Before beginning I should admit bias, I love this place. The Pie Hole is one of the shining lights of baking in Los Angeles, a city that is so anti-carb and gluten-free that it makes me want to cry. Through the power of their handmade buttery crusts alone, this place makes LA a better place to live. However, it is their combination of old fashioned filling classics from apple to banana cream to more adventurous Mexican hot chocolate and Earl Grey tea is what makes me want to tattoo their shop sign on my right buttock.
So when I heard that they had created a cheeseburger pie, I freaked out. That golden crust wrapped around a burger? I couldn’t get down there fast enough. Tucked away in the Arts District, the tiny shop is bare bones, but glows with warmth. Wooden tables and aluminum chairs line the dining room, a glass display case with white ceramic plates displaying the specials, and the menu is written in brown butcher paper on the walls. They serve only pie and coffee, nothing else, which is fine by me. It’s always humming with customers doing work or getting dessert after a fancy meal elsewhere.
The cheeseburger pie turns out to be visually unlovely. It’s a brown Cornish pasty sized half moon of pastry with fillings of mysterious origins, with a side of salsa. Why the salsa is included is beyond me. But bite into it, and all the flavors of a cheeseburger show up in hot tempting glory: ground beef, cheddar cheese, onion, and a little bit of pickle. It is incredibly satisfying. The one gripe I had was the addition of the salsa side. Why? Ketchup or mustard would have been much more appropriate. Also there were no gooey strands of cheese that poured forth, which I had looked forward to wiping from my chin. So, stuff that thing with fromage and douse it in ketchup and I would have been one happy camper.
Bear in mind, the cheeseburger pie is not a meal. It’s much too small, but fear not. You can save all of that room that you would have spent on a burger to indulge yourself on one of their massive slices of pie. I chose Earl Grey cream and was not disappointed. Who knew that Earl Grey would lend itself so well to pudding? The delicate tea flavor combined with the layer of salty chocolate on the bottom really made it stand out. So if you’ve had a rough week, I would pop over and get a slice of something warm and filling. Also, their cheeseburger pie is a special, so if you want to try it for yourself, you will need to get over there soon.