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pihole-feature
Written by:
Rayna Jensen
Photographed by:
Alyse Gilbert

Tags: Eat

Map It: 714 Traction Ave


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Gives Thanks To Downtown

Pie, like Thanksgiving, is a moveable feast. It’s formidable for a baked good, able to anchor strangers, small children, and entire families around a single table. One look around The Pie Hole, the Arts District’s by-the-slice shop, is a testament to the pie’s command: in line are kids in soccer jerseys, artists and actors and businessmen, all gathering for the same thing.

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For shop founder Matt Heffner and his mother, Becky, they built their shop on a foundation of family tradition. Becky has won the New Jersey state fair seven times and her family has claim to a giant, multi-generational pie recipe book. If you want a peek at the family secret—sorry, it’s locked in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. But you can still have a bite.

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One of the most-loved slices is the Maple Custard—a rich, creamy pie with a crisp sweetness that tastes like the season LA always seems to skip. Another to try, even if you’ve surpassed your pumpkin-flavored-everything quota by now, is Moe’s Pumpkin, baked according to Matt’s great-great grandmother’s recipe.

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Despite its classic approach, The Pie Hole is far from basic—all the head chefs come from a fine dining background, and what you find here, you won’t find anywhere else. Like the Mexican Chocolate, an almost-traditional pie warmed up with pasilla peppers, cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with espresso whipped cream. Or the Earl Grey Pie, a bergamot-infused mousse atop a thin layer of dark chocolate, sprinkled with toasted pistachios. But the Pie Hole isn’t just about sweet: they’ve also got hand pies, quiche, and savory pies.

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“We’ve realized that there’s this transformative thing about pie,” Brennan says. “It just makes peoples’ days better.” Proof: the Pie H    ole sold clean out of pies every single day the first six months they were open.

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So stop by for a slice. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your impressive Instagram following. It’s pie, so it goes without saying: everyone is welcome.