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Friday, November 16, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Dining Deals

A slice of the sweet life

Special to The Seattle Times

Shoofly Pie Company

4444 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-938-0680

Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays, open Thanksgiving Day until 2 p.m.

Bakery/Cafe

$

Drinks: Coffee, tea, espresso drinks, sodas.

Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard.

Access: No obstacles.

Rating: Recommended.

"Pie Fixes Everything," says a sign on the wall at Shoofly Pie Company. Don't we wish.

But even though the sweet and savory lovelies that emerge from Kimmy Hsieh Tomlinson's compact West Seattle bakery and cafe won't solve all of life's woes, a slice goes a long way toward soothing the frazzled urban psyche.

The facade alone will cheer you. If Simple Simon's itinerant pie man had had his own shop, it might have looked like this squat brick building painted lime green with a cocoa trim. Inside, there's a tidy eating space with a bleached wood floor and a few blond wood tables. An expansive kitchen stretches beyond the service counter, where the bakers' wares are on display.

The pies taste as good as they look. Most are sweet, but among the savory few are individual chicken potpies ($6) and quiche ($4.50/slice). You'll be advised of a 15-minute wait so they can be properly warmed in a convection oven, not a microwave.

Pass the time by sipping good coffee (Dancing Goats Blend from Olympia's Batdorf & Bronson Roasters) and pondering which of the dessert pies are your destiny.

Voluptuous crusts encase the fruit pies: apple, peach, cherry and blackberry-raspberry among them. Whipped cream embellishes pumpkin pie; steep drifts of it rise above chocolate and coconut cream pies. There's lemon meringue, key lime and pecan as well. Next to these flashier contenders, the eponymous shoofly pie looks downright dowdy.

Whole pies range in price from $20 to $22; a whole quiche is $24, a whole potpie $25. A generous slice costs $3.50-$4.50; a scoop of ice cream is a dollar more.

If you're still stuck for the Turkey Day finale, that's one problem Shoofly Pie can fix. Tomlinson is taking orders through Saturday, and she plans to bake some extra pies to have on hand Thanksgiving Day.

Check please

Quiche: Diced ham, scallions

and Gruyère give the slippery egg custard something to hang onto. The fragile pastry shell shatters beautifully under the fork, sending the richness soaring to giddy heights. Other choices might include tomato with goat cheese or broccoli with cheddar.

Individual chicken potpie:

Butter gives the crust both delicacy and flavor, yet it sturdily embraces bits of chicken, carrots and peas in a thin-ish cream sauce strongly flavored with fresh thyme.

Shoofly pie: Lighter than its Amish-country cousins, the spongy, almost cakelike butter-and-brown-sugar filling gives way to a gooey molasses bottom that ensures this pie is sweet enough to earn its name.

Chocolate cream pie: It's smooth and intensely chocolaty, lofty with real whipped cream and finished with chocolate curls that melt like snowflakes on your tongue.

Providence Cicero: providencecicero@aol.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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