For the past 1 1/2 years, Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon has been offering up a slice of Americana to Encinitas locals.
The bakery is owned by Betty Hunt (née Elizabeth Harris), who describes herself as a “pie-wrangling, karaoke-singing Southern lady.” It’s the “naughty” sister of another popular Encinitas bake shop, Elizabethan Desserts. But like many siblings, the two are as different as night and day: While Elizabethan has a classic, “girly” ambience, Betty’s is cheeky and has a rustic theme, complete with swinging saloon-style doors.
Betty’s may also soon start drawing lively evening crowds, as Hunt said she hopes to put the restaurant’s outdoor stage to good use with live entertainment or karaoke.
What truly sets Betty’s apart from other eateries is its focus on pies. These consist of buttery crusts made from scratch, filled with savory and sweet ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. And there’s no ordering by the slice (hence the name “Betty’s Pie Whole”) — customers either order individual-portion pies or 9-inch delights to share with friends and family.
Some of these pies can serve as meals, stuffed with meats (poultry products only), vegetables and cheeses. To kick-start the day, patrons can feast on Boyd’s Break-the-Fast Pie —named for Hunt’s brother — with eggs, potato, turkey bacon, smoked poultry sausage and cheese in a biscuit crust. For a midday or evening course, there’s selections such as the Mama Jo’s Meatball Pot Pie and the Get-Along-Kielbasy, and a Mac ’n’ Cheese Pie that “you can stuff your feelings with,” Hunt said.
But Betty’s signature is Grandma Lucy’s Chicken Pie. Guests can catch whiffs of the parmesan herb pastry before it’s even placed on the table. As they cut through the flaky crust, juices erupt through the surface. And each forkful is chock-full of free-range chicken, diced baby carrots and zucchini, and peas.
Of course, Betty’s has its sweet pies, too. Varieties include Apple Crumbly, Apple Lattice and Strawberry Rhubarb Lattice. Chocoholics can satisfy cravings with the gooey Mississippi Mud Pie, featuring a crumbly chocolate crust replete with layers of chocolate pudding and whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate, and dotted with mini marshmallows. Customers can further enhance it with freshly churned homemade vanilla ice cream.
Betty’s also has specialty pies throughout the year, including a hearty Thanksgiving Pie with roasted turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, a buttermilk sage biscuit crust and cranberry chipotle sauce on the side. It can be ordered with five days’ notice.
In addition, Betty’s has themed pie nights: Spaghetti and Meatball Pie Monday, Tamale Tuesday and Turkey Burger Wednesday.
While Betty’s primarily caters to pie lovers, there are a few other food options, including Hunt’s Chicken Chipotle Chili, and dips such as the smoky Gold Rush Cheddar Beer Dip, perfect with Triscuits and other party “poppers.”
Among the “sips” is the refreshing Southern Peach Sweet Tea, presented in a mason jar.
Customers can also buy tubs of homemade Sweet Betty’s Butter in flavors such as maple, honey and cinnamon.
Betty’s Pie Whole Saloon, at 155 Quail Gardens Drive, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Visit
bettyspiewhole.com or call 760-230-6781.