After receiving an intriguing tip, Bwog sent pie-enthusiast Tatini Mal-Sarkar (and a few pie-lovin’ companions) on a mission to find out about Columbia’s newest delivery service.
Delivery in New York is rarely disappointing, at the very least with variety if not quality. But until now, one particular corner of the market has not been addressed: pies. We recently received a tip for Mama Pies, a newly instituted (as of this year) pie delivery service from the hours of 8pm to 1am.
Now if you’re anything like us, the two highest pleasures of this beautiful, fleeting world are 1) delivery and 2) dessert. So Mama Pies was literally made to fill one of the most profound voids in our bleak, empty souls.
Mama Pies offers two distinct types of pie, Mama Ivy – blueberry cream cheese lemon – and Mama Janice – spiced and candied pecan sweet potato pie. They’re mini pies (side note: we were not aware of this and were shocked by the bargain until the little clompers in all of their 3” glory stared us in the face) and are fairly perfectly sized for a
drunk midnight snack.
The sweet potato was recommended warm, and so we dutifully (nothing if not obedient when it comes to pie) heated it up. The pie surface was inlaid with three candied pecans in a strangely nostalgia-inducing fashion; we are happy to report they were as tasty as they were reminiscent of our youths. The pie was also solid, a little heavier than its counterpart, the Mama Ivy. Despite a general lack of enthusiasm for sweet potato pie, the Mama Janice was still very much enjoyed for its “autumnal flavor.”
The clear favorite, though, was Mama Ivy. Topped with fresh blueberries and sauce, the pie featured an optimal blueberry to lemon flavor, and the cream cheese brought a much-needed thickness of consistency. Rich and velvety, it was a delight to the tongue and to the senses as a whole. Though both the blueberry and lemon components were scrumptious on their own, the key to ideal consumption was getting a large enough bite that managed to convey both blueberry and lemon.
Our only real complaint was the crust, which, though nicely thick, was dry and a big tough to cut. The solution, one sage pie-ponderer decided, was to take the entire thing in hand and eat it in one go, like an Insomnia cookie, or a slice of Koronets at 4. Alas, this conclusion was not drawn until not enough pie remained. Ah, well. Another day, another pie.
As the service requires personal pickup from the lounge, we were beyond excited to finally meet the human of the hour, that mysterious stranger solving so many existential crises for five hours Friday nights. Imagine our surprise to see a lone student roll up to us with pie-carrying cart in hand.
Believe it or not, Mama Pies is actually just the pet project of one Barnard senior. Katy Lasell, BC ’15, started the business with nothing but a love of baking and business. “Honestly, I love cooking, and I really wanted to see what it’d be like to run a small business on campus,” said the ex-Joe’s employee. Her favorite part about working at Joe’s? Serving people and getting to know them on a one-on-one basis. True to form, the service is conducted via text and includes a follow-up text checking up on pie quality.
The question, of course, is the name. What does “Mama Pies” mean? Is it a simple hearkening to homemade pie? Is it marketing to homesick freshmen? Is it a complex metaphor for everything we read in Lit Hum and CC, combined? (Un)fortunately not. Said Lasell, “The idea is taking recipes from women I admire.”
Though one of the pies is borrowed from and named for the requisite great aunt (Mama Ivy, if you were wondering), Mama Janice is named for a homeless woman who once took Lasell to dinner. Sweet potato pie was her favorite kind of pie. Women and food? Sounds like the only things we’ve ever really cared about.
For something that seems like a bit of a pet project, it’s certainly one that’s growing. Lasell said she was open to starting a pop-up shop. At present, it’s a lot of her friends ordering pies, but she thinks it’ll expand pretty soon. As for the menu, that’s another part that’s still growing. If you’ve got any good recipes, Lasell urges you to send them on. Of all the
weird creative things people do around here this one sure takes the cake pie.
Pies can be ordered by texting (617) 645-5122 and are $4-5.