Chile Pies & Ice Cream Restaurant - San Francisco

A different kind of seasonal eating

Eating bags of Fritos that have been freighted with seasoned ground beef, pinto beans, cheese, shredded lettuce and sour cream may not qualify as eating seasonally, at least not in the traditional sense.

For every person who equates autumn's arrival with apples and pumpkins, someone else marks the start of football season with Frito Pie, a Southern specialty.

At the three-week-old Castro outpost of Chile Pies & Ice Cream, itself an offshoot of the Southwestern-influenced Green Chile Kitchen, the version of Frito Pie ($7) happily hews closely to the classic recipe.

In addition to the Frito rendition, the menu includes potpies, with fillings like carne asada and sweet potato ($8), and green chile-chicken ($8). There are also sweet pies, the most famous of which combines apples and green chiles in a cheddar crust. Get a slice, or try it whipped into a pie shake with Three Twins ice cream.

Though there's limited seating, the Frito Pie is best eaten in, to prevent sogginess; the rest of the dishes can journey from shop to couch fine, should you want to eat while tuning in to see if this is 49er Alex Smith's redemptive year.

Chile Pies & Ice Cream, 314 Church St. (at 15th St.), 415-431-9411; and 601 Baker St. (at Fulton St.), 415-614-9411;