Lolita Pie Boutique



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La Fulana

When I first heard the name I was not quite sure what kind of establishment people were referring to…Hum…Lolita, boutique…PIES!!!??? Pies in La Paz??? What on earth?

Who is Lolita? Where is she?

Catchy name. Well done. It is a new place, just opened this October.

Owners: Emilio Fracchia & Adriano Ceccarelli.

Emilio is the tall, wiry, fast moving flour-covered artist who is center of attention at the pie shop. Adriano is the business partner. Emilio is from Varese, Northern Italy. A beautiful small town 55 kilometers North of Milan where food is taken very seriously. When you learn as a child to eat wholesome, local, hand prepared fresh foods you can never compromise later in life. Your taste buds are cast.

In Italy, Emilio was an accountant. Wanting something different, he left in search of adventures in 1992. The appeal of America has always been a strong pull on Italians; so many have come to this continent. Their culture has been a tremendous influence on North and South America. Art, fashion, music, fine artisans and cooks. Thank goodness! Otherwise in a lot of parts we would be eating British food!!!

Emilio got to America and started by managing restaurants in Chicago and Victoria, Canada, but at heart Emilio is a cook. When asked, he humbly says he is not a chef, he is a cook.

He is self-taught. Working in restaurants as a manager and being a great cook, the inevitable happened. He got sucked in the kitchen vortex. Emilio says with a smile that he liked it better there, he could do what he loves and escape the grinding responsibility of dealing from the constant demands of employees, vendors, etc.…So, the light bulb went on. Keep cooking. Whatever happens, stay in the kitchen!

His language skills helped a great deal in commercial kitchens where you typically find various nationalities. Emilio Speaks English, Italian, Spanish and French. He spent 14 years up North and decided to try his luck in warmer climates.

He came to Mexico in 2006 and opened a restaurant named Olivia in San Jose del Cabo. Just a little lunch place, then Opus (Baja Med cuisine). Low season is always the killer…He had to close down the restaurants and headed out in his apron, chin up, straight for the fancy marina with his box of kitchen tools. There he worked on private yachts. He also taught cooking classes at the Instituto Californiano Culinary School in La Paz.

Guess what happened? Drum roll…He fell in love with La Paz, likes it better here he says. Emilio filled in for a couple of chefs in some local Italian places until he found his nitch.

Lolita is a whimsical shop, so welcoming, you can see him at work in the tiny kitchen, he easily engages in conversation. As a good business owner, he is always there. Night and day comparison with “absentee” owners or corporate fakes… You can always tell the difference. Stop by for a bit and have a coffee.

Warning! The pies are on the counter as you enter. This is the real thing! Your self-control will be seriously tested.

You can eat in, on the sidewalk tables or on the patio. There is always take out. If you eat in, the savory pies come with a portion of organic salad with home made dressing. The sweet ones come with whipped cream or gelato. For the crust, butter, flour and water. YES, just like grandma’s (at least MY Grandma like many women of that generation knew how to make pie!). Pies are the ultimate comfort food. They sell sweet and savory pies.

Don’t ask for “Fat-Gluten-Sugar-Dairy Free-Vegan” anything – you won’t find it here. This is a temple of pies, a serious place; anything but traditional is considered heresy.

Emilio uses local ingredients, Baja rancho eggs, from “married” chickens the farmers say. Just kidding! Eggs from the local ranchos where there is a proud rooster ruling the premises are typically fertile and very tasty. Usually organic. Happy hens lay good eggs.

There is no skimping on the quality of ingredients for the pies. At $280 to $300 pesos, the pies are not cheap but as I explained to a friend the other day, the food cost is sky high for that quality and in any artisan bakery; a good pie or cake will go for $20 to $40. That is actually a slim profit margin. These bakers have to pay for premium ingredients, labor, did I say labor? Rent, utilities, buy equipment and the inevitable unavoidable taxes.

The problem with pricing pies is that people got used to cheap supermarket pies over the last couple of decades. We have come to think that they are the norm! Drives me crazy! I hate those! They are nothing but “mass produced food-like products”. I won’t waste my health or the calories on that low quality stuff, like “canned pie filling” and dough made with hydrogenated oils or margarine. Modified food starch. Cool Whip and similar wallpaper glue. Cakey-mushy crust with those ultra sweet “glow in the dark” gooey slop fillings. Have you ever read the ingredients??? Archeologists in the future will find some specimens still intact and scratch their heads to figure out what these things were for.

The kind of thing that El Cheapo 4 Buck Chuck probably likes with flies as topping!

Everyday Emilio has a selection of pies that vary according to the season and mostly his mood. You will find 2 or 3 kinds of sweet and a couple of kinds of savory pies.

They average $65 to $75 pesos per slice. Go early, he sells out everyday!

Key Lime pie is made here! (A must try)

Plums, cinnamon custard with top crumble

Peach, caramel and pecans

Chocolate, lavender, black pepper crust, ganache and raspberries

Pumpkin pies (made with fresh, oven roasted pumpkin meat)

Apple pie!!! Not too sweet, apples, butter, brown sugar and spices

Sweet potato Tatin

Goat cheese, honey, lavender, pears & fresh thyme

Quiches (some made with quail eggs from Todos Santos)

Individual potpies

Beef, Guinness and mushrooms

Chicken, potato and vegetable curry

Turkey potpies

Smoked ham, cranberries and Chard

Sweet red onion tart with balsamic reduction and fresh thyme

Pork, apple and sage in a cheddar thyme crust

Pies make great gifts. Special orders need a day’s notice. He can make anything you want.

While you are there, you MUST go and see the bathroom. I will say no more.

Good luck Emilio, your pies are brilliant! Live long and prosper!

I proclaim “Lolita” to be the Goddess of pies. All we need is a calendar day to celebrate pies every year. Emilio is open to suggestions; drop them by when you go to Lolita’s Pie Boutique.

Calle Constitucion & Madero (behind the Aramburo market parking lot)

612-129-6400.

Open everyday 9 AM to 6PM except Sunday

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