Trevett Hooper wants you to eat dinner at Pie for Breakfast.
Yes, they serve slices of pie. Vinegar pie is the staple, along with two or three rotating selections. And, yes, they serve all-day breakfast — everything from buttermilk pancakes and house-made granola to omelets and cheesy grits. But the menu boasts affordably priced supper options as well.
“It’s fresh, wholesome food made from scratch; something that you might spend all day Sunday making at home,” Hooper says. “There’s a lot to choose from depending on your mood.”
On a recent Friday, the daily, 10-buck specials included either a four oz. pork chop with spiced applesauce or a meatloaf made from pork and beef in a plum barbecue sauce with a choice of three sides.
Other popular items are the chopped lamb steak and cucumber yogurt, tempeh braised with sauerkraut and tomatoes and salt-rising bread — a somewhat stinky slice that’s leavened by naturally occurring bacteria rather than by yeast.
“It’s really rare for a diner to be making its own bread with this highly fragile process,” Hooper explains. “It’s what gives us this underlying energy and excitement to the food here; letting go and allowing these wild things to creep in while still keeping the menu approachable.”
Day or night, it’s an interesting and tasty menu. On a recent morning, repeat customer Heidi Tucker ordered a hearty salad with hard-boiled egg, chevre, pickled beets, apples, tomatoes and radishes drizzled with honey-champagne vinaigrette at 10 a.m.
“It’s one of my favorite things,” she explains. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Butterjoint and Legume. Now I’m really excited for this place to be there.”
Pie for Breakfast was on the back burner in Hooper’s mind ever since Legume, his heralded farm-to-table restaurant, debut in 2007. He and his wife, Sarah, had hoped to open the doors to the diner in 2016, but red tape and a complete renovation — the space once served as a dentist’s office — took more time than the couple anticipated.
June 1, 2018 was the official grand opening. For the first few months, the eatery remained closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but starting on Labor Day it became a seven-days-a-week operation.
Business has been booming during breakfast and lunch. Hooper hopes to draw the dinner and late-night crowds by hiring more staff members so his chefs can concoct new recipes and by promoting the surprising fact that this elevated “greasy spoon” diner serves alcohol starting at 7 a.m.
In addition to a wide selection of bottled beers and six rotating taps, Pie for Breakfast has wine and a variety of spritz drinks made with prosecco, plus mules mixed with house-made ginger beer and other cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Amanda Schaffner, who is in charge of booze at Butterjoint, too.
Hospital workers coming off the night shift often pop in for a cold one, we’re told — a mug filled with beer is just $3 on Thursdays, select bottles are discounted on Tuesdays and six-packs are always available for takeout.
Morning, noon or night, Hooper hopes customers keep coming back for unique and nutritious treats.
“The reason I became a farm-to-table chef is because I value our connection with food and how it brings people together at the table,” he says. “Eating this way shouldn’t only happen on a special occasion. It should happen in our lives on a regular basis.”