Stepping out of Hartley’s on a drizzly August day, Chris Ayers, Amy Briesch, and I were beaming. “The more I travel, the more I feel that we are only scratching the surface,” Chris said. Amy added, “There is so much out there.” And, never missing a chance to climb upon my Roadfood soapbox, I declared that anyone who claims that American cuisine has become homogenized simply never looked for it.
Our reverie was inspired by a pork pie, a slice of chorizo pizza, and a visit with Angelo & Company – a team of joyful jokers who made the visit to this 100+ year old bakery as much fun as it was delicious.
“Oh, no, here we go!” Angelo announced when he saw us walk in the door, cameras at the ready. “Tourists!” Faux exasperation competed with genuine hospitality as he took us around the kitchen, showed us his equipment and the vintage oven in which he was currently heating his lunch: a couple of strips of chorizo pizza. He offered us one to sample: bakery pizza supreme!
Savory pies are the house specialty, dating back to the days Fall River had a large population of immigrants from the British Isles. They are made as family-size nine-inchers and as individual pies the size of a large cupcake. In addition to traditional ground pork with gravy, variations include chicken pie, chorizo pie and even Buffalo chicken pie that includes hot sauce and blue cheese. Salmon pies are available on Friday and Saturday. The fillings are good and hearty; the crust is sensational – melting-rich and flaky the way only a crust made with lard can be.
There are no dining facilities at Hartley’s. We ate our meal off the console of the car.