Hip and Homey

Treats sweet and savory at The Pie Hole

The age-old gender breakdown of cooking leaves the sausages to the men, pies to the women.

Based on that stereotyping, the Arts District's Traction Avenue has The Pie Hole, a new dose of maternal energy to balance out Wurstküche.

The bakery is homey in its hip minimalism, painted in broad swaths of rich blue and white, the décor sparse save for a few decorative gourds.

Savory and sweet pies are offered, making an entire crusty meal a possibility. Appropriately lunch-size rounds of dough hold bacon-studded mac and cheese (pictured; $6) or turmeric-stained vegetable curry ($6); there's a carnitas hand pie, too ($6). The white-cheddar sauce that binds the soft pasta together in the former has enough aged-cheese tang to balance its richness, the bacon adding a touch of smoky depth.

For dessert ($4.50 to $6 a slice), which is what you came for, there are two staunch classics–apple and lemon meringue–and two somewhat nostalgic favorites gilded with contemporary touches. Bourbon adds a kick to the not-too-sweet pecan pie, and the Peanut Butter Pretzel–aptly described by the woman at the counter as a "richer Reese's"–was indeed intense. Still, the slice's salty edge made it our favorite.

The Pie Hole, 714 Traction Ave., Downtown; 213-537-0115 or thepieholela.com