On our way back to Minnesota from Ohio, we stopped at a place that had been recommended by several people here in Grand Portage: Betty’s Pies. Just north of Two Harbors, about an hour from Duluth, it is a “world famous” restaurant and pie shop.
There were plenty of people eating at Betty’s Pies the days we were there. We had just gone grocery shopping and still had two hours to home, so we made a quick stop and ordered some takeout.
I ordered a roast beef pasty. In case you are unfamiliar with pasties, they are a meat hand pie – like a calzone but with a Cornwall twist. They are a pie crust filled with meat, potatoes, onions, and rutabaga. I had never had one until a couple of years ago when we did a Habitat for Humanity build in Michigan. In this part of the world they are known as an Upper Peninsula dish, but are popular at restaurants in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota – especially along Lake Superior. They are pretty bland (which I like) so they are best with some sauce or topping. I like to dip it in ketchup, but some people like spicy gravy or barbecue sauce on them. The pasty from Betty’s Pies was excellent: a flaky crust with the inside ingredients steaming hot. Here is a link to a recipe that is similar.
But, of course, you don’t go to Betty’s Pies unless you want to get some pie. There were 21 flavors of pies for sale the day we were there. The pie menu varies seasonally and often daily. Their signature pie is a 5 layer chocolate with dark chocolate, cinnamon meringue, whipped cream and chocolate whipped cream. It is their most popular pie, so we had to try some of that. Tom ordered a slice of the caramel apple and I got a slice of bumbleberry (mixed berry) pie. We also picked up a whole bumbleberry pie for the “pie social” at work which had been my excuse to stop there.
Tom “ummmmm”ed his way through the slice of caramel apple. I had a hard decision to make: 5 layer chocolate or bumbleberry. At first I thought I might have one for lunch and one for supper, but I finally settled on the bumbleberry and gave away the piece of 5 layer chocolate. Ummmmmm. It was delicious! It would have been even better warm and with ice cream on top, but when you have to drive two hours home from the grocery store you don’t buy ice cream.
The pie was excellent and makes me want to think of excuses for driving to Two Harbors and Betty’s Pies again. Only this time we will go to the pie store first – that way we can have a little lunch with our pie!