Pontificating the many realities of life in NYC over tiny pie.
A week ago, we showcased a wonderful dessert self-care package from Supermoon Bakehouse. In continuing our series of dessert adventures by delivery in these anxious times, your Dessert Correspondents recently ordered a sampler box of pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus.
In our sampler box, there were two fruit pies, and two non-fruit pies. Our favourite of the pies, and one which we would not hesitate to reorder again after these anxious times, would have to be the “Salty Honey Pie.” Here, a honey custard pie base was flecked with a touch of salt, and bordered by a very buttery crust. Utterly addictive, it was a pity that the slice was no larger than 3-4 mouthfuls. The second pie that we sampled was the “Lemon Chess Pie.” It erred towards the sweeter end of what we ordinarily prefer in a lemon pie, but one could not fault its smooth custard mouthfeel. The “Salted Caramel Apple Pie” was also memorable, it evoked a beautiful dream of a lurid autumn in the Hudson Valley just a few months back. Ah how time flies! The last slice in our box was a “Blueberry Pie,” embedded with plump little blueberry balls, albeit detracted somewhat by a thin pie base. Overall, Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ pies make for delicious spoonfuls of comfort, but such a temporary comfort. We wished that the pies were larger, they didn’t measure very much longer than our forefinger! 😦
Perhaps one of the most curious aspect of this Covid lockdown is that it shows how there are many realities in NYC. For example, news agencies beam photos of a desolate Times Square or an eerily empty Brooklyn Bridge around the world. Yet, one reality is that many residential neighbourhoods are anything but barren, and in fact, are more crowded due to people being marooned at home. New agencies gossip about some New Yorkers fleeing to their beach or country houses, yet another reality is that there is a stark socio-economic, and racial, division between those who are infected, those whose financial livelihoods are impacted, and those who are merely inconvenienced. In lieu of the government’s indifference or incompetence, many call on the public to support local restaurants and cafes through online delivery. Yet another reality is that many of those delivering impose either severe delivery range restrictions or service charges that can account for up to half the cost of the food alone. The latter in particular we have encountered in endeavouring to continue our series of dessert adventures by delivery. This sampler box of pie from Four & Twenty Blackbird that we reviewed above was a very reasonable $25, but with online delivery platform service charges, our total order came to $35. Online delivery is therefore, not a viable daily alternative to home cooking for many New Yorkers. Rather, it’s more of a splurge. If Four & Twenty Blackbirds increased its pie size, and if online delivery platforms did not impose such incredible service charges, then maybe, we would contemplate a reorder. For now, the effort of attempting to support the NYC restaurant industry is just another facade of a sobering and underwhelming reality of NYC life.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Four & Twenty Blackbirds, two locations in Brooklyn (Gowanus and Prospect Heights).
- ☑ Budget: $$ ($25 + tax/tip/delivery fee = $35 approx)
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Pie.
- ☑ Must-eat: Salty Honey Pie.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Pontificating the many realities of life in NYC over tiny pie.