. A ring mold is filled with a thin layer of chopped, toasted hazelnuts and then topped with a thick mocha cappuccino hazelnut mousse. The mousse is chocolaty, creamy, intensely rich, and, when combined with the hazelnuts, reminiscent of the ever-popular Nutella spread. The mousse is topped with the same vanilla bean gelato as the first dessert, but mixed with the chocolate, has an entirely different flavor. The gelato is garnished with thinly sliced candied ginger. The creamy gelato and the spicy ginger cut the richness of the mousse beautifully. Two sticks of Pocky (thin, chocolate coated biscuits), are placed on top as garnish as well. This dessert might be too rich for some, but it was truly perfect for me. I could just as easily have eaten the mousse by itself, but together with everything else, it is absolutely incredible.

Both desserts were not only beyond delicious, but each plate is created to order. These small works of art are just the right portion of dessert after enjoying some of their many other amazing plates of food. Thank you again to Dan, J.B., and the rest of the hard working staff that make 1201 Kitchen what it is. I will be seeing you again soon. The phone number at the restaurant is 814.464.8989. Reservations are encouraged, but not required. They are open Monday through Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Check out a video of how these great desserts were made.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

1201 Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 14th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Pie in the Sky Café, located at the corner of Walnut and West Eighth streets, is celebrating their 22 anniversary this year. This small and intimate restaurant offers an eclectic mix of soups and sandwiches for lunch as well as some incredible choices for weekend dinners. I have been there for lunch a few times, but this week, I was only visiting for their famous pie. Lucky for me, all of their pies are baked fresh every Tuesday morning. I stopped in around lunch time to see what they were serving and got a few slices to go. I left with four pieces; Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Custard, Red Raspberry, and Bourbon Pecan.

After dinner last night, Amanda and I warmed up the pie, slice by slice. We started with the Caramel Apple. This double crust pie was dense with apples that still had a bit of crunch. The filling wasn’t overly sweet and was perfectly spiced. The top was drizzled with caramel sauce and chopped walnuts. The caramel added just the right amount of sugary goodness to the rich, flaky crust. The nutty taste of the walnuts was subtle, but added a great layer of flavor.

The Pumpkin Custard pie was lighter than some of the others we have tried. The crust was the same as the first, but had seemingly been baked longer as it was crispier than the first crust. The filling was silky and rich and had that natural, real pumpkin taste. It was a bit heavy on the cinnamon, but when it comes to spices, that is one of my favorites so I was okay with it. Some apple cinnamon ice cream on top would have really made this plate.

Our next pie slice was the Red Raspberry. The dark red fruit filling was thick and had a wonderful mouth feel. The seeds gave it some texture, the berries were sweet, yet still tart, and the crust was flaky and crunchy. This pie, like the raspberry from Russ’, had an unfair advantage due to it being my favorite berry. Having it warmed up made it that much better.

Finally was the slice I was looking forward to the most, the Bourbon Pecan. We haven’t had any pecan pie yet and I have been waiting to find a good one. This one did not let me down. It was a sweet tooth soother and was packed with gorgeous chopped pecans. The toasted flavors of the nuts mixed with a bit of bourbon was heavenly. The sugary binding that holds the pie together was sticky, creamy, and melt-in-your-mouth amazing. The crust, again, was the same as the others, buttery and fantastic. I could eat it for days.

Thank you to everyone at Pie in the Sky Café for this delectable way to end our meal. I will be in again to sample more from the regular menu. The phone number for information and reservations is (814) 459-8638. The hours for lunch are Tuesdays though Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 to 9 p.m. The menu varies in price depending on the meal. They do not offer a kids menu, but will make food upon request. They are also BYOB.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

Pie in the Sky Cafe on Urbanspoon

Read more of Andrew's thoughts about Cake and Pie
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Posted: November 28th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Yesterday, I made a quick trip down to Union City to visit JJ’s Retro Eatery. This small, old-fashioned style diner is fairly new and offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and weekend dinner dishes. From $3.00 breakfast specials with $.10 coffee to pork sandwiches and Dagwood clubs, this place keeps the food traditional. Complete with checkered flooring, red vinyl seats, and corrugated metal walls, its a dining experience fit for the 1950s. This visit was strictly pie-oriented, but the smell inside almost made me stay for a meal. Right inside the front door is a large display case full of scrumptious-looking desserts. I ordered four slices of pie to go and couldn’t wait till dinner so that Amanda and I could try them.

