I get really excited about pies. It's the perfect dessert for just about any occasion or mood. A Dora Pie recently opened in Berkeley, providing the East Bay with a new option for freshly baked goods. Chef-owner Christopher Blue (who also owns Chocolatier Blue) offers a sweet and savory (coming soon) menu showcasing pies, cookies and meringues prepared using seasonal, often locally sourced organic ingredients. For the preceding four years this venue was home to Slow Restaurant.
Patrick and I went to visit A Dora Pie to try a few slices as guests of the house. I instantly fell in love the moment I walked in. The space was bright, charming and welcoming, very casual. The desserts on display looked almost pornographic. The baker on duty, Rose, was super sweet and helpful, explaining some of the unique components of the pies we were interested in.
All menu items are house made and there are both dine-in and takeout options. Currently, drink options are limited to milk and Flying Goat coffee. Beginning in the next month or so, there will be select California wines by the glass and bottle, plus local micro-brews. I can't think of a better pairing than a savory pie and beer. You can expect pie slices to cost $7 for a good-sized portion and whole pies to be $35. The cookies and meringues are $3 each.
For those who are curious, the name A Dora Pie is inspired from Chef Blue's wife's grandmother, who was named Dora. The name of the shop honors her love for baking.
The Pie Review
We decided to taste the apple, chocolate velvet, lemon meringue and banana cream pie. All the pies were lovely in its own way and tasted so damn good. Here's a review of each one.
Lemon Meringue Pie
That meringue topping roped me into getting a slice of this pie. The lemon curd was jelly-like and a bit on the heavy side, but melted in your mouth. The lemon taste was balanced very well, not too sour or sweet.
The pie crust is on the thick and crunchy side for most of the pies we sampled. I thought it was tasty, but would like to see a flakier crust option in the future.
Madagascar Chocolate Silk Pie
If you love chocolate, this rich and decadent pie will not disappoint you. The texture of the filling is fluffy and tastes like silky chocolate mousse with a bit of salt. I liked it and thought it was very unique. It was the heaviest pie in comparison to the rest we tried - I wouldn't have been able to finish a slice in one sitting.
Banana Cream Pie
The banana cream pie was a favorite for both of us. Patrick says it reminds him of his family's banana pudding. The filling was so velvety and smooth. The creamy banana custard is wonderful. This is the kind of pie that you don't want to share with anyone else.
Apple Crumb Pie
The apple pie comes in as our second favorite. We loved the crumble top and the chunky apples. It wasn't syrupy, but moist. I enjoyed the small bit of tartness from the apples. It's a lovely pie packed with a lot of flavor.
I've been thinking about A Dora Pie since our visit and I'm already planning a trip back to try their savory pie options. Our tasting was complimentary, but we'd gladly pay $7 a slice for a pie made with attention to detail and high quality ingredients.
A Dora Pie is a great new addition to Berkeley and I'm happy that we have a new dessert option to choose from.
Thanks so much for having us, A Dora Pie!
VISITING A DORA PIE
1966 University Ave Berkeley, CA 94704
- Monday - Saturday: 11am-7pm