You Want This Pie - Under The Oak Cafe

Aug 21 2010 Published by under Come Set A Spell, Farm Market Foodapalooza!

Every Saturday I go to my regular farmer's market with more than enough happy anticipation about all the good stuff the farmers will have for me to turn into a week's worth of delicious meals.  When I first started going to this particular market, it had about three farm stalls, and yet I was content.  From them I was able to collect an abundance and variety of fresh produce; I learned about some vegetables I had never eaten before; and the farm market swiftly became part of my weekly routine, a part I am loathe to miss for any but the most urgent of circumstances.

Then came, bit by bit, the addition of luxurious extras.  Jams, pasta sauces, soaps and candles at this stand!  Fresh baked breads and pastries at that stand!  A potter started showing up now and then.  The ag extension folks began dropping by, and raffled off compost bins - I won one!  Yay!  A local entrepreneur, who makes and repairs jewelry and designs her own clothing sets up a stand regularly.  Story hour for the kids!  Musicians dropping by!  Coffee!  Pickles!

Now, it seems like our little farm market is the place to be on Saturday mornings.  You'd best get there bright and early to fight for the good produce and the best fruits before they sell out - one week I set aside a couple of pints of ground cherries with the farmer, went on around the stand to continue my shopping, and came back to find another customer begging the farmer to let her buy my ground cherries.  No way!

Well, this past spring, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when a new vendor appeared at our farm market. Under The Oak Cafe popped up to sell their quiche, scones, pies, and iced tea.

Under The Oak Cafe is part of Buy Fresh, Buy Local PA and their food is truly amazing.  The cafe itself is located at 804 Oak Lane, Philadelphia, 19126 and is just one block from the Melrose Park train station on the SEPTA regional rail train system.  As I understand it, the owners moved back to the area to be near family, and have built this business within a community that they care for.  The recipes - at least the pastry recipes - are all family ones, and it shows.  Pie crust like that makes you want to get down on your knees and worship.

If you are visiting Philly, if you are in the suburbs, if you live in the city - you can easily get to Under The Oak Cafe.  And it will be well worth your trip.  It's a nice place to hang out, Kelly or Katrina will dish up some truly memorable food, and whatever kind of pie they have that day, it will come with that pie crust.  That heavenly pie crust.

Best Blueberry Pie Ever - from Under The Oak Cafe

p.s.  I just wanted to say that I am ever mindful of how fortunate I am to be able to shop at my farmer's market and buy what pleases me.  Philabundance is one of my favorite charities for the good work they do in providing hunger relief in the Delaware Valley.

p.p.s. I had lunch at Under The Oak Cafe.  They have more than quiche and pie.  I ate this.

My Happy Lunch

7 responses so far

  • lucy says:

    I have commented once before, but I am a long time lurker. Like you, I grew up in coal country - I am from Western Maryland, but now I live in Philadelphia while going to graduate school. This blog has been a wonderful way to learn about women's issues in academics - especially valuable to me because I am a first generation college student (let alone graduate school).
    I found a small produce market in my neighborhood, but it is very small and very limited in what it sells. Still it feels a lot like home, where my family gives away our squash crops, and in our neighbors give us their produce in a completely voluntary and unorganized annual exchange.
    Would you be willing to share more information about the market you go to? I would love the chance to expand my own produce purchases.

  • becca says:

    Technically, I want ALL pie (with the probable exception of coconut cream). But THAT pie... *wistful sigh*

  • zuska says:

    Lucy, many Philly area farmer's markets are listed here:

    Also here:
    with links for suburbs and a pdf for full schedule.

    There is a Weaver's Way co-op in Mt. Airy and in Chestnut Hill:

    Also there is the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market:

    Almost all of these places should be accessible by public transportation.

    Email me at and I will let you know which market I go to. I would rather not disclose the location on the blog, but will be happy to share with you.

  • bluefoot says:

    First time I'm commenting at your new digs!
    The farmer's market on Saturday mornings has also become the place to be in my town/neighborhood. There are people I see on Saturday mornings there that I don't run into otherwise, and many people make plans to meet up there on Saturdays for coffee or just to hang around eating fresh fruit. It's interesting to see since I live in an urban area, but people prefer to congegrate at the farmer's market rather than at the hip coffee shops. The farmer's market has been so successful, the town is thinking about having a winter farmer's market.
    I like to think of it as the return of the town square.
    The peaches at the farmer's market this year have been divine - I am deciding on whether to just eat peaches out of hand or make some cobbler. And tomatoes! After last year's tomato blight, I can't get enough fresh tomatoes!

  • lucy says:

    Thanks for the help Zuska. Some of these markets are near where I live, and I am excited to check them out!

  • k8 says:

    I set my alarm one Saturday morning in July, earlier than I get up to go to work any other day of the week, just so I could race to the Farmer's Market in hopes of heirloom tomatoes. I won that time. I don't always.

  • Zuska says:

    A comment lost during our server problems:

    Kyle Perry (website link: wrote on 2010/09/03 at 7:41 AM

    "Just as an FYI, the wonderful folks from Under The Oak Cafe are with us at the Piazza Farmers Market every Saturday from 10-2 at the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties."