I’ve written before about the pies that Jaynelle St. Jean is putting out at PieTisserie (444 Oak St., Oakland), the pie shop located inside Mexican restaurant Nido — each one a not-too-sweet, impossibly crisp-bottomed beauty. But here’s an inside tip: On weekday mornings, from 8 to 10 a.m., St. Jean serves savory breakfast mini-pies that worth seeking out in their own right. Five dollars buys a pie and a cup of coffee — in other words, a home-cooked, grab-and-go breakfast for marginally more than you’d pay for a fast-food “value” meal.
PieTisserie’s breakfast pies are little individual-portion quiches, basically — rich and substantial, despite their size. The standard filling is made with ham, spinach, herbed tomatoes, Swiss cheese and pastured eggs. A ham-less vegetarian option is available, and occasionally St. Jean will mix things up by serving a version with béchamel sauce. But the real treat is St. Jean’s flaky all-butter crust, which is even better than usual served hot out of the oven.
Most customers seem to order the breakfast pies to go, and they’re perfect for that — compact enough to hold in one hand, and not too messy (flaky crust notwithstanding). But if you don’t need to rush off to work, it’s a nice treat to sit inside the mostly empty restaurant (Nido doesn’t open until later in the day) and savor your breakfast properly, with a knife and fork.Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.