Thursday, August 30, 2012

Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop

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Los Angeles, CA. "Pie" was the word that brought me into the doors of Simple Things: Sandwich and Pie Shop. One three-letter word that began my fixation with wanting everything on the menu. The restaurant sits along the 3rd Street Shopping district, next to a number of eclectic clothing and specialty item stores, cafes, finer dining, and brunch choices. Under this simple awning rests a few white tables and chairs, and inside, as one could guess, is a very simple, clean feel consistent with the shop's name.

Earlier in the day, orders may be taken by the cashier, but when dining in at a later time, just take a seat and the menus will be brought to the table. Staff are friendly, attentive, and open to any and all questions one could ask about the sandwiches, soups, sides, and pies. Yes, it is not JUST a pie shop, nor is it just a sandwich shop. Pies and pastry are located at the front counter, and pay mind to the daily offerings as there may be a new one to try (FYI: pies come in 3 different sizes)! There generally is a "Chef's Specials" menu listed both on their website and the counter, with a fresh sandwich, salad, or soup that may temporarily take the place of another favorite.

Egg Salad Sandwich
Egg Salad Sandwich - was served on pretzel roll, making for an easier decision. The eggs were soft boiled, and the sandwich relied on the yolk to replace the usual creamy texture of an egg salad. Served with the tangy sundried tomato spread and sharp arugula, the sandwich worked in an incredible new way. Who would've thought? 

Fried Chix Sandwich + Roasted Tomato Soup
Fried Chix Sandwich - included a free-range chicken breast, breaded and fried, served between onion foccaccia slices with a light coleslaw, tomato, and tobasco mayonaise. I would readily offer this up as a lighter version of any chicken sandwich compared to many out there. It had a pretty hefty crunch despite its simplicity. The sandwich can be hit or miss, but ordering a full seems to nearly guarantee a moist fry.

Roasted Tomato Soup - thick, hearty, served with a rather large 'crouton', mildly sweet and warms up the core. The order of a cup is more than sufficient.

Reuben Sandwich
Reuben Sandwich - I have had this only a few times before, and never really came across a standout until I tried it here. The corned beef was tender, not chewy. The sauerkraut wasn't tart, but just a light pickling. The rest (swiss, dijon, mayo on rye) was the ideal blend of the 'right' ingredients. 

Tuna Melt


Tuna Melt - What makes for a good tuna melt? Frankly this isn't one of my stronger areas of interest. This version is served with tomato, fontina and manchego cheeses on toasted rye. The taste was mild and the absence of any discerning flavors was a bit odd to me - for it being tuna and all. It could have used a little kick.

Portabella Mushroom Pot Pie



Portabella Mushroom Pot Pie - a must-try for a PIE shop. Pies are made daily and these certainly aren't excepted from the group. Simply put, it was: heavy-handed with the crust, liberal with the cream, and hearty with the individual portion, not incredibly salty and the mushrooms were served tender. The shop also offers a Steak and Lager, BBQ Pulled Pork, Free-Range Chicken, and Chicken Curry versions to try.

Sausage Benedict
Sausage Benedict over Brioche with Fingerling Potatoes - perfectly poached eggs atop sausage and caramelized onions smothered in a sage hollandaise sauce, resting on a toasted brioche. The flavors smoothly combined for this savory eat and the potatoes were a mere afterthought (that I happily dipped into what remained of the sauce).

Chocolate Silk Pie



Chocolate Silk Pie - a dollop of whipped cream, a creamy chocolate mousse-like filling, bits of chocolate...questions? 

Salted Caramel Pie - is worthy of a mention. It tastes of a salted caramel taffy in a graham cracker crumble crust. If the particular candy is commonly enjoyed, this pie will come in with high marks!

Cherry Pie


Cherry Pie - was a small bite of sweet memories. The pie brought me home, tempting the palate to order the larger version. I'm a fan of crust and crumble, so the little confection worked well. Neither were terribly sweet and the cherry center was of a cobbler mind.

Banana Cream Pie


Banana Cream Pie - ever have banana pudding? Now imagine it with a graham cracker crust. The pie in not-so-subtle form, conveyed why a good banana pudding works well: sweet, creamy, crunchy, airy, etc. Compared to my grandmother's version it pales, but this still hit the spot, along with its purposefully placed banana slice.

The number of times I have come to Simple Things far outweighs the number of pictures posted to this site. There is much I could say but the food speaks quite well for itself. For a variation of southern comfort, homestyle classics, and a take on tradition, this place comes highly recommended. Order a full sandwich or do a 50/50 option and try two things in one go! This eatery has quickly become my usual spot for a cup of coffee or a consistently good meal.

Simple Things
Sandwich and Pie Shop
8310 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 592-3390
www.simplethingsrestaurant.com

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