When it comes to breakfast, the Portland State Farmers Market has options. Paper thin crepes? Sure. Stuffed biscuits with bacon or fried chicken, absolutely. And when it comes to pie, there’s much to choose from. There’s no need to be overwhelmed though, here are some places to start.
Who: Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
Petunia’s has been around since last year’s market, and they’re no hidden secret by now. Their gluten free and vegan pastries have become so popular in such a short amount of time that they’re now available at grocery stores around Portland as well, such as Whole Foods. With pastry chef Keri on board (formerly of pastry professionals Papa Haydn’s) aiding owner Lisa Clark, these are women who know their sweets
Slice to get: Vegan Bumble Pie, $4.75
With a thick, jammy mixture of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, the Bumble Pie is sweet without going over the top. The crust, made from oats, is slightly reminiscent of honey-kissed granola.
Who: Queen of Hearts
Owner Molly Thurston Parker hasn’t been in Portland for long, but she is already a huge fan of the baking scene. “There’s no competition between bakers here, everyone’s here to help each other out,” she says. Five years ago, Thurston was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and turned to her Louisiana kitchen to cope. She concocted a recipe for a savory crust to make handpies, and soon after developed a sweet version. Her pies, which come frozen in packs of two, are simple and beautiful. Her flavors range from black bean and pepper jack cheese to apricot hazelnut. Each pack comes with heating instructions on a personal note that captures her Southern charm, and can be found at her stand each weekend.
Slice to get: Nutella handpie, $7.50 for two
Who doesn’t want to start their day with a mouthful of Nutella? The creamy inside is housed by a soft crust sparsely dotted with thick sugar crystals. If savory is more your style, go for the black bean and pepper jack, which finds its place somewhere between an empanada and a calzone with a subtle heat from the cheese.
Who: Lauretta Jean’s
“Oh, we’re all butter, all gluten,” owner Kate McMillen tells me proudly of her pies. And she has a lot to brag about. McMillen’s stand, which was named after her grandmother whom she used to bake with, has a glass case to mimic the feel of a real pastry shop. She sells pies in every size from sliders to galettes to cuties to standard slices. Her sweet flavors change constantly, recently with everything from chocolate crème to latticed rhubarb, and she offers to heat your slice on chilly mornings or accompany it with a slice of ice cream if you wish. Yet, definitely the most standout slice I had was the quiche.
Slice to get: Bacon Leek Quiche $4.50
Silky leeks are layered amongst thick-sliced bacon. She isn’t holding back on the pig and be glad she’s not—it’s damn near perfection. The crust for the quiche is studded with fresh herbs, last week it was thyme, which really brings a wonderful addition to an already spectacular slice. Fair warning, if you choose to grab a slice of her quiche for breakfast, you may want to get two—it’s likely you’ll devour it immediately and then fall into sadness when the moment has ended.