This pie-centric café offers many other delicious distractions from the rest of your life, in the form of its legendary apple pie, or any of their other stellar menu items, really. More importantly, it’s located just a short bus ride, CTA trip or even leisurely walk from campus, down on Evanston’s Main Street.
My first visit was on a windy Friday afternoon. Natalie and I were a bit disappointed to learn that their electricity had gone out earlier that day, so they were only able to serve a limited selection of their sweet pies, among other menu items.
The Chocolate Chess pie sticks close to the heart of the chess pie concept, incorporating ingredients like flour, butter, sugar and eggs in the filling. The inside was soft, rich and chocolatey, while the crust was buttery yet firm. It was dusted lightly with confectioner’s sugar and I was really loving the fat slice they gave me, it (almost) justified the ~$5 price tag.
I snagged a bite of Natalie’s Pear Apple Cranberry pie, which came topped with a nutty baked crumble. The dark pink filling was bursting with the tart cranberry flavors, and the cooked pear and apple provided a nice body to the filling.
Aside from that, I also ordered a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie, as part of a promotion called Happy Hour that they carried out in January. The hot chocolate came in a wide mug, rich and deep in flavor. The top was swirled with cream, with two homemade marshmallows plopped in. The chocolate chip cookie I opted for was rather small and a bit drier than I hoped, but still decadent.
Hoosier Mama’s real show-stopper, however, is the chicken pot pie.
My friend Gerardo and I stopped in on a Sunday afternoon and ordered a slice each, which came highly recommended to me by many friends. It was bursting with flavor, with a rich and creamy white sauce bathing the traditional peas and carrots. The chicken, however, was shredded and had this unique, deep flavor. I think the secret ingredient might have been something like honey, that gave the filling a subtly sweet flavor.
The CRUST. The pie must have been freshly baked, because the crust was flaky and buttery, and I could sense every single layer that was folded on top of each other with every bite. It was probably the most memorable and standout pie crust I’ve had in a long time.
I savored every bite. It’s worth the $5. Get the chicken pot pie.
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749 N. Chicago Avenue