Something about November makes me crave pie, and not even on one specific day of the month. Picking up or making full pies from scratch hardly makes sense outside of Thanksgiving Day (unless you have a big pie-loving family) so instead I’m searching out places with quality dessert sold by the slice.
It’s this mission that sent me to Homage Bakery. While it’s a mainstay in the university neighborhood, I’ll admit, as a South Reno resident, this was my first time in. Perhaps best known for its long list of delicious coffees (many with a creative slant or fun moniker) and fresh baked pastries, the bakery also has a full kitchen.
In the display case, a myriad of flavorful treats are hard to pass up when you’re ordering at the counter. In addition to sweets like pumpkin whoopie pies, there is also a selection of regular pies, often coming from a seasonal menu of favorites but sometimes including go-to favorites such as key lime and mixed berry.
To secure the flavor of your dreams, you may have to order ahead, but otherwise selections from a line-up of seasonal sweets including salted caramel pumpkin pie, apple sticky toffee pudding pie and mulled wine plum cobbler.
Every pie is baked fresh and full of flavor. The fruit pies especially shine with quality. Flaky crust reheats well when needed and really balances the textures of the fruit.
If I’m walking into Homage to order a pie, or even just a slice, I’m going to order breakfast or lunch, as well. It’s a very “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” type of scenario. And this is how I ended up bringing home a towering slice of avocado tartine and a very hearty, very filling grilled cheese pizza.
The avocado tartine, if you’re not familiar, is basically avocado toast. Spread out on an over-sized slice of sourdough bread, the avocado is fresh and plentiful. With avocado toast, this is obviously the ingredient that can make or break the dish, so it’s important to point out just how on point it is at Homage. Then, it’s piled high with fresh ingredients that feel healthy and light: sliced cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions, radish and microgreens (with the option to add a fried egg). There is also a layer of chili crunch in the middle, which feels ambiguous but may be my favorite addition mostly because it adds a hint of spice that feels more like an unsuspecting kick than an overwhelming slap in the tastebuds.
The grilled cheese pizza is exactly the opposite. This hearty meat and cheese dish is a lot more like it sounds than one would expect. Starting with a grilled cheese sandwich, sliced bread filled with cheese, the pizza is essentially cooked on top with mozzarella, pizza sauce, garlic aioli and oregano and the option to add pepperoni, ham or bacon.
For sides you can choose between a side salad (which feels a little redundant for the avocado tartine but makes sense for the pizza) and seasoned tater tots with a pretty delicious dipping sauce.
Because both items are loaded with ingredients, we recommend eating quickly, either in the quaint converted-home dining room or as soon as you get home. The pastries and pies, of course, keep longer.
519 Ralston Street, Reno, Nev. 89503
Wednesday – Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kitchen Open until 2 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.