Alibi V.25 No.10 • March 10-16, 2016 

Good and Baked

π Walk 2016

My Pie Walk—a pre-Pi Day event that I'd planned in support of pi (or against it, or whatever—to be honest, I'm not really sure what Pi Day is all about, I'm terrible at math.) was falling apart. I hadn't expected my partner to be a vegan, but at the time it seemed like the smallest of humps. With undeserved confidence, I'd said, “Vegan pie? I'm sure we can find vegan pie. It's 2016.” But apparently no one in this city knows how to make vegan pie.

I chewed anxiously at my thumbnail while Megan Reneau—the Alibi's in-house gal-about-town—answered a threatening email I'd sent to her desk. Intimidation obviously works. She presented me with a short list of restaurants in ABQ that serve vegan pie. A very short list. That list had one name. Yes, dear reader, even after straining every journalistic muscle in my body, I was still only able to find one place (with two locations) in the entire metro area that could supply our crew with the proper fuel for our free-wheeling, sugar-powered pie orgy: Annapurna's Vegetarian World Cafė (2201 Silver SE).

I thanked Ganesh, destroyer of obstacles, and headed over. With clammy expectancy, we watched as four slices were laid out on the table. I first tried the sweet potato pie, which was rich and daintily spiced. The coconut pie tasted great, but it felt like I was chewing on carpet. By far, the winner of the afternoon was the apple-cranberry pie. Tart and sweet, it was the only piece that disappeared fully before we left.

With a belly full of animal-free baked goods, I dropped off my friend, pretended to yawn. “I am bushed. I couldn't possibly eat more pie,” I said. I then drove to the park on Carlisle and Lomas, ran sprints for five minutes, loosened my tie, drank a bottle of water and sprinted some more. Then I was off to the New Mexico Pie Company (4003 Carlisle NE), the land of milk, honey and eggs. “You guys have vegan pie?” I asked. Before the server had time to answer, I cut her off. “How about meat pies?” Some people are never satisfied.

I ordered a five-inch, from-scratch, classic apple and stared at it for a full minute in silence before putting my fork to it. It was earth-moving. Apple pie like your mother used to make. (Well, not my mother, but we must forgive the foibles of those we love.)

So much for a Pie Walk. Albuquerque, I am ashamed of you. You have one year to get your act together and learn how to bake some vegan pie before Pie Walk 2017. I'm planning on a disgusting display of gluttonous abandon, the likes of which will make mothers weep and milk curdle in the glass, and if I have to provide my own pie, I swear there will be hell to pay.