Places that bake pies are some of our favorite stops. Elise’s is a hip, modern spot with all the coziness and friendliness of a diner and a menu of pies, both savory and sweet, that make it a wonderful Roadfood destination.
Chicken pot pie: The pastry that seals the filling into the cast-iron dish is stretched as tight as a snare drum. When you dig your spoon in, it breaks like the shell on a creme brûlée. The filling has Louisiana character, with the gravy visibly seasoned with cajun spices. The use of smoked chicken and smoky tasso (Cajun ham) adds a real depth to this exceptional variation on the pot pie. It is so aromatic that you smell barbecue as soon as you breach the crust.
Crawfish hand pies benefit from the kitchen’s crust capabilities. They are larger and fresher than ones you get at butcheries and gas stations. Their filling is rich with plump crawfish tails and no rice filler. The ends of the crust are just as tasty as the stewy middle. These delightful crescents are drizzled with a spicy “Cajun cream” that enriches them further and absolutely ensures against the possibility of even a slightly dry bite.
We’re here for pie, but some plated dishes are every bit as delicious. Like porky red beans over rice. All pies also come with a tossed green salad dressed with their house pepper jelly vinaigrette; it is a deft balance of sweet and sour that jazzes up an otherwise ordinary green salad.
Sweet pies are also balanced, not too sugary. Surprisingly, even S’mores pie is only moderately sweet. It is chocolate custard with some bitter cocoa notes in a salty graham cracker crust. The toasted marshmallow fluff on top is just enough to lighten and sweeten the dark chocolate pie. Apple pie comes as a personal cast-iron pie, like the chicken pot pie. It’s baked to order with firm apples in a spicy glaze with a sweeter version of that same shattery crust that was on the pot pie. It’s delicious in its own way, but it lacks the pleasantly starchy qualities of a traditional apple pie.
Elsie’s has a lot to tempt us into returning, from the promise of a brunch menu to a list of seasonal cocktails. However, we mostly look forward to another evening of meat pie next time we’re in town.