Pizzas Are Not Pies

A pizza is no more a pie than a boiled egg. Everyone knows this. A pie is something you have for desert that involves having a base and a top of pastry with some sort of blueberry, apple, or pecan based filling inside. A pizza may be served at either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but never as a desert. The only type of pizza that you could perhaps refer to as a pie would be a Chicago style deep dish pizza, which has the same depth as a pie and has a crust that vaguely resembles pie crust. There is absolutely no excuse for referring to any type of conventional pizza as a pie.

People who refer to pizzas as pies are generally insufferable hipster-types who never stop looking for ways to make themselves feel superior. “You’re a Tim Horton’s drinking simpleton who scarfs down pizza while I am a sophisticated person who eats pizza pies.” Christ. If you want to make yourself feel superior than go find yourself an Ethiopian restaurant.

In normal times it wouldn’t really matter if some self-important hipster went around calling pizzas pies, but we are not living in normal times. Donald Trump was just elected partly as a reaction to the growing numbers of insufferable and obnoxious pseudo-sophisticates who were constantly rubbing their misplaced sense of superiority in people’s faces (that and the intervention of the Russians and a press release from the head of the FBI…). Every time someone refers to pizza as a pie another Trump voter is created.

Lettuce Wraps

I’m not sure if PF Chang’s invented lettuce wraps or if they are just really good at making them, but pretty much everyone I know who like lettuce wraps first tried them at that restaurant and almost every lettuce wrap recipe you will find online states that they are trying to replicate the PF Chang’s wrap. Every recipe you find, as does mine, will include some combination of hoisin and soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and green onions. I am not a great lover of ginger, so I go with just a half teaspoon of ground ginger, but if you are a ginger fan you can certainly grate up or cube some whole ginger, but I would argue that if you are having some picky eaters over for supper I would stick with just a little of the powder. Likewise, it is always a safe bet err on the side of too little sesame oil than too much. It is powerful stuff and if you use too much in this or any recipe it can quickly overwhelm all the other ingredients.


  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Half teaspoon sesame oil
  • Half teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • Half dozen diced green onions
  • A pound or so of ground chicken
  • A head of lettuce (or a package or two of Belgian endives)
  • Couple tablespoon sriracha sauce


Fry the ground chicken in a large pan with a little olive oil. When the chicken is just about done, dump all of the ingredients except the green onions and sriracha sauce in a mason jar and give it a good shake before pouring it into the pan. Stir it around a few times so all of the meat gets coated in the sauce, then let it simmer on medium-low heat until the sauce reduces and thickens. While the sauce is simmering, break apart the lettuce into big leaves. When the sauce has reduced and thickened, toss in the green onions and give them a quick stir, then fill up the lettuce leaves with the filling and serve. Sriracha sauce makes a great topping but it isn’t for everyone, so serve it on the side so your guests can decide for themselves if they want it. There is plenty of flavour already built in so sriracha is by no means required. If you want to serve these as appetizer I would recommend using Belgian endives instead of lettuce if you can find them. They are naturally cup shaped so you can just fill them with a spoonful or two of the filling and people can eat them with one hand without making a godawful mess.

Cooking for Hipsters

At some point in your life you will likely find yourself in the awkward position of having to entertain hipsters at your house. If you have enough friends, family, and co-workers, the statistics suggest that there will be several hipsters within your network, and at some point a spouse or close friend is going to invite them over to your house for a dinner party. Though you may be tempted to make that person’s stay as unpleasant as possible in order to reduce the likelihood of them returning, most people will feel compelled to provide their guests with an enjoyable evening, if only to avoid having them bad mouthing your cooking skills to all their friends.

The thing to remember about hipsters is that they feel they are better than the common person and so they cannot like, or more accurately, acknowledge that they like, the food and drink of the common man. The problem is that, unless you did some truly heinous things in a prior life, all of your dinner party guests will not be hipsters, so you will have to strike a delicate balance to satisfy your hipster guests without alienating your less pretentious friends.

Lest you feel it too daunting a challenge to attempt to satisfy such seemingly different tastes, you should remember that hipsters don’t actually have radically different tastes than the average person, they just like to be perceived as such. Rather than taking a negative view and looking at them as a group with exotic tastes, take a more positive view and look at them as not being picky eaters. As annoying as hipsters can be, overly picky eaters are even worse.

Though alcoholic beverages are becoming ground zero for hipsters, with wine snobbery having given rise to both liquor and beer snobbery, it is still quite easy to satisfy a diverse group with drinks than it is with food. You can easily provide multiple types of wine and beer, but you can’t do the same with entrées unless you are a third world dictator. For beer, all you need is something hoppy, amber coloured, and not too popular. Even if you don’t happen to strike on their favourite beer you will still greatly exceed their expectations. With wine, you need to ask someone at your liquor store for something that has only recently come on the market and is not that big a seller, preferably a Zinfandel, Cabernet, or a Malbec. Very few wine drinkers can accurately identify a wine’s grape variety or region, so all you are doing is making sure that you have a wine that does not look too mainstream. If you can start of the evening by providing your guests with enjoyable alcoholic beverages you will buy yourself a greatly increased margin of error when it comes to the food.

Hipsters, to their credit, eat a wide variety of foods, so you have some flexibility in planning your meal. One helpful thing to keep in mind is that eating locally is one of the core beliefs of all hipsters, so you don’t need to procure a list of obscure ingredients. This is helpful because it means that you can serve things that are recognizable to some of your non-hipster guests. Aside from having some local ingredients, if you have anything that is considered artisan or comes in a mason jar, be sure to work that into dinner. You will also get bonus points for working in kale and/or Brussel sprouts.

If you are looking to truly maximize the enjoyment of both your hipster and non-hipster guests, you should consider serving fish, both fillets and whole fish. Unlike commoners who like to eat fish fillets, hipsters prefer when you serve a whole fish, with the eyes staring at you and the mouth hanging open in a permanent deathly gasp. You can easily cook some whole fish and fish fillets in the same oven so it wouldn’t be much extra work, except you may have to scale the whole fish. Unless you are having hipster black bears over to your house, you won’t be able to serve a whole salmon or codfish to a single guest, so you should pick up something like a red snapper or a bass if it is available. For the rest of your guests you could just pick up some reliable cod fillets. You can find plenty of flavour combinations that will work for both types of fish. Aside from allowing you to provide all of your guests with a satisfying meal, allowing your hipster guests to demonstrate to others their superior sophistication will further enhance their experience.

For the after dinner coffee, you would ideally have a French press or espresso machine, but barring that, you should at least hide your Keurig and put some dark roast organic coffee bought from a local indie coffee shop into your old drip coffee maker. For the desert you should serve something with dragon fruit, perhaps sliced with some whipped cream and berries. Dragon fruit looks exotic and frightening, but it has a surprisingly mild taste so all of your guests should be able to enjoy it.