Hartley’s Pork Pies is a Rhode Island secret treasure; “The Great British Baking Show” wishes they could make pork pies this perfect.
Located in an unassuming building in Lincoln, they’re only open Wed through Sat from 7am (8am on Saturdays) until the pies run out. This could be early or could be late, so if you really want one (or ten) call ahead to reserve.
Naturally, we asked for a press tour, which is when Dan Doire, whose family has owned the business since 1995 crossed his arms and said, “Nope. Nobody sees in the back.”
We prodded and pried, but Doire was firm. He wasn’t giving any hints about what goes into those savory crisp-crust pies. And maybe that’s for the best. Because something that tastes this good has to be bad for you.
If you’re looking for other exceptional pies of the sweet or the savory variety, PVD Pies in Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village has been serving them up since mid-pandemic. A tiny showcase with a ginormous kitchen behind it, PVD Pies took over where the Duck & Bunny baking used to happen (that treasured snuggery has been on indefinite hiatus while their building on Wickenden St is torn down and rebuilt). D & B owner Dan Becker extended the use of the facility to Gina Herlihy, who had been bartending at sister-bar Ogie’s Trailer Park but dreaming of pies.
She chased that dream, brought on help from Maia Pons, and now produces a limited selection five days a week, along with pies-to-order and pie kits you can simply bake at home. “I started with my grandmother’s recipes for Chicken Pot Pie and Apple Pie,” says Herlihy, “But people have really taken to many of the others, like the chocolate cream pie — Maia’s a wizard with pudding, and it tastes so very different, so much better, when it’s homemade.” Other top pies include the savory Chicken Broccoli Alfredo and the sweet Blueberry Crumble.
All pies make great seasonal gifts or gift certificates.
Hartley’s Pork Pies, 871 Smithfield Ave, Lincoln, RI, (401) 726-1295
Note: The first Hartley’s store, “Hartley’s Original Pork Pies,” founded in 1902, is at 1729 S Main St, Fall River. And there’s another at 1165 County St, Somerset, MA 02726. All three stores use the same pie presses, but have different owners and slightly different recipes.
PVD Pies in Hope Artiste Village in the main concourse, right next to vintage clothing store Back of the Closet, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket, Suite #8208. fb.com/PVDPies