Quality Pie – a 30-something Portlander’s flashback (#3)

Quality PieAh, Quality Pie.  On NW 23rd across from the hospital. In the late 80s I was a wide-eyed, parochial-schooled suburbanite. Quality Pie, in addition to Powell’s and the McDonalds (now Rich’s Cigars) by the Galleria, was my introduction to the city.  Sipping coffee into the wee hours, we observed eccentric late night Portland while we shared grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries, or a slice of truly quality pie.

1992.  The reprehensible Measure 9 made it to the ballot in Oregon, the Blazers lost to the Bulls in the NBA finals, and the legendary Quality Pie closed.  The Willy Week, at the time, summed it up:

Portland loses another dining institution when Quality Pie, a 24-hour haven for hipsters, scenesters, scamsters, hamsters, rock stars (pre- and post-nova), street people, alcoholics in various stages of recovery, poets, gamers, insomniacs and other assorted creatures of the night, serves its final cup of joe.

But the year wasn’t all bad.  The abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse Measure 9 was soundly defeated by the citizens of Oregon, I turned 21, and Dot’s started serving up jalapeno cheddar fries.

Other QP memories:

More 30-something Portlander’s Flashbacks:
#1: Sam’s Hof Brau
#2: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours.


  1. McAngryPants says:

    And right down the street was Rose’s. I’d trudge from school and wait for trimet to whisk me to the safety of Beaverton. But not before going in and buying ‘after eight’ mints.

  2. I don’t remember Quality Pie :( but I guess in 1992 I was in the 8th grade in middle school not doing much else beside riding into town (Battle Ground) for a shake and burger at Burgerville and most definitely not hanging out in Portland. I would have never survived.

  3. McAngryPants – I remember Rose’s giant glazed donuts . . . but that’s about it.

    VeganFabulous – Think the Roxie or the Hotcake House, but with more space, light, and servers walking around with coffee pots all night.

  4. I love pie. I love cherry pie made with real cherries, not that pie filling stuff. You can’t get good pie anymore unless you make it yourself. And by you, I mean not me, because that would not be good pie.

  5. I heart pie too. Maybe XUP and I can get someone to make us some.

  6. Guys who went to Lincoln High in the 50’s and 60’s remember the Quality Pie Shop as their home after midnight.

    The burger D “burger deluxe” was famous as were the stores of conquests.

    We use to date the nurses across the street and mash the girls on 23rd Ave.

    Those were the days! Big cars, good cigars and lots of wild women.

    I have a great picture of the gang outside the “Q.P.” for those who are interested.

  7. Partisanpete says:

    Quality pie was not for pie. It was for after hours greasy breakfast served by surly no nonsense waitresses.
    To Heather and XUP. You can get good pies. My cafe makes good pies including cherry pie not made with fluorescent pie filling. Our pies are pies like grandma, or in my case mother, used to make. They are not factory pies or Martha Stewart pies. We sell whole, or by the slice. There is typically 4 to 8 varieties of fruit pie, and 2 to 4 varieties of cream pies available at any time. If you hurry you can still order Christmas Pies.
    Whole pie $16.25 plus tin deposit. Slice $3.25.

    Shameless plug or just trying to help a fellow pie lovers out.

    Bipartisan cafev
    7901 SE stark

  8. You all sound so young. I graduated from Sunset HIgh School in 1966. I remember
    the Quality Pie Shop in my youth. Rose’s was a given. Northwest Portland had not yet
    come into it’s new incarnation. Late night in that neighborhood was wonderful. I now
    live in New Orleans and I miss my youth in Portland. Talk to me if you remember.

  9. @Chuck – You might find this facebook group interesting: Dead Memories Portland.

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