Later that evening, we sat down to start with a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake. This is the first cheesecake I have tried for my blog and it was a good one. Instead of a crumb crust like most cheesecakes, this had a traditional rolled pie crust. I’ve made pumpkin cheesecake before, but not like this. Instead of mixing the pumpkin with the cheese mixture, a thin layer of delicious pumpkin pie filling was spread in the bottom of the crust with the creamy, rich cheesecake mixture sitting on top of it. I would only guess that it was baked first with just the pumpkin in it to make sure it set. This delicious treat was decadent without being overly sweet and the pumpkin was subtle, but really made for a perfect autumn after-dinner treat.

After the richness of the cheesecake, we needed something with a little tartness to take the edge off, so we moved on to the piece of Berry Rhubarb pie. This double crust pie was stuffed with a lot of fruit filling. The crust was too thick around the edges for my liking, but the filling was wonderful. The rhubarb started out with a sour bite, that was quickly mellowed by the sweet berries and sugar. The rest of the pie was a mix of strawberries and raspberries. I ate a lot of berry rhubarb pie as a child and this really brought back some good memories. My cheeks pucker just thinking about it.

We stayed in the vein of fruit pies for our next slice and sampled the Apple Caramel Pecan. When you consider how many flavors are involved in this pie, it had a surprisingly traditional taste. There was a ton of caramel on this messy pie, but it wasn’t too sticky sweet. The pecans added texture and a fantastic nutty taste to the dessert. The apples still had a great crunch and were well-spiced. If it were heated up and topped with a scoop of ice cream, it would have been perfect. The crust on this was also pretty thick and didn’t take away from the pie, but there was a little leftover crust when we were done.

Last, but not least, we came to the Oreo Cream Pie. This moved from the realm of cream pies almost toward a cheesecake. It was super thick and way richer than the cheesecake we tasted earlier. The pie started with a crumb crust and was layered with chocolate, Oreo cream, more chocolate, and Oreo crumbs. There was a large amount of chocolate, but surprising not a lot of taste. It tasted primarily of sugar instead of the milky chocolate and familiar cookie I was expecting. I really like cream pies, but I probably wouldn’t get a slice of this one again.

The majority of the pies in the case are traditional, no-frills pies. They aren’t anything fancy, but fit in perfectly with the retro diner. Thank you to everyone at JJ’s who helped with these pies. I will be back for sure to try some more of your menu. JJ’s Retro Eatery is open Monday through Wednesday from 6am -3:30pm, Thursday through Saturday from 6am – 8pm, and Sunday from 8am – 3:30pm. The number to reach them is 814.438.7887.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

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Posted: December 5th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

It was just a few months ago that I first got to visit Lorie’s Wildridge Restaurant at 5455 West Ridge Road. Amanda and I had a delicious dinner that was finished off with two great pieces of pie. I left those out of my last review so that, if the time came, they could have a review of their own. This week, I returned and took four pieces home with me to try for dessert.

After eating dinner at home last night, Amanda and I indulged in some dessert. I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the concord grape pie so we started with that. The crust was light, flaky, and rolled perfectly thin. The grape filling was sweet, but slightly tart. The grape skins were left on which gave the filling a beautiful, dark purple color and a bit of texture. The topping was a buttery, sweet crumb topping that helped mellow out the bite of the filling. This is definitely a unique pie that you can’t find at many places in the area. It has a distinct flavor that might not be for everyone, but it is something you really should try.

Next up was one of my personal favorites and a first-timer on this cake/pie tour, sweet potato pie. The same light crust was layered with a thick sweet potato mixture. Similar to pumpkin pie in texture, although not as heavily spiced, this velvety filling had a pure sweet potato taste that worked perfectly in this dessert. On top of the sweet potato was a layer of cinnamon brown sugar crumb that I would eat on just about anything. To finish it off was a layer of freshly toasted marshmallows. I was worried that it would be too sweet, but each layer complimented the others and created great harmony. The cinnamon sugar mixed with the slightly smoky flavor of toasted marshmallow was my favorite part. Each bite of this pie was pretty close to perfect.

After the sweet potato, we moved back to the realm of fruit pie and tried the peach blackberry. Although neither fruits are in season, this pie was wonderfully fresh and delicious. The peaches were firm and full of flavor. The berries gave the pie a hint of tartness that balanced everything out. The topping was similar to the cinnamon brown sugar crumb from the sweet potato pie, but not as sweet. The cinnamon was prominent and mixed beautifully with the peaches. The crust on this pie was different than the first two and seemed to be made with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. It had a great texture and added a different flavor that set this slice apart.

