This might be the last week we can handle hearty comfort foods before the heat imposes a salad-only diet on us. In honor of the waning winter, we put two local pot pie makers against each other to see which savory pastry is the tops.
Chicken pot pies have several components that must be executed and utilized perfectly in order to make the dish sing: The crust should be buttery and golden brown, the chicken should be moist, the veggies should still have a good crunch despite being baked, and the sauce should be creamy and seasoned to accent the rest of the dish. With all of those pieces, plus an abundance of plating options, this battle is bound to be a close one.
In This Corner: The Duce
The Setup: Part boxing gym, part bar, part food truck, part yoga studio, part vintage clothing store, part . . . well, you get the picture. The Duce in downtown Phoenix wears many hats, all of them exceptionally executed. It is one of the few places in town that we can justify spending extra cash for basic drinks because their quality ingredients and super fresh preparation make all the difference. But, do their drinks set the bar (pun totally intended) too high for their food?
The Good:The creamy and silky sauce, fresh veggies, and moist chicken in this pot pie are all great, comforting and just what you'd want from a pot pie. The mason jar portions are adorable. Best of all, the crust is so buttery and flakey we just wanted to melt. It's hard to have another piecrust after eating that one. Plus at $7 for a belly-filling portion or $9 for one to go, it's not going to break the bank to buy one.
The Bad: Since the pot pies come in a glass jar, they retain heat for a while, which means you'll have to be careful not to burn your mouth off. The only other thing we weren't crazy about was their use of corn in the pot pie. It's definitely an atypical addition, which wasn't quite bad but not great either.
In The Other Corner: Porte Cochere
The Setup: Gourmet food delivered to your door --what's the catch? A $7.50 delivery fee if you're inside the delivery bubble radius and a $20 charge if you're just outside of it. But beggars can't be choosers and Phoenix hasn't had delivery this good since, well, ever.
The Good: We love crisp veggies that still crunch in a pot pie, and Porte Cochere gave us just that. Plus their all white meat chicken was crazy moist. The option of getting it frozen to save for another day is pretty handy too. We loved the cute crust decoration on the top of the pot pie and their delivery packaging is crafty cute.
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The Bad: For $28, we'd expect a perfect pot pie. Unfortunately, the crust was only on the top, not surrounding the filling completely, and since there was some sort of juices flooding the bottom of the dish instead of a sauce, the crust that was there got really soggy really quickly.
And the winner is . . . The Duce. The choice was clear, although both dishes had good flavor. We love having food delivered, but that perk didn't make up for the fact that The Duce's pot pie was near perfectly executed. Plus it's a lot cheaper than Porte Cochere's pot pie.