chile pies (& ice cream)

We met Julie at Chile Pies (& Ice Cream), at the corner of Baker and Fulton, for lunch today. Liza has been telling us about this place for a while, and we almost went last weekend–until Steve decided to cook us a French feast and I showed up with a chocolate hazelnut confection from Tartine. The desire to go out faded.

It turns out there’s a more full-service place called Green Chile Kitchen a block away at Baker and McAllister, and the menu looks good enough that I’m sure we’ll give it a try some day. But the draw to the smaller, simpler Chile Pies (& Ice Cream) was the Frito pie, served à la bag. Julie, child of health-food nuts, had never experienced such a thing; J-P and I both remembered it fondly from concession stands at football games.

I admired Chile Pies’ modular approach to Frito Pie. Three soup tureens, one with ground beef, one with beans, one with chili. You want vegetarian? They serve you from the latter two only. You want less spicy? I presume they leave off the chili. Instead of garnishing with Colby and pickled jalapeños, as is traditional at Texas sporting events, these pies were topped with cheese, sour cream, and pico (still legit), plus lettuce. The last was a stretch, we assumed a concession to Californian tastes. The chili would have been tastier if all the ingredients were simmered together, but it was still satisfying.

For dessert, Julie had lemon-butter pie with cardamom ice cream. J-P and I each had a slice of green-chile-and-apple pie (this is such a good idea!), he with lemon cookie ice cream, me with cardamom ice cream, both with red-chile honey on top.

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