Finally, we tried a slice of three-layer chocolate mint. The chocolate cookie crumb crust was crunchy and delicious. The bottom layer of the pie was a thick chocolate mousse that melted in your mouth. The middle contained mint green mousse that was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of mint flavor. The top layer was a light chocolate whipped cream and shaved chocolate curls. Each bite was decadent, but not too rich, and left me craving a glass of milk. The best way to describe the flavor of this pie is being similar to a Thin Mint cookie. This was an awesome way to end our sample of desserts from Lorie’s.

Thank you to Lorie’s Wildridge for consistently making such delicious desserts. The food you serve is fantastic enough to keep people coming back and your desserts are just the icing on the cake, or perhaps, the whipped cream on the pie.

The phone number for Lorie’s is 814-838-3402. However, they do not take reservations so there may be a wait (I assure you, it’s worth it). They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

Lorie's Wildridge Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Posted: December 12th, 2012

If you haven’t yet, be sure to “like” Chew On It: Beard vs. Food on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Jack and Stephanie, of the Summer House Café located at 2605 Washington Ave., own a truly special establishment that Erie is lucky to have. This fantastic restaurant serves up incredible meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but this week, I was there for the sweet stuff. There are a few desserts that tend to have a place on the menu regularly, but their pastry chef, Lesley Cooksey, loves to come up with something special whenever she can. I stopped by the restaurant to pick up four slices of different cakes and pies to bring home. After catching a glimpse of the desserts in the bag, it was tough to stop myself from digging in.

I was so excited to get started with the tasting, I didn’t give myself any time to let my dinner settle before opening up the containers. Amanda and I started with the apple pie, and I am glad we did. This was one of the best slices of apple pie that we have had yet. The filling had refreshingly crisp apples that were slightly tart and flavored with just the right amount of cinnamon. The pie held its shape and had a wonderfully flaky crust as the base. The crumb topping was buttery and complimented the apples perfectly. Just to add a little extra punch, there was a drizzle of light caramel sauce over the slice that added another dimension of decadence to the pie.

Secondly, we tried the less traditional peppermint patty cake. The dense chocolate cake had a consistency close to a brownie but with the mouth feel of a cake. Topping the cake was a sinful chocolate ganache and a piece of chocolate peppermint bark. The slice of cake was sitting in a small pool of delightful peppermint cream. Judging solely on looks, I would have guessed this cake to be very sweet and supremely rich, but I was proven wrong. The balance of the peppermint and chocolate was perfect, not too overpowering in any sense. The chocolate melted in my mouth and, when combined with the creamy peppermint, it created the perfect holiday dessert- it was like eating a little slice of Christmas.

The dessert that I was really looking forward to trying was the lemon crumble cheesecake. This velvety and decadent, creamy cake was truly a wonderful dessert. The graham cracker crust held together beautifully without being crunchy and overcooked. The filling had a refreshing lemony tang to it and was topped with a basic, yet delicious crumb topping. In addition to the crumble, a light ginger anglaise was drizzled over the whole slice. If you’re not familiar with it, an anglaise is a simple cream made from sugar, egg yolk, milk, and whatever other flavoring is desired. The ginger was subtle and at the same time added a layer of spiciness that elevated the luscious lemon flavor. It was a fun twist on an already spectacular dessert.

Last, but not least, was the peanut butter pie. This is a dessert that I would gladly fight someone for. The pie is over three inches high and covered in a chocolate syrup drizzle. The peanut butter filling is ridiculously smooth from start to finish and isn’t crazy sweet. It is the ideal way to satisfy that after-dinner sweet tooth, especially when paired with a piping hot cup of coffee. There isn’t much else to say about this pie other than it really is unbelievable how good it is. The size of the slice combined with the richness of the filling makes it just right for two people to share.

Thank you to all the staff at the Summer House Café. I always feel welcome there and am never disappointed with the food or the service. Please, if you have never been there, go try it out. I have little doubt that it will become one of your favorite places in Erie like it is for Amanda and me.

Their hours are Sunday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Their phone number for reservations or information is 814-452-2500. They are also BYOB so remember that if you would like to bring some adult beverages to enjoy with your meal.

Keep sending me your recommendations for cakes and pies to akochirka@goerie.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook.  Remember to come back and vote as well.

Until next time,

Andrew — Beard vs. Food

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