LMNO'Pies surprised me in front of the Anchor Bank building at the corner of West Main and South Carroll.
November is an unusual time for a food cart to make its debut on the Capitol Square; this is normally the season when the carts start packing up and leaving. That's not in the cards for the new LMNO'Pie's cart -- plans are to keep selling throughout the winter. And what better time of year for this hearty and heartwarming fare?
Three varieties of pasty and two quiches form the backbone of the cart's menu, drawn from, but much smaller than, the menu at LMNO'Pies bricks-and-mortar location in Fitchburg. Four dollars buys a good-sized pasty in either ground beef, chicken cheddar and bacon, or veggie; and just $1.50 a miniature quiche in its own pie plate.
Back from the dentist on Monday, I was looking for some soft-ish comfort food. LMNO'Pies surprised me in front of the Anchor Bank building at the corner of West Main and South Carroll; it was its first day in operation. I ordered an asparagus-tomato-Swiss quiche, a veggie pasty, and a "pie bite," which looks like a diminutive knish.
The quiche was mellow; the asparagus-Swiss combo wouldn't, obviously, pack a lot of punch and its flavors were somewhat overshadowed by the crust. But at $1.50 each, that's not really a big deal. It was a good snack, more of an appetizer than an entree.
The veggie pasty was also mellow -- and mighty tasty. This might just as well be billed as a pot pie pocket. It was much less heavy, and less cheesy, than Myles Teddywedgers version of the same, and the lighter touch was most welcome considering all that (delectable! rich!) crust.
I would have sworn the interior veggies consisted of carrots, corn and broccoli in a light basil sauce, but the cart's menu states the ingredients are spinach, mushrooms, red peppers, green peppers, carrots, cheddar and swiss cheese in an "herb sauce." The interior went heavy on the corn kernels, as a matter of fact, so I'm positive I didn't hallucinate the corn -- even if I was loaded up on Novocain. In fact I liked the corn, and I appreciated the absence of that pasty staple, potatoes. It didn't particularly bother me that the veggies weren't as billed, because the veggie blend that was there hit just the right notes. But it is puzzling. My only complaint about the pasty was that the bottom crust kind of melded with the waxed paper it was wrapped in when it was heated.
I finished my comforting but doughheavy lunch with a pie bite ($1.50) which come in peach, apple, and cherry. I ordered peach, but I think I ended up with apple. It was wonderfully spiced, like mulled cider, but the ratio of dough to fruit was off. Needs less dough, or more fruit.
Also on the menu: muffins (blueberry or cherry, $2.25), cookies (50 cents), foccacia ($1.50), and a mushroom-swiss quiche.
Hit: The pasty. It's a good value and will be most welcome when the winds once again turn bitter. I will return to try out the other two varieties, and for that matter, see what other vegetables turn up in the veggie version. Miss: The menu needs something to balance all the dough -- a green salad, or fruit, would be appreciated.