Sarah Mirk Talks Pie Not PI


Sarah Mirk is my journalism hero in Portland. I enjoyed reading her writing when she was a staff writer for the Portland Mercury. She left the paper to work for Bitch Media where she’s the online editor. I’ve heard her appearances on the OPB talk show Think Out Loud doing News Roundtable segments many times and have always appreciated her opinions. It was Sarah’s comments on the podcast Karl Show (starring Jason), when she shared her appreciation for pie, that inspired this email interview. Sarah is the author of Sex From Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules.

3 Questions for Sarah Mirk

What makes pie one of your favorite desserts or even meals?
Pie is a meditative process to make—mixing the crust and rolling out the dough takes time, and that’s good. It’s also tied up in history. I use my family’s recipe, which involves measuring blobs of crisco, but I like hearing other peoples’ stories about their memories of pie. Pie always reminds me of my dad, whose annual tradition is making way too many pies at Thanksgiving. It’s a food that many people have a strong opinions about. Of course, the most obvious reason to like pie is that it’s delicious. My favorite kinds of pie are rhubarb and cherry.

What are some of your favorite Portland area places for pie?
Actually, my favorite place to get pie is at roadside diners whenever I’m driving somewhere far away. I like stopping in a random small town diner for coffee and a huge wedge of berry pie and getting a feel of the town. In Portland, I don’t go out for pie that much. But you really can’t beat Random Order and Loretta Jean’s for a classic pie. I’m vegan these days, so I’ve been eating a lot of flaky pie-like pastries from Sweetpea.

Ever been to Shari’s for their Wednesday night pie special (free slice of pie with the order of an entree)?
You know, I’ve only been to Shari’s once, when some friends and I drove out to the Pendleton Round-Up. On the way back, we stopped at what my friends insisted was the first-ever Shari’s in the world, which is just like every other Shari’s and is in a parking lot somewhere in Eastern Oregon. I got a slice of pie and it was pretty dang mediocre.

Note: This is not meant as an advertisement or commercial endorsement for Shari’s Cafe.

Read all about Sarah:

Listen to the podcast interview that inspired this interview:

Next year I hope to be doing a live remote PI Day broadcast from a Shari’s Cafe parking lot while being beaten about the head and shoulders by a gang of protractor wielding mathematicians.

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