The Return of Rhubarb Pie

File this under the “you know it’s spring when…” category. This is a particularly perfect specimen, made by the immensely talented Grazina (a.k.a. “Gina”) Biciunas-Santoski, owner of Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant on south Halsted street in Chicago. I just happened to be there for breakfast yesterday morning, wolfing down my usual order of kugelis (a sliced Lithuanian porridge of grated potatoes and bacon) and eggs, when Gina brought this beauty out…oh, if only you could smell a photograph (the fuzzy glowing halo you see is not a factor of my limited cell phone/camera lens, but the fact that this pie is actually holy). The crust was as close to perfection as a pie crust gets, probably made with a mixture of butter and lard since it was quite crispy, but without the tongue-coating greasiness that shortening imparts. That would be against Gina’s ethos, actually. The rationale behind everything she makes is that it’s all from scratch, no additives or preservatives (sounds familiar I know…but unlike all the johnny-come-lately’s on the culinary scene, Gina’s been making food this way for decades). That’s what makes Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant healthy no matter how much bacon or pie you may put away while you’re there. It’s fresh and it’s real, made with love and fierce Lithuanian pride. And that’s as healthy as it gets in my book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *