I was lunching the other day in Tribeca, which I rarely do. I am so much a Union Square/East Village girl. But I had heard of this Bubby’s Pie Company, and my friend who works up the street visits there a lot. Shoot, having pie in the name didn’t hurt as far as I was concerned. I was all for giving it a go. Bubby’s prides themselves on serving true American food — definitely comfort food — that is made up of dishes shared by family members and passed down for generations. Their menu includes burgers and fries, mac and cheese, split pea soup and chicken pot pie. Basically anything my grandmother would make.

Bubby’s Pie company is true to their name in that there are a million pies in a glass case by the front door. You can order their Michigan Sour Cherry Pie, Apple Whiskey Crumble Pie, Pumpkin Praline Pie and Pecan Maple Pie online. They also make their own soda pop, which I think is pretty cool, and are soon going to be offering these for sale to take home.

I had a veggie burger — packed with lima beans and lentils. Yum for sure. It was served with mac and cheese. As you all know, I am a mac and cheese connoisseur, so not much can get by me. The macaroni had a cheese sauce and a baked cheese topping. I myself love a good, thick Béchamel sauce, but this one was kind of runny. Not the best mac and cheese ever, but good. My friend had a regular burger with fries. The fries were divine.  Or so I thought. After the meal, I took a look at their website. And I was slightly traumatized at this entry on their blog:

“Here at Bubby’s we do not shy away from lard.  We render our own lard from pastured heritage breeds of hogs.  We make pie crust out of our own rendered lard and organic, grass-fed butter. We also use lard in our biscuits, as well as the baked beans.  We brown the pork for our tacos in lard. We find it to be an amazing fat to work with since it has a much higher smoking point than either butter or vegetable oil. That tends to make for a better crust on the foods we fry. “

What?? Lard? As someone who doesn’t eat pork or pork products, let alone LARD, I will be staying away from the fried foods there. I think it’s an interesting position, which they recently (December, I think) decided to do. Yes, it’s a throwback to traditional American cooking, but is it really necessary? Butter has slightly less fat than lard, but lard is praised for its richness in flavor, and in texture, especially with pie crusts. (Update: Bubby’s contacted us, and their fries are fried in Canola Oil. Whew…)

What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh on the lard users? I am from the South, and lard, hog-mog and fatback is on and poppin’ there….

Check it out at:

120 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 219-0666