Serious Eats: Sweets
Street Food Profiles: The Piecycle in Seattle
"They're made with love, and biked to you."
What's on the menu? It changes weekly. Whatever I feel like making. Recently it was Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie and Vegan Choco-Peanut Butter (other flavors have included Vegan Apple Pie and Georgia Sweet Potato). I try to do at least one vegan flavor, and otherwise try to keep the flavors seasonal and if possible made using local ingredients. The cost is $3 per slice, or $20 for a full pie.
Hours and location? Anywhere in the University District of Seattle, Friday and Saturday evenings until 3 a.m., sometimes Sundays too. As for location, I come to you! It's delivery by the slice: I have my cell phone, and people text me requests. I have been called the "Jimmy John's of Pie."
How long have you been street-fooding? Since fall of 2010.
Why mobile over brick and mortar? I like riding my bike, and I don't have the capital to own a brick and mortar location. Plus, pie is better enjoyed in the comfort of your home or wherever you choose.
Describe a typical piecycle evening. I bake my pies in advance, then people will text me and I will bring them pie. I'm currently selling five to seven pies per weekend on average.
What do you do the rest of the time? School for theater and art, so I paint and act. I just got three paintings into the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. Art, theatre, and pies.
Is it hard riding uphill on your pie bike? It gets difficult when I have two whole pies in my bag, but now that the weather is cold it's kind of nice. And luckily I live uphill from everyone, so my journey is downhill.
What makes your food special? The unique pie crust, which is dangerously decadent—more butter than in a standard pie crust. Also, when possible, I grind my own spices. Most importantly, they're made with love, and biked to you. That's big.
What's your favorite spot to vend? The University of Washington dorms. I'm becoming something of a Sasquatch there. People don't really believe that there's a guy delivering pies. I don't mind being a mythical character.
Who has inspired you food-wise? Alton Brown, that's a big one, and my friends. Maria Friedman of the now-closed Curio Confections, and my friend Maria Clifford who helped me learn how to bake pie, and a slew of other friends.
Favorite comfort food? Biscuits and gravy at Wayward Cafe.
What are some of your favorite Seattle street food vendors? At the farmer's markets, the guys who make the vegetable quesadillas that are more vegetable than cheese—my piecycle money from Friday goes to them on Saturday. I admire just about every other street vendor though, because it's unique in that you're bearing the elements.
Advice for aspiring vendors? If you're going to do something, just do it. You can always say "oh I could do that". So why not just do it? You never know if it will fail until you try.