Monday, January 13, 2014


Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

click to enlarge It's just cold enough to justify puff pie for lunch. - JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko Cahill
  • It's just cold enough to justify puff pie for lunch.

Let's talk about your last chicken pot pie. Was it frozen? Be honest. It's not your fault — those Stouffer's commercials make their sandy-crusted flying saucers seem like a homecoming, with the family around the table, the rising steam … They never show the lonely person peering into the oven window or the tragic tongue-burn that makes a rubbery cube of what was once poultry even more bland.

While not strictly a potpie, the Chicken Puff Pie at Arcata's Cafe Brio would never do that to you ($11.85). The meat is tender, roasty chicken in a creamy sauce — that is, made with cream that you can taste and revel in, not gelatinous fake gravy — a little white wine, carrots, meaty mushrooms and potatoes. The stewy goodness runneth over from a buttery puff pastry "crown" with a hole punched out of the top layer. Hence the little pillbox hat on top. Because once you're having something rich, why not have it on what amounts to a croissant? Those fuschia rings on the salad are pickled onion, not beets — a nice tart something to balance things out. And see? All those lonely feelings are gone.
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About The Author

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

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