Before you've ordered a single bite at the new Grand Traverse Pie Company on Liberty near the Michigan Theater (although maybe not before you've snatched a bite of pastry from the sample tray up front), you feel an Up North vacation vibe. And fortunately, the pie-a-palooza display upfront is supported by an interesting, reasonably priced, and fairly well-executed lineup of sandwiches, salads, soups, thick-crust quiche, and--no big surprise--meaty potpies.
The chicken potpie has all white meat and a half-dozen different vegetables (even cute little lima beans); on its brothy gravy float delicate herbs like thyme and tarragon. A pastry cutout of a perky folk-art bird distinguishes the chicken pie from the beef. In keeping with the company's slogan, "love, peace, pie," the beef potpie gets a simple heart cutout, the same bushel of veggies, and beef chunks that are tender and lean but not particularly flavorful. Both have an above-average crust--enticing, generous, and attractively brown--and are more filling than a $7 single-person serving has any right to be.