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"Remember," says the voice at the tail end of the Lauretta Jean's voicemail, "it's okay to have pie for breakfast." But, pie maker Katie McMillen is hoping that those who've just polished off a good meal at one of SE Division Street's many new restaurants will remember that pie makes a great dessert, too. That's why she plans to stay open late, offering not only sweet and savory pies but also beer, wine and cocktails. And if you do want pie for breakfast, the shop will be open early too, when you can pair your slice with a mimosa, Bloody Mary, or the more traditional cup of joe. As for the name? Lauretta Jean is McMillen's grandmother, who taught her how to bake when she was a little girl. Chad Walsh, 11/6/2012
If her flour-dusted apron doesn't already tip you off, Kate McMillen works hard. After a couple of years of hawking homemade pies at farmers' markets, McMillen opened a pie shop downtown and, within a year, opened another across the river. She offers a wide variety of pies, including savory quiches, but if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, stick your fork in her heirloom apple pie—a "deconstructed" take on America's archetypal dessert. First, she macerates an assortment of heirloom apples sourced from a grower in Ridgefield, Wash., who specializes in pink pearls, King Davids and other varietals McMillen says you’ve never heard of. Then, she turns their natural juices into a syrup, boiling it down with vanilla beans and dark rum. Mix in the apple slices, bake in a butter crust, and what you get is something mysterious—a complex, yet balanced pie that's neither that sweet, nor that tart. Ask for your slice to be warmed up, plus, á la mode is also an option.
The main draw at Kate McMillen’s pie shop is, of course, the pie. And the strudels. And the quiche. But, she and her baking crew also do sandwiches, including a very unfussy grilled cheese (cheddar and jack melted between two slices of buttery Texas toast). For a couple of dollars more, you can pair yours with a salad or a cup of soup, but for just $1 extra, you can fussy up your grilled cheese by adding one—or all three—of a variety of deli staples: ham, turkey or thick, crispy slices of bacon.