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Chef Chat, Part 3: Joe Phillips of Oh My! Pocket Pies

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After talking with Joe Phillips of Oh My! Pocket Pies, curiosity and an empty stomach compelled me to try the shrimp burger first. It was my introduction into the world of shrimp burgers, and I didn't know what a treat I was in for.

The burger was massive and set in between two soft, flaky buns reminiscent of a brioche. The ground Gulf shrimp patty held together surprisingly well and was accompanied by green leaf lettuce, onions, and sliced cucumbers. The burger exploded in flavors, first from the shrimp, then from the refreshing, palate-cleansing vegetables, once again from the kick from the onions and Sriracha-mayo sauce, and finally from the subtle sweetness in the bun. There are so many ways this could have been done wrong, but it was excellent.

The next item on my plate, Chicken Chile Relleno pocket pie, gave me the impression that this one might be a very guilty $3 pleasure. The house-made pie crust avoided being soggy or greasy and delivered a crispy, flaky bite to the very end. Although I wished it packed a little more heat inside, the ground chicken and pepper filling was surprisingly fresh and flavorful.

Last was a taste test of the famous Salisbury steak pie. While Salisbury steak is evocative of sodium-rich TV dinners, this pocket pie was a hearty and healthier alternative. The pie crust was consistent with that of the Chicken Chile Relleno and successfully held in the filling without emitting oily residue. Cutting into the pie, it was evident the hunks of steak, onions, and mushrooms were real and not poor knockoffs as you might find in a TV dinner. What blows my mind is just how fresh the ingredients tasted -- something often unexpected in a pocket pie.

While its menu and website might be a throwback to times past, Joe and his partner Joanna 's concept is anything but. From the mobile location to sourcing only local ingredients to using biodegradable packaging, Oh My! Pocket Pies is moving forward and leaving bold tracks en route. You can find them on the streets, at Ohmypocketpies.com, and on Twitter and Facebook under the same name.

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