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Hartley's Original Pork Pies

1729 South Main St., Fall River, MA - (508) 676-8605
Posted By Michael Stern on 8/25/2010 5:42:00 AM
Stepping out of Hartley's on a drizzly August day, Chris, Amy and I were beaming. "The more I travel, the more I feel that we are only scratching the surface," Chris said. Amy added, "There is so much out there." And, never missing a chance to climb upon my Roadfood soapbox, I declared that anyone who claims that American cuisine has become homogenized simply never looked for it.

Our reverie was inspired by a pork pie, a slice of chorizo pizza, and a visit with Angelo & Company – a team of joyful jokers who made the visit to this 100+ year old bakery as much fun as it was delicious.

"Oh, no, here we go!" Angelo announced when he saw us walk in the door, cameras at the ready. "Tourists!" Faux exasperation competed with genuine hospitality as he took us around the kitchen, showed us his equipment and the vintage oven in which he was currently heating his lunch: a couple of strips of chorizo pizza. He offered us one to sample: bakery pizza supreme!

Savory pies are the house specialty, dating back to the days Fall River had a large population of immigrants from the British Isles. They are made as family-size nine-inchers and as individual pies the size of a large cupcake. In addition to traditional ground pork with gravy, variations include chicken pie, chorizo pie and even Buffalo chicken pie that includes hot sauce and blue cheese. Salmon pies are available on Friday and Saturday The fillings are good and hearty; the crust is sensational – melting-rich and flaky the way only a crust made with lard can be. The item I am going to try next visit is a stuffed quahog. Hartley's are chunky and colorful, piled high in the shell.

Talk about a bargain meal: a single pie is $1.75 and big enough for a light lunch or serious snack. Two pies or a pie and a stuffed quohog will sate a healthy appetite and get you change from a five-dollar bill.

There are no dining facilities at Hartley's. We ate our meal off the console of the car.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Pork Pie
Chorizo Pizza
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Neat and tidy and packed well enough so that even when the crust is breached it doesn't ooze, Hartley's pork pie has an historic taste: traditional lard crust (the best!), ground pork and gravy. It is not huge, but it is hugely satisfying.
"Neat and tidy and packed well enough so that even when the crust is breached it doesn't ooze, Hartley's pork pie has an historic taste: traditional lard crust (the best!), ground pork and gravy. It is not huge, but it is hugely satisfying."
Michael Stern





Bakery pizza often is sold (and eaten) at room temperature. Hartley's regularly heats up slices in the oven so customers can fully enjoy the crisp crust and full, juicy goodness of spicy ground chorizo sausage.
"Bakery pizza often is sold (and eaten) at room temperature. Hartley's regularly heats up slices in the oven so customers can fully enjoy the crisp crust and full, juicy goodness of spicy ground chorizo sausage."
Michael Stern


As a general rule, I try not to post pictures of a half-eaten meal. As this image of a pork pie demonstrates, it is not the kind of beauty shot that traditional food journalism demands. But what other way can I show just how packed the pie is with meat?
"As a general rule, I try not to post pictures of a half-eaten meal. As this image of a pork pie demonstrates, it is not the kind of beauty shot that traditional food journalism demands. But what other way can I show just how packed the pie is with meat?"
Michael Stern


The counter at Hartley's. At the right, coming from the kitchen, is Angelo, ringmaster of the meat pie show.
"The counter at Hartley's. At the right, coming from the kitchen, is Angelo, ringmaster of the meat pie show."
Michael Stern


Hartley's is the oldest continuously operating food service business in Fall River. For those of us seeking regional food with real character, it is a bonanza.
"Hartley's is the oldest continuously operating food service business in Fall River. For those of us seeking regional food with real character, it is a bonanza."
Michael Stern



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