Disclaimer: After we leave a restaurant we do our reviews independent of each other and do not read the others until they are going to be posted. So there may be some repeated themes/ideas in our reviews.
If you’re anything like me, when you hear a restaurant called a “tourist trap” you automatically become iffy about its potential. But when the “tourist trap” has the word “pie” in the title, that iffyness quickly turns into optimism. Betty’s Pies is about a 20 minute drive north of Duluth in the city of Two Harbors. With all of the tourist traffic on Highway 61, Betty’s Pies has turned into a “tourist trap” that is well worth the drive.
In the mood for something out of the ordinary, I ordered a pasty (pass-tee). A pasty is a baked pastry often filled with potatoes, carrots, and beef roast(inside). You can put just about anything you want in a pasty; I’m actually surprised I don’t see them on restaurant menus more often. Served with a side of gravy, my pasty very much felt like a Sunday diner in a pastry. The only thing that didn’t sit right with me was the cranberry coleslaw on the side. I would have preferred traditional coleslaw or something different all together. I’m old school; a giant plop of cottage cheese would have done the trick.
The pie is where Betty’s Pies shines. Seeing people walk out of there with four or five whole pies at a time gave me high expectations as I was trying to devour my food quickly so I could move on to desert. I ordered two slices. First was the Banana Cream. The banana cream was pretty traditional and very good. Not the best I have ever had, but it’s not something you could buy at the grocery store either. Next was the French Silk, and all I can say is “DAMNNNN!” So silky smooth and rich, I could barely finish my piece. The next time I’m in the area I will be bringing home multiple pies for sure.
They make over 300 homemade pies daily, so if you’re a pie lover like me and in the Duluth area, I highly recommend making the trip to Two Harbors to chow some of Betty’s pies. If there is pie in heaven…there is a good chance they were ordered directly from Betty herself.
We showed up to Betty’s Pies around 2pm on a Thursday and we had to wait about 45 minutes for a table. Now this means one of two things; either you have an incompetent staff or you are doing something very right. Turns out they are doing something very very right!
I had the Beargrease Burger; it is a 1/3lb burger with pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and a side of chipotle mayo. I do have to admit that I was so hungry by the time I got this I ate at least half of it before I took another breath. Once I slowed down I found a nice burger, there was a good amount of cheese and the onions were cooked well. I liked the fact they put the chipotle mayo on the side, sometimes sauces like this can be lost when put on the bun, and it was tasty. The onion rings I ordered with this were really good as well.
Now what you and I have been waiting for, on to the pie! I ordered a piece of French silk to eat there and a piece of Strawberry-Rhubarb to go. Both of these pies were outstanding and now I see why Betty’s was packed at 2pm. The French Silk was so smooth and flavorful it was like eating chocolate flavored silk, I do believe this was the best French Silk pie I have ever had. The Strawberry-Rhubarb was a great balance of sweet and tart and had nice size pieces of rhubarb in it. The crust on both was perfect, nice and flakey with enough flavor to make you actually want to eat the ends.
Overall I loved Betty’s Pies and have added this to the list of places I must go whenever I am in the Duluth area. If you are going anywhere near this area it is well worth your time, even if it is to only get a pie or five to go.