Pie for Breakfast at Two Fat Cats in Portland, ME

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[Photograph: Liz Bomze]

I'd happily end every day with a slice of fresh-baked pie, but if I really had my druthers I'd start the day with one, too. Pie for breakfast is an amenity I got attached to last year when I was in Chicago; three out of the five mornings I spent there I was at either Hoosier Mama Pie Company or Bang Bang Pie, both of which serve pie by the slice starting early in the day.

I thought it might be only a Midwest treat until I noticed a small sign at Two Fat Cats in Portland, which is quite possibly the best pie bakery in New England. They offer pie and a cup of coffee for breakfast ($3.75)—or, I suppose, any time of day. Naturally, I was back the very next morning, and was pumped to learn that they'll cut you a slice of whatever fruit pies they've got available that day. (The only catch is that if you're ordering multiple slices, they must be cut from the same pie.) Minutes later, I was parked at the teeny tiny bistro table they have crammed between the staircase and a speed rack, digging into a slice of sour cherry. The tart red fruit, which is enhanced with a touch of almond, perfectly counters the flaky, lightly sweet butter-shortening crust.