Friday, January 4, 2013

314Pie food truck -- Aussie pies on wheels

                         January 3, 2013
Savory pies to go.

People have been selling food on the streets for as long as there were streets. Food trucks take it to the next logical level. Why hawk your wares on a corner when you can find another corner with no competition and bigger crowds?

It’s not quite so simple these days as harnessing the donkey to the cart and plodding off. There are health departments, and tax collectors, business licenses, and food suppliers to please and pay off. Not to mention letting your fans know which street corner you’re at today through FaceBook, Twitter, and blogs.

Last summer, Casey Cooper and Deke Kotrla got started on their Seattle version of Aussie pies with 314Pie in Seattle. By November of 2012, they were driving their brilliantly blue converted van (unmissable against Seattle’s too-often gray skies) and selling out their savory and sweet pies to hungry crowds.

The pies themselves belong to a tradition as ancient as food vendors. Call them pasties, Cornish pies, calzones, pierogies, dumplings, tiropitas, burritos, tamales, samosas, wraps – most cultures that have breads have figured out a way to wrap dough around something tasty to make a portable meal. Wheat flour lends itself especially well to encasing foods. The stretchy gluten networks formed by wheat when it meets water mean tender crusts that don’t overwhelm the fillings with dense or tough outer walls.

Deke and Casey have been experimenting with the pies favored by Aussies and New Zealanders. For the holidays, their goose, apple and walnut pie captured the season. In the new year, vegetarians get mac and cheese with peas, or black-eyed peas and greens based on Deke’s Southern heritage,. The black-eyed peas bring good luck for the New Year; carnivores can get them with the traditional ham hock. More 2013 pies include steak and onion or steak and mushroom pies that feature local grass-fed beef. Mac and cheese with pancetta show an Italian touch. Earlier in the year they had minestrone pie, vegetable curry, and pork and peach, and they continue to experiment with locally-sourced ingredients and different cuisines. The sweet offerings to start off the year include apple and caramel pie, walnut butterscotch, cinnamon fries, and chocolate chip cookies.

Check out their current menus, and their daily schedule, and try some soon.

314Pie at South Lake Union.

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