Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

Newsmonger: Creative arguments on both sides of the VIA streetcar debate

News: If a petition meant to derail a $280 million streetcar project in downtown San Antonio isn’t successful, two... By Mark Reagan 7/23/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

Cityscrapes: Streetcar squawking is nothing new for SA

News: The increasingly overt and bitter fight over VIA’s proposed downtown modern streetcar should have come as no surprise to anyone knowledgeable about San Antonio... By Heywood Sanders 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Caterer Partridge in a Pie Tree delivers

Photo: Scott Andrews, License: N/A

Scott Andrews

Marshmallow grapefruit pots, Poteet strawberry hand-pies, meat pie en coute, and vegetarian farmers market galette


Raised off the grid (no electricity or telephone) in a log cabin in Arkansas, Tonya Ellen Bates learned the gritty basics of deep-country life at an early age. Her family raised their own food, canned the excess, and celebrated good times with a deep-dish pie. That experience led her to commercial kitchens at age 14, where over the years she picked up the knowledge to teach culinary arts in Seattle. Two years ago Bates moved to San Antonio where she has extended the art of pie (both sweet and savory) in her "brick-and-portal" kitchen, Partridge in a Pie Tree. Lacking a storefront, she takes orders online from a menu that changes weekly, and delivers to your doorstep in 24-to-48 hours.

Last week, the Current placed an order and formed an impromptu jury to judge her pies, and yes, this is one stunt you should try at home.

We ordered two savory pies, and two desserts. With half the editorial crew vegetarian, choosing a meatless entrée was obvious. We went for the veggie version of the farmers market galette. Made with a crust of crème fraiche and cornmeal dough, it was stuffed with two kinds of goat cheese from Wateroak Farm in Robertson County, roasted heirloom tomatoes hydroponically grown by Village Farms in Monahans, spring onions, and arugula, and topped with paper-thin slices of black radishes. Quartet size (feeds 4-8 people), it's priced at $28.

For the carnivores, we ordered the meat pie en croute. Wrapped in a flaky crust made with house-rendered lard, it was jammed with roughly ground pork butt and tongue, mixed with shallots, herbs, spices and cognac, and topped with bacon-like slabs of fatback. The massive pie (like the galette, a "quartet") was covered with a glaze made with San Marzano tomatoes, Korean fermented red peppers and ginger. A generous bag of chicharones (light and airy, not tough and greasy) accompanied the dish. House-made kimchee and a dipping sauce of cheese and whole-seed mustard were in plenty as condiments for the savory pies. The quartet size is $34.

Most (myself included) found the galette sparked with flavor, and the crust soft and toothsome. While one dissenting voice found it "bready" and "a strong [visual] display, but less interesting to eat," others pronounced it "freaking delicious, with a great aftertaste." Two tasters claimed it was like pizza, "a nice blend of dough, cheese, and tomatoes," and ate it finger-style to prove the point. A word of caution, though. After sitting out awhile, the once-soft crust turned brittle and crumbly, a not unlikely change, but something to be conscious of if serving at a drawn-out affair.

The meat pie was tackled only by the serious carnivores on staff. Made with what the menu describes as "humanely raised" Texas pork, it had a strong taste and smell that told us this wasn't bland store-bought meat. All tasters agreed that it was almost gamey in flavor; one declared it "so rich, it's almost decadent." This is a love-it-or hate it dish. If you don't like heavy meat flavors, stay away.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus