The corner of Nashville Avenue and Magazine Street became a bonafide pie lover's destination on Dec. 19 with the arrival of District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar (5637 Magazine St.; www.districtcoffeebar.com) on the already sweet stretch of street near bakery P's & Q's (5720 Magazine St., 504-897-5131; www.piesandquiches.com) and Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 504-269-5707; www.bluefrogchocolates.com).
Located in the diminutive former home of Velvet Espresso, District Hand Pie is the second savory-meets-sweet coffee spot from District Donuts - Sliders - Brew (2209 Magazine St., 504-570-6945; www.donutsandsliders.com) founder Chris Audler. The shop features an impressive rotating menu of savory and sweet hand pies, coffee drinks and one-off creations such as monkey bread twists and spiced cider.
The rotating menu of hand pies — roughly the size of an envelope and generously filled — load a lot of flavor into each small package. The cherry basil hand pie is herbal and rich, with a glossy, decorative cherry on top. The kung pao chicken pie is speckled with black sesame seeds, dressed with spicy, tangy slaw and has enough filling to serve as a light lunch.
The craft coffee bar also is inventive, and will appeal to adventurous coffee drinkers. Order a "cafe caviar" and be prepared for a molecular gastronomical float with beads of coffee concentrate on a sea of chicory-infused milk. The Horchado blends a traditional cortado (espresso cut with warm milk) with creamy house-made horchata.
District Hand Pie is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. It teases its offerings on its Twitter feed, @DistrictPies.