Fayetteville Pie Company Review:
Pete’s mom passed away about five months after Pete and I started dating. She left behind her marinara sauce recipe – both literally and figuratively. Pete chased her around the kitchen once, writing down each ingredient and step, making sure to preserve it. A few years after she passed away, he used her recipe to start his small batch marinara sauce business.
His mom did write a few down, and we were lucky to get two of them. I scanned them and used them to create tea towels for Pete and his dad.
I wanted to tell this story to Leslie Pearson, who co-owns the Fayetteville Pie Company (253 Westwood Shopping Center) with her husband Justin, but I didn’t get the chance. She would have appreciated it.
See, the Fayetteville Pie Company in Fayetteville, NC is about more than pies. Yes, they sell pies. And yes, they’re delicious. But we’ll get to that. We need to start at the heart of the Fayetteville Pie Company … and it’s not the crust.
On the back wall of the shop, there are frames filled with vintage photos and handwritten recipes that Leslie received when her grandmother passed away. One of those photos is Leslie’s great-grandmother who is in a photo holding a pick ax, building the house that Leslie’s grandmother grew up in.
Can we pause for a minute and appreciate that?
I use a shovel to plant a garden, grow a couple dozen tomatoes, and I think I’m incredibly impressive. But Leslie’s great-grandmother built a house.
That photo isn’t the only one on the wall. There’s Leslie’s father as a child with his siblings, Leslie’s grandmother, and then some people who Leslie couldn’t exactly identify. But they’re still on the wall because, as she puts it (and as I paraphrase), they’re somehow part of her and she’s somehow part of them. Their stories are intertwined, even if she doesn’t know exactly how.
Food and family is part of the story that connects them. And food is part of the story that connects Fayetteville Pie Company to its customers.
Back to the house Leslie’s great-grandma built. That house in rural Missouri is where Leslie’s grandma grew up. Eventually, Leslie’s dad moved his family onto the same street and a house filled of cousins was close by. So, grandma, as grandmas do, would cook one-pot wonders for everyone. Any leftovers were baked into a savory pie. So savory pies weren’t foreign to Leslie.
To many people, they are (with the exception of a chicken pot pie). So when we went to the Fayetteville Pie Company, we had to try all the savory pies on the menu.
That’s three. Each day, the Fayetteville Pie Company serves three savory and three sweet pies. The savory pies are 6″ deep dish pot pies for $10 each and the sweet pies are 4.5″ pies for $4 each.
The menu changes frequently, with over 70 open-face pies in total. The chefs have free reign to test new recipes in the kitchen and put together creative creations.
You can check out the restaurant’s Instagram or website to see that day’s offerings.
On the day we visited, we had Swedish Meatballs (beef meatballs and green beans in gravy, baked, then topped with crunchy onions and egg noodles … which very photogenically pop out of the top of the pie); Caprese Galette (tomatoes, sausage, peppers, olives, onions, zucchini, and three cheeses); and — my favorite savory pie of the day — Bourbon Chicken (chicken, peppers, and onions, with a mix of Asian sauces, topped with Jasmine rice, cheese, green onions, and sesame seeds).
Of course, we saved room for dessert.
We had the prettiest pie I’ve ever seen: Blueberry Vanilla Swirl (vanilla yogurt mixed with blueberries and served on a blueberry cookie crust with a handmade chocolate candy on top); Berry Beloved (four berries topped with an oatmeal streusel and whipped cream); and my favorite bite of the day: Nutella Mousse (chocolate hazelnut mousse layered with banana pudding on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust, topped with whipped cream).
You can purchase a savory and sweet pie as a pair, but they’re not like a wine paring where you choose a savory pie to go with a sweet. They’re placed on the menu by theme (Thanksgiving in June; Christmas in July), at random, or sometimes by request.
Fayetteville is a military town, with many residents deploying often. So there are times when someone will come to Fayetteville Pie Company and kindly ask for a specific pie to be put on the menu so he or she can enjoy it before deployment. Of course, these requests can’t always be handled, but Leslie will try when she can. Because she and Justin are former military. Leslie was a photojournalist in the Army, which explains the amazing photographs of pies that hang throughout the restaurant.
I should call it restaurant-slash-theater. In January, the two-storied Fayetteville Pie Company would serve lunch during the day, then transform into a dinner theater at night, performing Sweeney Todd for three weeks.
That makes a lot of sense if you know the plot of Sweeney Todd: He’s a barber who kills his victims, then brings them to a pie shop, where they’re baked into pies.
Being able to transform the restaurant has also given way to it becoming a unique wedding venue. Fayetteville Pie Company was born out of Vizcaya Villa, the wedding venue and catering service the Pearsons also own. So it would make sense that Fayetteville Pie Company would get into weddings since, well, it already was.
Plus, people are looking for unique wedding ideas. So having it at a pie shop, and perhaps serving pies instead of a traditional wedding cake, that’s something that will stick in wedding guests’ memories long after the wedding is over.
Just like the Nutella Mousse pie is stuck in my head long after our lunch.