It’s been a while since Janelle first saw the shop sign of “Piedays” along Thalateen St. on her way home from work. She’s always been curious about when it would finally open and when it did, we were happy to be one of the first few people who have discovered this unique restaurant.
If you really think about it, there isn’t one store or restaurant in Riyadh that specializes in pies. With “pie” being a mainly Western dish, it seeed to be just a matter of time that an Arabic twist to an American food concept was born. Thanks to the brainstorming efforts of Mr. Mohsen Adeeb, the CEO of Shamel Food Company, a unique recipe and dining experience has arrived in Riyadh’s atmosphere. Welcome to Piedays!
You won’t miss the store’s facade as it sits directly opposite from CityMax and Saudi House at Thalateen St. Its exteriors are as lovely as its interiors wherein you will step into a delicate diner-style ambiance of pastel-colored walls, baking equipment fashioned as decor and dining areas affixed with chalkboards and televisions (a somewhat mix of the old and new).
They have both a Singles and Family Section with a juice bar adjoining both sections towards the end of each hall. The space was generally spic and span and the addition of some light house music added to the overall ambiance.
We were welcomed by the store manager named Charlie, who was gracious enough to give us a brief background about Piedays and a run through of their menu. We even did a Facebook Live with him but he was camera-shy. It’s his voice that you will hear in the background explaining everything to me. To those of you who missed that, here are the main dishes you can find at Piedays. Of course, they are all pies!
Let the pie parade begin…
Their menu features two standard sizes of pies: Regular for 1 to 2 people maximum and the Large that’s good for 5 to 6 people. However, there is an option for Mini Pies that allows you to mix and match three flavors for a certain package price. Since we wanted to taste all of their flavors, Janelle and I settled for a bunch of minis that were served up to us to our delight.
For the first part, we tasted their Savory Pies that consisted of the following flavors: (Take note of the pretty little labels that each pie has, which I think was such a nice touch).
As with every feast, one must take their time to discover and enjoy the flavors that are upon them. So that’s what Janelle and I did. We took one pie each, cut it in half and shared it with one another. Slowly munching on each bite and saying what tastes are registering with us. Being that the focal point of the experience is the pie themselves, we thought that they got their flakiness’ and crusts’ A-game on. The top crust is flaky as expected and breaks in your mouth quite messily but the taste of the dough is just right. What varies eventually would be the flavors inside each pie.
The ample spice of their Curry Shrimp Pie was balanced with the tenderness of the shrimp in every bite. We enjoyed this the most and undoubtedly, it has earned its rightful title as one of their bestsellers.
We liked this not because we’re vegetarians, but because of its mild flavors. We realized later on after tasting the rest of the pies that there is a distinct Arabic flair to their flavor profiles (like the Beef Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce, Oriental Chicken/Beef Pie, Meatballs Marinara Pie and even the Mexico Pie). While we acknowledge that the combination of Arabic recipes to an American dish is the core concept of Piedays, our Asian palates remained neutral. But having grown up here in the Middle East myself, I am familiar with those sour and spiced notes and I do think that more locals and Arabs will appreciate those flavor profiles more.
We also enjoyed this Cheese Pie which is a rift off the traditional cheese pie that we find from brick ovens around the city. We do think though that that you should consume this pie while it’s still warm because eventually, the cheese settled down and hardened towards the latter part of our meal. Still tasty though!
Filled with some creamy goodnesss and honey, the sunshine honey pie shone like a sweet and savory combination that was hard to resist.
By the way, each set of Mini Pies came with a side salad of the Piedays’ Salad composed of sliced carrots, zucchini, radish, pomegranate, pumpkin, broccoli, red bell pepper and iceberg lettuce. The salad really helped in cutting through our bite-by-bite marathon of meats and savories so it shouldn’t be ignored.
They also served us with their signature cocktails called the Piedays Refreshing Trio (made from fresh Pineappple, Orange and Strawberry juice) and the 4 Seasons Cocktail.
After trying out all the savory pies, it was now time for the sweet pies! And yes, we still had some spaces left for our tummies…I think. 🙂
Their pumpkin didn’t have a top crust but was filled with rich and flavorful pumpkin puree that was accompanied by a scoop of chocolate ice cream. On hindsight, perhaps we should have paired this with vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness of the pumpkin flavor but nevertheless, if you’re into pumpkin pie then this recipe is a very good one.
The Apple Pie had the most beautiful presentation and we liked the tartiness of the apples paired with the crunch of walnuts and the softness of the raisins. We’d say the only tradeoff in this particular dish was that the dough was a bit lacking in moisture. If eaten alone, the dough came across as a bit dry. However, we added a scoop of ice cream to every bite and that helped even that out.
The special Pecan Nuts Piedays’ Style wone me over not just because of the generous amount of pecan that you can find in it, but it was how they incorporated that roasted flavor into the pie that had me coming back for seconds. Above all the rest of the pies we tried, this is definitely worth my return. If you like nuts as much as I do, I guarantee you would like this too.
The Chocolate and Halawa Tahiniya Pie is one of the products that they are proud of as well as it is a perfect representation of incorporating an Arabic recipe to a pie. The tahiniya toppings give it that Arabic touch over the chocolate mousse resting underneath. Great with tea!
It was quite the experience discovering all these types of pies (as I have never had that many pies in my life, ever). Their distinctive recipes are surely going to standout along the streets of Thalateen that is usually known for all them chocolate shops. Couple that with their trendy and inviting ambiance, it simply makes Piedays a good place to try something new.