There are a few specific food items that remind us of 1950's style TV dinners. Things like meatloaf, tuna noodle casserole, salisbury steak, and pot pie. But our meals don't revolve around the Ed Sullivan Show, which means rarely, if ever, are those the kinds of things we want to eat. At least that used to be the case until Pleasant House Bakery made pot pies cool again.
Pleasant House has been bringing sexy back when it comes to all sorts of savory meat-filled pies, or "royal pies," since they like to use the British term. We'll let them say whatever they want though, because even Justin Timberlake would struggle to give pot pies this type of swagger. In addition to English terminology, the staff at Pleasant House hits you with extreme English niceties. It's not fake either - the husband and wife duo who started and run this place have roots in England, which explains the idea and execution of Pleasant House as a whole.
From the outside, this tiny Bridgeport storefront looks like a a weird liquor store that's hiding cash and drugs. But the inside is far from that. Pleasant House stays true to its name, and the inside is full of friendly people, great smells, and a cute little space where you can order at the counter and sit at one of a handful of tables. This stretch of 31st street has a real familial, neighborhood feel, and Pleasant House is a great place to grab a quick bite for less than $15 or get something to go. Get yourself a royal pie, plus maybe one of the great sides or desserts to go along with it. It's a simple idea and concept, but one that comes together exceptionally well.
So well, in fact, that we owe pot pies an apology for associating them with tuna noodle casserole. Special thanks to Pleasant House for making us see the light.
A small salad with herb vinaigrette. If you're looking for something a little lighter to go along with a pie, this is the move.
Not light, but who doesn't like a good egg wrapped in sausage and fried. Great version.
The typical steak and ale pie with beef, ale, carrots, and herbs. Pro move is to obviously get the mashed potatoes and gravy on top. The pies themselves aren't that big, but they're plenty rich and filling.
Steak and ale might be the most basic, but the chicken balti is our favorite. It's a traditional English-Indian fusion of chicken in fresh-ground curry spices with tomato and nigella seeds. All in a flaky crust.
The chips themselves are like breakfast potatoes and really great. Soft on the inside with a perfect bit of crispiness on the outside. The plain version is good, but consider taking things to the next level with steak, gravy, and cheddar.
Pleasant House has a number of rotating specials during the week like bangers and mash, fish and chips, and a burger. No doubt worth trying, but not until you've had the royal pies. Unless you come in with a few people and order everything your first time, save the specials for a return trip.
There's always a selection of different homemade sweets. Be sure to at least take a look.