My day started well, with a trip to a couple of bakeries to grab some bread for dinner and pies for dessert… but it turned bad, when on my drive home my dog groomer called to tell me my 8 year old dog with arthritis in his knees and degenerative disc disease in his spine jumped off the 4 foot high grooming table and was in a lot of pain. Needless to say, all the goodies I bought at the bakeries sat in the car for an extra hour while I made a trip to the emergency vet clinic.
My first stop of the day was Alforno Bakery and Cafe downtown. I had heard wonderful things about it. My plan was to grab some bread to eat with my homemade lasagna for dinner and a snack for me because I was hungry. I got a small focaccia bread for $3, which once warmed up with dinner was awesome served with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just like in a restaurant!
As a snack for myself I ordered a cheese croissant and a small soup of the day to go (the soup was a ginger carrot I believe). I was given a number to wait for my soup. I was expecting someone to just quickly grab my soup so I could leave right away… bad assumption. I pulled up a seat at a table where others were eating and waited for my soup to come. I’m not sure how long I waited, probably 7 or 8 minutes (longer than I had hoped)… My soup came and I headed to my vehicle. My plan was to eat in the vehicle quickly so I could get on with the rest of my food journey, but eating a hot soup and a wonderfully flaky croissant in a vehicle with a beige leather interior may not have been the best idea. And boy, was that soup hot! It literally burned the flesh off the top of my mouth. It’s still raw the next day.
The flavour of the soup was delicious, and Jason even quite enjoyed it when he ate my leftovers later. The cheese croissant was cut in half and I wondered why. Well, my friends, it was apparently to put more cheese inside of it! I have no idea what kind of cheese it was, but it was quite delicious. Just keep it closed and eat’er like a sandwich (but if you’re in a vehicle, eat it over a plastic bag to collect all the flakes you’re going to fling all over the place.
Next stop was The Pie Hole and Bakery in Sunalta. Man, do I love that name! This wonderful little gem is off the beaten path, in a small strip mall near Shaganappi Golf Course. I had only ever once before been in that neck of the woods, when we went to Jubilations Dinner Theatre. If you’re like me, you may need to use Google maps to find the place, but once you do, your senses will be excited. It was about 3:30 when I finally made it to The Pie Hole and they were all out of fruit pies 🙁 But, they still had fruit hand pies, so that was good enough.
All food is prepped right in the store and you can see everything being baked. They bake all day so there are always fresh goodies coming out of the oven. I was pleasantly greeted by one of the ladies who explained all the different kinds of pies, galettes and hand pies that they make. All the pie crust is made with frozen butter to get the wonderful crispy yet flaky crust. There is also a crazy amount of wonderful looking cookies and brownies adorning the counter.
Since I travelled so far to get to the place, I went a little crazy and got 2 saskatoon hand pies for dessert that evening, 2 breakfast galettes for the next day, 2 cheese & onion hand pies for supper the next day, and 2 steak and mushroom pies for the freezer. The total was $40.95. Honestly, I didn’t even look at the individual prices – I just ordered.
The saskatoon hand pies looked much prettier when I purchased them. Sitting in my vehicle for an extra period of time didn’t help their sex-appeal. However, tasted like heaven, and that’s all that really matters! I’ve never in my life had crust like this before. Flaky and crispy and sweet. Yum! For breakfast I heated the breakfast galettes low and slow (300F) in the oven for about 30 minutes. They were awesome, with the same flaky and crispy crust. The would, however, be way better if the egg was fresh. Jay had a brilliant idea – get the potato galette next time (filled with scalloped potatoes) and serve warm with a fried or poached egg on top. Drool.
I froze the steak and mushroom pies for later – I wrapped them in saran wrap and put them in freezer bags. We had the cheese & onion hand pies warmed up for dinner the next day. I served them with BBQ roasted chicken, veggies and caesar salad. Yum!
You really need to check out this new little gem.