Dining Review: For the love of pi; eatery's fare a homage to the popular food

By Robin Intemann Updated: March 2, 2017 at 11:12 am • Published: March 1, 2017 0
photo - 3.14 Sweet and Savory PI Bar "Not So Gringo Pork Green Chili Pot PI" - You don't have to cross the border to enjoy our authentic pork roasted green chili piled into our flaky buttery crust. Thursday February 23, 2014.  Photo by Jeff Kearney.
3.14 Sweet and Savory PI Bar "Not So Gringo Pork Green Chili Pot PI" - You don't have to cross the border to enjoy our authentic pork roasted green chili piled into our flaky buttery crust. Thursday February 23, 2014. Photo by Jeff Kearney.

Math isn't my thing, but I'm still intrigued by pi, the number that starts with 3.14., because it relates so well to pie, the pastry.

Apparently, 3.14 Sweet & Savory Pi Bar owner Carma Barr, felt the same way - at least about pies.

She gave up her career with the Department of Defense and returned to Colorado Springs, her hometown, to try something different. She's found a niche with the 3.14 angle. She said in her travels around the world, there were always pies in some form: handheld, sweet, savory or by the slice.

The recipe for the crust comes from Barr's grandmother. It did require adjustments when making pies en masse. Ultimately, it was decided the quality was better if only six crusts were made at a time instead of, say, 50 or even 20. The details are truly in the crust, each of which is hand rolled.

The buttery, flaky crusts are visually impressive, but when atop fillings for the pot pies (known on-site as Pot Pi's) they are lip-smacking good. The menu features seven variations, although typically only three are offered daily.

3.14 Sweet and Savory PI Bar "Steak and Drunken Mushroom Pot PI" - Tender beef, Crimini mushrooms and onions in a rich, savory red wine gravy. Thursday February 23, 2014. Photo by Jeff Kearney. 

On my visit the choices were Steak and Drunken Mushroom and the Not So Gringo Pork Green Chili ($10 each) Other daily options include soup, quiche and sammie. For those interested in lighter fare, the Pi Bar offers hand pi's. These are large turnovers ($5 each; two for $9) and ours were filled with chicken, pesto and mozzarella cheese.

Everything is made on-site and each menu item features a clever name highlighting either the ingredients or the 3.14 aspect.

The Steak and Drunken Mushroom pot pie gets its name from the red wine that not only flavors the Crimini mushrooms, but also tenderizes the beef so it's fork-tender.

The Not So Gringo Pork Green Chili is a bit of misnomer. It doesn't require swigs of beer to drown any heat, but the fall-apart chunks of pork are tasty. Although 3.14 does have a good selection of Colorado craft beers.

Even though they weren't offered the day of my visit, I hope the Rosemary's Baby and Julia Child will be available next time. The former is made with hand-pulled, slow-roasted chicken, baby peas and carrots in a white wine and rosemary sauce. The latter is just what you'd expect for something with Child's name: beef bourguignon. According to the menu, the beef simmers for hours.

3.14 Sweet and Savory PI Bar "California Dreamin' Salad Sammie" - Lightly toasted bacon and Cheddar flatbread topped with mixed greens, tomato and avocado drizzled with Ranch or Cilantro Lime dressing. Thursday February 23, 2014. Photo by Jeff Kearney. 

Salad Sammies ($10) combine salad ingredients wrapped in flatbread. Our California Dreamin' boasted mixed greens, tomato and avocado drizzled with cilantro lime dressing. The flatbread was made with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. The overall effect made for a refreshing entree.

We knew we needed to have dessert. Heck, the pie case is the first thing you seen upon entering. The pies, too, have imaginative names: some requiring explanation. The Nutty Professor, for example, eluded us. Our server happily explained it's like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in pie form. We also weren't sure about the BBB Pecan. This is a black bottom bourbon pecan pie.

Although it was a difficult decision from among the half-dozen or so choices, we selected the latter. The perfect bites included the thin layer of chocolate on the bottom crust with the bourbon/pecan filling. Some pecan pies can be cloyingly sweet, but this rendition was spot on. Slices are $6, and whole pies are available, but it's best to order these in advance.

Did you know that pi refers to the ratio of a pie's - I mean circle's - circumference to the diameter? The owner picked the perfect name.

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