Monthly Archives: January 2018

A Taste of Winston in Los Angeles

Hi, foodies!

Very recently I enjoyed meeting via phone interview with Brianna Abrams, a Winston-Salem native who’s making her mark on the West Coast with her amazing pies. It published on 1/10 in YES! Weekly  and I wanted to share it with you here as well so that if you are ever in Los Angeles, you can get a taste of Winston! 

Here at triadfoodies, we’re usually talking about a local restaurant, product, chef. We’re changing it up a little bit as our local artisan featured this week took an unusual career path thousands of miles away and is serving up slices of Southern hospitality and honoring her hometown of Winston-Salem. 

Brianna Abrams grew up in Winston-Salem and moved to Los Angeles in 2008 with her husband after she graduated law school. “My husband is from LA, and after law school in DC, we thought about where we wanted to be. We spent a summer here decided to make a life here.”


Brianna Abrams and her ButterCrust Pie, photo cred: Marie Buck

And being a lawyer was what it was all about. But Abrams had also been baking pies her whole life. And her passion for baking was renewed after she discovered all the fresh fruit that is so abundant in the local markets in LA.   

Abrams was working in a big law firm in 2016 and had had her second daughter when her husband suggested selling her ButterCrust pies (it’s really all about the butter).  Her husband set up a website and catering business for her and she began baking pies on order in her off- hours. “It was crazy.  I baked in the morning and late at night.” Being a full-time mom of two and working as a lawyer got incredibly busy after a short period of time. She began selling to cafes, country clubs and movie studios. Abrams says, “There were 3500 pies going out of my house. I was getting up so early baking and dropping off pies and it was so chaotic. But it let us see if the concept would work.” Abrams says it was then she felt comfortable enough to leave the law firm.


Photo by Marie Buck

They opened her pie shop last September, but not without coming up with what eventually became the right name.  Abrams says, “We worked on a name for months and really didn’t love anything. Then one day my husband suggested we call it Winston Pies. Winston is what everybody calls my hometown and I thought it was perfect.”

Abrams grew up in Sherwood Forest and graduated from Forsyth Country Day School before attending undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill and American University for law school. She says she doesn’t remember exactly learning how to bake pies, but that being in the kitchen was something that was a part of her family. “I grew up baking all types of things. My conversations with women in my family centered on baking so many times.  We’d knock ideas around and it was how we related to each other and being in the kitchen and baking was such a big part of our relationship.”  She adds, “My sister bakes cookies. My mom is the cake maker. My grandmother the pie maker.  So I can’t put my finger where I learned it. Every day we were in the kitchen and baking.” Abrams says now her little girls are getting into the baking. “They’ve been in the kitchen with me since they were infants. They are with me and excellent at tasting. Anytime I have a new recipe, they are my tasters.  Their palates are incredible. And they want to help with the pie shop and that’s really rewarding.”


Photo by Marie Buck

Here in the South, a shop exclusive to pies is hard to come by. Even more so in LA. Abrams says she often has to explain to people how Winston Pies just dropped out of nowhere, particularly in the Brentwood neighborhood.  “It’s not something that’s normal around here.”

Abrams pie menu varies from traditional to the eclectic and offers seasonal items. “My favorite pie to make is cherry pie.” Now that her shop is open, customers tell Abram that’s the best cherry pie they’ve had. “It is the biggest compliment because it’s my favorite pie in the world hands down and I order it every time I see it on a menu.” She loves to work with traditional flavors in new and creative ways like with the Cowgirl Chocolate, which is a traditional southern chocolate chess but with a salted caramel oat crust. But it’s important to have the classics, Abrams says, “Apple Pie is still the most popular here.”


Photo by Marie Buck

Abrams says they are working on shipping options for the future so they can ship regionally and she says if all goes well, she’d love to open other locations and Winston is definitely on the radar.

Though a pie shop is an anomaly where she lives, Abrams says her customers are finding her and she loves hearing their stories.  “People come here from Winston and they tell me they’re attending Wake Forest or that they’re just from the area, visiting here. Sometimes a customer walks in and they’re from the South and homesick or feeling nostalgic and they see our Southern aesthetic and they have some pie. It’s so great that I can give them a touch of home.”

Wanna go? You’ll have to travel to Los Angeles for now. Winston Pies is located at 11678 San Vincente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 

Join us for BRUNCH our next Triadfoodies Chef’s Table

Happy 2018, foodies! I hope your Christmas was spectacular and warm and loving and we’re excited about the year of food ahead of us.

We’re celebrating a brand new year with a fun and new Chef’s Table at a recent favorite, Vin205 Farm to Table Bistro. We loved how Chef Oren Feuerberg dazzled us with family-style deliciousness this past fall. Read about that here! Owner Caleb Flint wanted to have us back to enjoy a bubbly brunch on Sunday, January 21 at 12:30pm. 

Let me tell you, Caleb knows how to throw a party. And he’s excited to share some bubbles with you and Oren is ready to bring it and show you why Vin205 is the place to be for brunch.  Not only that, but a great coffee bar for a yummy coffee concoction and a few other New Year surprises are up our sparkly sleeves!

Here’s how it works:

Reserve with a ticket here and you’ll join us at our table on Sunday, January 21. A reminder of our pricing: Your ticket price of $30 INCLUDES your multi-course brunch as well as tax and gratuity associated with the meal. Beverage (and gratuity for the purchase of beverages) are not included in the ticket price. Please take care of your server on any beverage service. 

Come a little early to enjoy coffee, drinks or do a little shopping at Wine Merchant’s. 

We’ll see you on January 21!

** Follow us on Facebook for the latest details and get in on the chatter by tagging @winemerchantsVin205 and #triadfoodiesChefsTable on Facebook and Instagram.