An Old-Fashioned Pie Fight: Kiss the Cook vs. My Mother's

Poor Pie. It's the red-headed stepchild of desserts, eclipsed by hip, sophisticated siblings Creme Brulee and Chocolate Lava Cake. Seriously, why does Cheesecake get all the glory while poor Pie is relegated to diners and once-a-year holiday meals?? Pie is comforting. Pie is natural. Pie is sexxxy

In preparation for Chow Bella's upcoming Pie Social on Saturday, November 13, which will give Pie the recognition she deserves, we went in search of some crusty inspiration. For this week's Battle of the Dishes, we sought out a favorite autumn treat at two cozy establishments known for their homemade pies.

In One Corner: Kiss the Cook
4915 W. Glendale Ave. in Glendale

You'll want to Kiss the Cook after eating this creamy pie.

Word of mouth, combined with five-star reviews from Citysearch and two thumbs up from frequent Urbanspooner AxeMan, led us to the cozy Kiss the Cook in downtown Glendale. It's been family owned and operated since the early '80s and has gained a cult following among breakfast starved west-siders who are otherwise condemned to grab their eggs and biscuits at large, faceless corporate chains.   

​If you're seeking sleek modern decor, keep driving. KTC is reminiscent of a southern granny's kitchen, with worn wooden floors, hideous floral curtains and woven baskets, china plates, needlepoint pictures and other knickknacks cluttered on every available wall. "This place is so cute, it's like my grandma's attic, mismatching chairs and ugly little floral arrangements," writes Urbanspooner Anne. My dining partner and I took our seats in a smaller back dining room and were greeted with a smile and a basket of tiny carrot muffins.

KTC offers a rotating selection of homemade pies; pumpkin was the seasonal daily special on our visit. After chowing down on tasty huevos rancheros and interesting beef hash, the pie we'd been anticipating finally arrived. It was a small slice, just enough for a few bites, with a bright orange color like fresh scooped pumpkin.

Thumbnail image for ktchuevos.jpg
Mmm... Pie and huevos (insert off-color joke here)
​"Wow," remarked my companion as she swallowed her first bite. "This is really good. It's very light and I suspect it wasn't made with pumpkin in a can!" Coming from a house where all desserts were store-bought, I could understand her sense of wonder and amazement at that revelation.

The pie filling was light and airy, almost whipped in texture. It wasn't sickeningly sweet like some bakery versions. Instead, it had a delicate earthy taste similar to sweet potato pie. Nutmeg and allspice were used sparingly, allowing the pumpkin to take center stage.

The homestyle crust was made up of buttery crumbs that crunched and then melted in my mouth, providing a gentle contrast to the smooth filling. A dollop of fresh whipped cream on top added a finishing touch of sweetness. Really, the only downside of this pumpkin pie was that there wasn't enough. I'm certain that the two of us could've polished off an entire pie given the chance.

Location Info

Kiss the Cook Restaurant

4915 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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