Last fall, Rachel Pennington graced the cover of the Edible Blue Ridge culinary magazine. “Kitchen Ink” was the title of the story and it was about chefs around Charlottesville, their stories, and their tattoos. A smiling Pennington showed the camera a beautifully engraved peach near her elbow, artwork to remind her of when her peach cobbler was featured in USA Today and The Boston Globe. She has many more food related tattoos that truly represent her passion for baking.
At Pie Chest they make from scratch fresh and seasonal traditional American pies, both sweet and savory. Pennington leads the project, trying to recreate her taste memories from baking with both of her grandmothers. “The best things in food are usually simple. Few ingredients but ones with integrity, made completely from scratch by hand. Something savory or sweet, made with love, served with care and enjoyed. Those are our values,” she proudly says.
The glass pastry case at the shop always looks amazing, full of mouthwatering, freshly baked pies. Most of the tart options change with the season: berries and peaches in summer, pumpkin in fall, and nuts and citrus in winter. But they also have some signature pies that remain all year long such as chocolate silk, apple, lemon chess, or Pennington’s specialty: the peanut butter pie. Along with portions of delicious pies, you can order a coffee and tea from their partner Lone Light Coffee.
We recommend the bestselling Whiskey Jar chocolate chip pie that pairs amazingly with Bourbon Vanilla ice cream. And for savory, try the chicken, bacon, and roasted garlic. Vegan and gluten-free options are available as well, at least one each day in savory and sweet.
It is possible they many not have your favorite pie, but it is the perfect place to try something new. As the menu says: “It’s pie… how bad could it be!”
Phone: (434) 977-0443
Hours: Mon-Thu 8am-6pm. Fri-Sat 8am-8pm. Sun 10am-4pm
Text&Photo: Edu Bayer