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Life Is Sweet And Savory At The Pie Bar

By S. Mathur

The Pie Bar is the kind of place that moves customers to poetry. Impromptu odes to the orange dreamsicle pie ("It was a slice of summer") and the ambience ("a place that picks up your soul from the floor") pepper the online review sites. Then there are the simple pleasures of a lunch of quiche with a glass of Chardonnay, while watching the world go by. The location in downtown Florence, MA is one of the highlights of the place. That, and the sweet and savory pies.

"Our shop is just off the bike path, we offer seasonal outdoor seating and have a beer and wine license as well," owner and baker Maura Glennon said. "It is a cozy spot to sit and talk with friends or watch the world from our front window. Our space offers a glimpse into the community of Florence, with its historic buildings and small town feeling, come visit for a piece of pie and conversation with your neighbor."

True to its name, the cafe specializes in pies, sweet and savory. There are also soups, quiche, scones, cookies and savory galettes or rustic open-faced tarts. The focus however is on the pies.

"Hand pies, whole pies, slices of pie and miniature pies make up 85% of our sales," Glennon said. "We do offer other baked goods, but our focus is limited to sweet and savory pie."

The pies are seasonally inspired and largely locally sourced.

"We offer pies whole and by the slice, make everything on site with mostly local ingredients, including cream, eggs, fruit and vegetables, and are members of the CISA Local Hero program," Glennon said. "Our vegetarian and meat hand pies are very popular for a light lunch or early dinner. Additionally, we offer homemade soup, quiche, bread, granola, scones and other pastries daily."

The savory pies menu changes every week. Some of the varieties that customers can expect to find are mashed potato and caramelized onion galettes, beet, goat cheese and thyme galette, zucchini and feta galette, curried beef hand pie, braised beef hand pie, chicken schwarma hand pie and pulled pork hand pie. If that's not enough, there are occasional exotic fillings like the sesame ginger pork hand pie.

Sweet pies include favorites like apple crisp and key lime pie. Seasonal varieties currently on offer include butterscotch cream, pear bourbon crisp, apple cranberry and grapefruit chess. Assorted tartlets include brown butter pumpkin, chocolate cream, chocolate chess and maple cream. Perhaps best of all, Pie Bar does special orders for weddings, business meetings, baby and bridal showers, and all kinds of parties.

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