Wanda's Pie in the Sky
Stepping foot in Wanda's Pie in The Sky is sort of like meeting a famous person. The name of the place has certainly made its rounds about the city. I can't say for sure where or when I first heard about Wanda or tried a slice of her cherry pie. The brand has become something of a fixture around TO.
The decor inside her Kensington Market location is half bakery cafe, half art class. (Alyssa thought it looked like Science class, which is weird. You see what you want to see, I guess.) There are paintings up all around, pie flavours listed on the wall in coloured chalk, and sketches on the display case (drawn by a regular customer, I hear).
This is approprate, as the whole operation was spawned while Wanda Beaver was an art student at OCAD. She used to bake pies in her kitchen and deliver them around town on public transit to supplement her income. A cafe manager (a friend of a friend) gave a pie a try and wanted to sell them. She was in business.
Today her place is full of pies in flavours like sour cherry (her favourite), pecan and Swiss apple (ranging in size and price $8.25 - $30). They also bake scones and croissants, fresh every day, cookies ($1.60) and cupcakes, and proudly brew dark city coffee ($1.60 for a cup).
I've enjoyed the famous pies before, but have a mind for something lunch-like. The hot and cold sandwiches look great ($6.75). They come with such toppings as avocado and Brie, on bread baked in-house. I go for a quiche ($4.75): same great crust I'm used to with a colourful and savoury filling. Seriously, before I even taste it I'm impressed with the appearance. It looks amazing with bright red and yellow peppers attractively peeking out of creamy, broccoli laden cheddar cheese. Later, I warm it up for dinner. It's very creamy but not so rich that I can't eat the whole thing.
Alyssa's got her eye on dessert. She points out a butterscotch pudding with conviction ($4.25). We're in a rush but she insists on sitting down to try a few bites, immediately. A few bites turn into the entire pudding. I can't blame her. I had a spoonful or two and I know that it is pudding and therefore, it is rich and heavy. But it tastes so light and creamy. That thing gets downed fast. Alyssa feels guilty and full, but happy. "That's my new favourite treat," she says, regret and satisfaction wrestling for control of her facial expression.
Photos by Alyssa Bistonath.