Getting High on Pie (Moffett’s Chicken Pie Shop, Arcadia CA)
Although I don’t consider myself a CPE (Chicken Pie Expert), I have found myself at various chicken pie shops. Maybe it’s because they’re a relic of the past and I find myself vulnerable to their seductive vintage charms? Or maybe I wanted to eat some “real” chicken pie? And by “real”, I mean good.
Growing up, the only chicken pie I ever experienced was those frozen Banquet Pot Pies and let’s be “real”, they’re pretty terrible (although I’m sure Matt Teague and Tony the Goat would disagree with me.)
I’ve choked (down) the chicken pie at the Fresno Chicken Pie Shop and the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop and even the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop(R.I.P.) and honestly…..they were kinda meh. They all reminded me of the lava barf Banquet pies with slightly better crust.
And for the cherry on top of the shit sundae, I had much better chicken pie at Polly’s Pies and Marie Fucking Callender’s (both chain restaurants!) Their chicken pies were tasty and adequate in price, so it made me wonder – what were these “chicken pie shops” doing wrong? I’ve always believe that when the food you serve is in the name of your restaurant, it better be damn good!
So clearly I didn’t have high-hopes going into Moffett’s Chicken Pie Shop. We decided to go a bit later on a Saturday evening, around 6:30 – 7:00ish. FYI, it’s not super easy to find. Yes, it’s been in the same spot since 1975, but that spot and the surrounding shopping center has changed dramatically and now Moffett’s is wedged into a corner (parking is also a little bit of bitch due the busy-ness of the shopping center.) But it is indeed still 1975 in Moffett’s with their vintage décor and selections of Ambrosia salad in the dessert case.
We both ordered the chicken pie dinner, which comes with soup or salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, some kind of veg, and dessert ($11.00.) They had a good selection of other dinners (burgers, steak, sandwiches, etc…), so you don’t have to order chicken pie. But seriously, only assholes and crybabies don’t order a chicken pie on their first visit to a chicken pie shop.
Like Susan Lucci winning the Emmy, the shitty chicken pit streak has been broken! The chicken pie at Moffett’s is delicious – crust was flakey and the gravy actually had a flavor. Yeah, I know that they probably dumped an entire bottle of Lawry’s in it, BUT IF THAT’S WHAT IT FUCKING TAKES TO HAVE A FLAVORFUL CHICKEN PIE GRAVY, SO BE IT! Finally, I was able to erase that Shit-Banquet© from my memories and make new memories of what real chicken pie tastes like.
But I’m not even done. We were some of the last diners in the place and it was about 45 minutes away from closing time. When it was time for dessert, we each opted for a piece of sweet pie – apple and peach, respectively. Both pieces were from pies straight out of the oven, so they were hot lava and pretty much perfect. I’m assuming they bake their pies for the next day before closing the night before, so by all means, go later in the evening for hot fresh pie (insert innuendo or mom joke here.)
Finally, a chicken pie (or pie in general) place that got it right – flavor, values, and vintage. If you want to experience pie like how mom used to make, get your ass down to Moffett’s Chicken Pie Shop in Arcadia.
Well, not like my mom, with those Banquet pies n’ shit…..